Man of Sorrows

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!

Words and Music by Philip P. Bliss, 1875

“He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:3 – 5

We all have certain images that we carry in our mind when we here the name Jesus. For most it is probably the image of the baby lying in the manger. Not surprising, after all, for at least two months a year we have this image driven home to us. Understand me, there is nothing wrong with this. It is our reminder that He was God incarnate, God become flesh, who entered the world in the same way every one of us has. But Jesus did not always remain a child. In short, He grew up.

Maybe for some it is the miracle worker, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind and raising the dead. Again, this is a reminder that while he was man, he was also God and commanded everything. Some think of the triumphant King who entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. And some think of the resurrected Christ who ascended to the right hand of the Father.

But there is one we often fail to think about, maybe even intentionally avoid. The atoning sacrifice who suffered because of our sinfulness. Who gave His life on the Cross that we might be offered new life. This is the Jesus remembered by Philip Bliss in his hymn “Hallelujah, What A Savior.”

The opening line says it all, “Man of sorrows!, What a name for the Son of God who came.” Why would Jesus be called “a man of sorrows?”

This name comes from Isaiah 53:3. Isaiah 53 presents not a Savior King, but a suffering servant.

This flew in the face of all that Israel expected. They awaited a King who would defeat their enemies, and establish His kingdom forever. And really, wouldn’t we all. Why would God send His anointed to suffer and die.

But this was the victory. As Paul writes in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Jesus victory was not against the immediate oppressors of this world , but rulers of this dark world.  He defeated sin and death so that we might know eternal life.

Yes Jesus was the baby we remember, but He is so much more.  We need to remember the dark moments in Christ life and realize that He willingly went through them that we might know Him.  So we join together in the last triumphant verse of Philip Bliss’ hymn, “When He comes, our glorious King, All His ransomed home to bring, Then anew His song we’ll sing, Hallelujah! What a Savior!



Read more about “Hallelujah, What A Savior.”

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