HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOR

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 9.09.40 PMToday is that dark and beautiful day that Christians call Good Friday. Both a celebration and a time of sorrow, it is “good” because of the love of Christ Jesus, who died on behalf of mankind.

C.S. Lewis writes: God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that He may love and perfect them. He creates the universe, already foreseeing – or should we say ‘seeing’? there are no tenses in God – the buzzing cloud of flies about the cross, the flayed back pressed against the uneven stake, the nails driven through the mesial nerves, the repeated incipient suffocation as the body droops, the repeated torture of back and arms as it is time after time, for breath’s sake, hitched up. If I may dare the biological image, God is ‘host’ who deliberately creates His own parasites; causes us to be that we may exploit and ‘take advantage of’ Him. Herein is love. This is the diagram of Love Himself, the inventor of all loves. (The Four Loves)

The lyrics of the old hymn “Hallelujah, What A Savior” capture this same dichotomy – the sorrow and joy of the Cross. A God Who chooses – for His own mysterious reasons – to love us. This is beyond comprehension, and is both beautiful and distressing.

When I recorded “Hallelujah, What A Savior” over ten years ago, I wanted it to sound completely different and new. So I chose to feature some unique percussion (soccer ball, bike tire pump, cardboard box, a pencil striking a guitar string, etc.) and a lot of overdubs of my voice. In spite of the quirkiness of the track, I think the weight of these words still rings true.

Blessings to you on Good Friday,
Scott

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!

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: Phillip P. Bliss (public domain)
arrangement by Scott C. Riggan (c) 2008 Spinning Plates Music (ASCAP)
from the EP “Act of Surrender
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3 Responses to HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOR

  1. Christine says:

    I’ve read that book by CS Lewis before. Great quote. Your version of the hymn is really interesting too. Thanks!

  2. Josephine Wright says:

    Our church had a good Friday service with candlelight communion and a choir. It was so beautiful! They sang your Remember song too.

  3. Michael Fischer says:

    Scott, we were at the Good Friday service at ECC and it was so moving. We talked about it all evening with our family. Also, I love your version of Halleljah What A Savior. 🙂

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