Posted by: rcottrill | November 9, 2012

Blessed Redeemer

Words: Avis Marguerite Burgeson Christiansen (b. Oct. 11, 1895; d. Jan. 14, 1985)
Music: Harold Dixon Loes (b. Oct. 20, 1892; d. Feb. 9, 1965)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Avis Christiansen)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: Harry Dixon Lowes took the middle name “Dixon” in honour of Rev. Amzi Clarence Dixon, pastor of Moody Church in Chicago (1906-1911), a man well known for his defence of the fundamentals of the faith. Mr. Loes was a music teacher at Moody Bible Institute (1939-1965). He wrote many hymns, sometimes providing the words as well as the music.

As for the present hymn, this is one of those cases when the tune came before the text. It was a sermon he heard entitled “Blessed Redeemer” that inspired Loes to write a melody that he thought captured the mood of the message. Then, he sent the tune, and the suggested title, to longtime friend, Avis Christiansen, who was eventually to become one of the most significant gospel song writers of the twentieth century. Mrs. Christiansen wrote the lyrics, and the song was published in 1920.

In the Greek language of the New Testament, the word “blessed” is eulogeo, from which we get our English word “eulogy” (something we often hear at funerals). Eulogeo means to speak well of, to praise, or to celebrate with praises. Used of the Lord Jesus Christ, it indicates that He is worthy of all praise and glory, worthy to be honoured, both for who He is and what He has done.

There are two special occasions when this word was applied to Christ.

1) Of His Incarnation
One came before He was even born. By a miracle of the Holy Spirit, a young virgin named Mary was prepared to give birth to the incarnated Son of God (Lk. 1:31, 35; cf. Matt. 1:19-23).

When her cousin Elizabeth greeted her, she was given prophetic insight into what had happened to Mary and exclaimed, “Blessed [eulogeo] is the fruit of your womb!” (Lk. 1:42). Later, when Paul described some of the privileges God had granted to the nation of Israel, one was that they were the people “from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God” (Rom. 9:5).

The first instance of Christ being called blessed, worthy of praise, came near the beginning of His earthly life. A second came near the end.

2) Of His Messiahship

The Gospels record that in the days before He was crucified, Christ entered into the city of Jerusalem, presenting Himself to the people as their Messiah-King, in a manner that fulfilled Old Testament prophecy (Matt. 21:1-11; cf. Zech. 9:9).

On that occasion, many of the people cried out, “Hosanna to the Son of David [a messianic title]! ‘Blessed [eulogeo] is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!” (Matt. 21:9), and “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!” (Lk. 19:38).

A few days later, He was crucified.

Though he was rejected at His first coming, the Lord Jesus Christ will return in triumph, and reign over the earth. God the Father will place Him on the throne (Ps. 2:6) as “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords” (I Tim. 6:15; cf. Rev. 19:11-16).

To the eyes of His enemies, and of those who rejected Him, when the Lord Jesus walked to the place of execution, He was anything but blessed. He was scorned and ridiculed. But we who have been saved through faith in His shed blood bless Him with sincere joy.

“To you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient [He is], ‘the stone which the builders rejected’” (I Pet. 2:7).

In the words of Avis Christiansen concerning our wonderful Saviour (CH-3), “How can my praises ever find end!”

CH-1) Up Calvary’s mountain, one dreadful morn,
Walked Christ my Saviour, weary and worn;
Facing for sinners death on the cross,
That He might save them from endless loss.

Blessèd Redeemer! Precious Redeemer!
Seems now I see Him on Calvary’s tree;
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading,
Blind and unheeding–dying for me!

CH-3) O how I love Him, Saviour and Friend,
How can my praises ever find end!
Through years unnumbered on heaven’s shore,
My tongue shall praise Him forevermore.

Questions:
1) Christians are to “be to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:12). What are some ways that we can praise the Lord, with words, and without them?

2) What would characterize the life of a person who is not being to the praise of His glory?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Avis Christiansen)
The Cyber Hymnal


Responses

  1. Tears run down my face unhindered as I read those words divine,
    Knowing by my own experience: I am His, and He is mine!
    As I share His love with others, lest they cross that Great Divide
    Knowing not His refuge sanctioned, by His Ransom sanctified!

    (c) 9/10/2014 8:05-15pm Roberta N. Tuthill (1923-TX)


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