“A wonderful savior is Jesus my Lord, a wonderful savior to me” begins the hymn by the famous song writer Fanny Crosby. Yet the circumstances of Crosby’s life were anything but wonderful.
Three tragic events impacted Fanny Crosby that could have rendered her discouraged, depressed and impotent to accomplish success in her life.
First, she was blinded in infancy by a Doctor’s negligence. Second, she had a less than ideal marriage that ended in separation. And third, her baby daughter died soon after birth.
In spite of the problems and pains of her life, Fanny Crosby was influenced by a godly grandmother and inspired by the famous poet William Cullen Bryant when she was a student at the New York Institute for the Blind.
Fanny had a heart that could see Christ and feel the impact of the Savior’s love. Many of Crosby’s 8,000 poems speak to her relationship with the Lord. Despite a less than wonderful life, Fanny Crosby believed and trusted in a wonderful Savior!
“Wonderful” is one of the names ascribed to Jesus by Isaiah in his prophecy about the coming of Christ. “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa 9:6).
The Hebrew word translated “Wonderful” is not easy to define. Scholars suggest it means “Marvelous.” Incomprehensible.” “Extraordinary.” W. E. Vine says “it expresses actions that are beyond the bounds of human powers or expectations.”
The word is used by the Psalmist to speak of the “marvelous things” God did in Egypt through the miracles performed by Moses. The parting of the Red Sea. And God’s guidance through the wilderness. (Ps 78:12ff)
The heaven’s declare the Almighty’s wondrous works! (Ps. 89:5)
“Wonderful” is the infinite knowledge of God that it beyond human comprehension. (PS. 139:6).
The testimony of God’s word is called “wonderful” (Ps 119:129).
Over and over again the Psalmist would exclaim, “You are great, and do wondrous things; you alone are God (PS 86:10)
So, how fitting that Jesus, the anointed One, the Son of God, is called “Wonderful.”
His birth was a wonderful and unexpected entrance into a wicked world. His sinless life serves a wonderful example to us. His teachings were wonderful! His mission and ministry was wonderful! His love for a lost world exceeds our human comprehension and can only be called “Wonderful”!
“He went about doing good,” writes the physician Luke. Restoring sight to the blind. Raising up the lame to walk. Cleansing the leper. Exorcizing demons. Calming the tempest tossed sea. And raising the dead back to life. Wonderful!
Yet, all of those incredible good deeds would mean nothing to you and I today, without his sacrificial death for our sins.
On the worse Friday of Jesus’ human existence, he was betrayed. Denied. Demeaned. Mocked. Misrepresented. Bruised. Beaten. And battered. And finally executed to die a criminal’s death on the cross. But the irony of that awful day, is that he became our Wonderful Savior.
And then three days later, something wonderful happened! Something incredible! Beyond human comprehension or belief. Jesus arose from the grave. He conquered death. He defeated the devil. He became our risen and Wonderful Redeemer!
And so, we can joyfully sing with Fanny Crosby, “He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, where rivers of pleasure I see! He hideth my life in the depths of his love! And covers me there with his hand!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman