Hallelujah! What a Savior!

By Becky Ahlberg

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:3-5, King James Version).

This famous passage of Scripture is filled with imagery to explain the poignant truth that our Savior was a paradox of the suffering servant in the midst of royal redemption. If it had been left to us, not only would Christ not have died, but he would have triumphed and taken his seat on the throne of David and, of course, brought all of the faithful with him! The apostle Paul called the cross “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:23).

It is difficult to understand why God would choose to sacrifice his Son instead of punish us, but oh how grateful we are! Even though it is difficult to explain, we gather weekly to remember and rededicate ourselves to living grateful lives that strive to be worthy of that sacrifice. How blessed we are!

Philip Bliss, the song evangelist who traveled the world with Dwight Moody, captures these thoughts in a hymn he wrote and often sang it in their meetings. As the words are read, will you join me in saying that final line together: “Hallelujah! What a Savior”

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in Heav’n exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Becky Ahlberg serves as executive director of My Safe Harbor in Anaheim, California.

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