Philip P. Bliss wrote both the words and the tune of this great hymn focusing on the suffering Servant depicted by the prophet Isaiah. Bliss most certainly drew from Isaiah 53:4-5, 10 which reads:
Isaiah 53:3–5, 10 (ESV)
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Stanza 1 reflects Isaiah 53:3. Christ surely was a man of sorrows who came for us ruined sinners to rescue us from our sin. Stanza 2 is more of a personal confession reflecting Isaiah 53:5. Stanza 3 shows the depravity of man and our sin. We are ugly, guilty, and cannot save ourselves. Yet, Christ is spotless and sinless. Stanza 4 recalls the Saviors crucifixion and His final words of triumph over sin and his exaltation after his resurrection defeating death. Stanza 5 is looking forward to the day when Christ will return for his sheep and we will be in the presence of the Glorious King forever!
As Easter draws near I reflect on the wonderful work Christ has done! His suffering, his crucifixion, his resurrection, and the confident hope of seeing him as the Glorious King overall move me to praise the Lord with all my soul! I hope it does for you as well!