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Amazing Love, How Can It Be?

There have been a few moments in my life when a song has completely overwhelmed me. Most of those songs have been hymns sung by amazing artists. Everyone should go to YouTube right now and listen to Carrie Underwood (with Vince Gill) sing “How Great Thou Art” and then watch Wintley Phipps sing “Amazing Grace” at Carnegie Hall. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Now, that was worth it, wasn’t it? That’s what music is all about! But, more personally, there is a hymn that taught me, in a moment of recognition, how to finally understand the love of Christ. I had that moment while singing a Charles Wesley hymn called “Amazing Love, How Can It Be?”

Wesley lived about 300 years ago and Christ was very real to him. He wrote about his deliverance from the bondage of sin into the loving forgiveness of Jesus’ grace. His hymn starts with these words:

“And can it be that I should gain An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—For me, who Him to death pursued?”

But, the real moment of reckoning comes in the fourth verse:

“Long my imprisoned spirit lay, Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;