“A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, a wonderful Savior to me” begins the hymn written by the famous songwriter 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 less than an ideal marriage that ended in separation. And third, her baby daughter died soon after birth.
In spite of life’s setbacks, Crosby had a heart that could see Christ and feel the impact of the Savior’s love. 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 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 difficult to define. Scholars suggest it means “Marvelous.” Incomprehensible.” “Extraordinary.” Vine says “it expresses actions that are beyond the bounds of human powers or expectations.”
The Psalmist uses the word to describe the “marvelous things” God did in delivering Israel from Egyptian bondage (Ps 89:15). Of God’s infinite knowledge (Ps 89:5). And of God’s Word (Ps. 119:129).
How fitting that Jesus, the anointed One, is called “Wonderful.”
His birth was a wonderful entrance into a wicked world. His sinless life serves as a wonderful example to us. His teachings were wonderful. His mission and ministry were wonderful. His love for a lost world exceeds our human comprehension and can only be called “Wonderful.”
“He went about doing good,” writes Dr. 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!
But most wondrous was his sacrificial death for our sins. After his humiliating and excruciating execution on the cross, He miraculously arose on Sunday morning and became our wonderful Savior.
Christians worldwide will meet today, many under circumstances that are less than ideal, and set aside whatever challenges we may face to remember and honor our Wonderful Savior.
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