Hallelujah, What a Savior!

Biblical Authority Devotional: Hymns of Praise, Part 7

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Chuck McKnight, AiG–U.S., describes some of the reasons to praise our glorious King.

He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (Isaiah 53:3)

“Hallelujah!” This Hebrew word of jubilation is often used carelessly, yet it contains the very name of God in abbreviated form. It literally means, “Praise Yah!” There is perhaps no better use for this sacred phrase than to praise Yahweh for coming as our Savior to die in our place.

Philip P. Bliss wrote both the words and music for “Hallelujah, What a Savior!” The song combines messianic prophecies from Isaiah with the fulfilled reality of what Jesus has done for us. It is both a sobering reminder of how much He suffered and at the same time a joyous celebration of the victory we have as a result.

The last verse, however, dramatically changes the mood. It switches from the past tense to the future—from His completed sacrifice to His coming return. There is no more hint of sorrow, only eternity in which to praise Him. “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 this song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Today’s big idea: the blood of Jesus has atoned for our sins. Hallelujah!

What to pray: praise our glorious King!

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