Hallelujah! What a Savior!

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all… He poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.” “That which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 
Isaiah 53:3-6,12; Matthew 1:20-21

Imagine the announcement to Joseph, then to Mary, that this One they were to raise was the long-expected Jesus, the sorrowful Savior Who would be despised, afflicted, crushed. We know both received the message, Joseph responding in ready obedience, Mary with quiet trust and thankfulness. To bear the holy Son of God was a high calling, a peculiar honor Mary appropriated with praise and pondering. (Luke 1:26-38,46-55; 2:19,51)

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This side of Calvary, do I receive His life with the same wonder? What difference does the Man upon the cross make for me each day? Am I taking time to contemplate His grief over sin’s fallout in broken relationships, idolatry, tearing down of people and reputations and institutions, pain of disease, and the love He pours out in response? Do I appreciate the suffering He bore on my behalf? If I am grateful, does it show? Do I thrive as one redeemed, forgiven, healed, or slog along in complaint, defeat, discouragement? He bore sorrow so I can live with joy. He was ruined so I can be whole. He was chastised so I can have peace. His bearing my sin’s burden frees me from the weight of self-focus and pride to live for Him and others. Is my life imprinted with the work of the cross?

“’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!”  ~Philip P. Bliss (1875)

My Savior, keep me contemplating You on earth, on the cross, and at the right hand of God in glory. Promised One Who perfectly fulfills Your purpose and Whom I will one day see face to face, may my life ever sing hallelujahs. (1 Corinthians 13:9,12; Ephesians 1:20; 1 John 3:2)

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