Most hymns usually begin as a poem, and an existing tune is used, or a new tune is composed to fit the text. “Blessed Redeemer” began as a tune composed by Harry Dixon Loes, an admired music teacher at Moody Bible Institute until he died in 1965. In 1920 he was inspired to write the music while listening to a sermon on the Blessed Redeemer. He then sent the tune to his friend, Mrs. Avis Christiansen, suggesting the title and asking her to write the lyrics.
Mrs. Christiansen wrote three stanzas and the refrain for this hymn that has been a great blessing to many for years. Her godly grandmother encouraged her to write; she wrote her first poem at age ten. Throughout her lifetime, she wrote many hymns and had two books of poetry published before her death in 1985. Her inspiration was her life experiences, and she said, “Everything I’ve written came from my heart, out of some difficulty or crisis the Lord brought me through.”
In describing what Christ did for sinners and how believers should respond, the song speaks of the Lord’s weary walk to His place of crucifixion. (Luke 23:33). Even as Christ was dying, He prayed, “Father, forgive them!” (Luke 23:34). The third stanza is the believer’s response: “Oh, how I love Him, Saviour and friend, how can my praises ever find end!” (1 John 4:19). The refrain uses the rhyming words “bleeding, pleading, and unheeding,” focusing on the scene at Calvary. The song's last words, “dying for me,” emphasize that salvation is a personal relationship.
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
Walked Christ my Saviour, weary and worn;
Facing for sinners death on the cross,
That he might save them from endless loss.
Blessed Redeemer! precious Redeemer!
Seems now I see him on Calvary's tree;
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading-
Blind and unheeding-dying for me!
"Father, forgive them;" thus did he pray,
E'en while his lifeblood flowed fast away;
Praying for sinners while in such woe-
No one but Jesus ever loved so.
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