Man of sorrows

Happy fifth Sunday in Lent!

This hymn was first published in 1875. The following year its author, Philip Bliss, died in a railway accident that also took the life of his wife.

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim:
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned he stood,
Sealed my pardon with his blood:
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

Guilty, vile, and helpless, we;
Spotless Lamb of God was he;
Full atonement! can it be?
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

Lifted up was he to die,
“It is finished!” was his cry:
Now in heav’n exalted high:
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

When he comes, our glorious King,
All his ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

I hit on the idea of summarising each stanza in one word, and as a pale imitation of Bliss’s far superior rhymes, all my words end in -ion.

  1. Mission: To reclaim sinners for God
  2. Substitution: Christ took my condemnation and secured my forgiveness
  3. Perfection: Of Christ’s sacrifice of Himself and its effect of full atonement
  4. Completion: Of the work on the cross
  5. Consummation: Christ will return to take His people to their eternal home.

Hmm… Maybe I should keep well away from writing poetry…

On a serious note, I’m loving how these hymn-writers pull together the past, present and future works of redemption in five stanzas or less. Such rich content to meditate on!

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