Today is Good Friday, the celebration of the day on which Jesus died. Though it meant unimaginable suffering for Him, we call it “good” because by His death He purchased salvation for everyone who repents and believes. In gratitude for His forgiveness, John Newton penned the words to the church’s most beloved song: “Amazing Grace.” Worship Christ with us today by reflecting on 10 facts about this song and His love. Then listen to the inspiring rendition that follows.
10. The lyrics were written by a British slave trader turned pastor.
9. John Newton wrote it for a New Year’s Day church service in 1773.
8. Newton later helped William Wilberforce end the British slave trade.
7. Newton died in 1807, the year the slave trade was abolished in England.
6. William Walker added the current melody to the lyrics in his 1835 hymnal.
5. There are 972 known arrangements of the song and over 3200 recordings.
4. “Amazing Grace” is considered to be the anthem of the Cherokee nation because this was the song they sang on the Trail of Tears in 1838-39.
3. The hymn’s final verse was not written by Newton. It was added by Harriet Beecher Stowe to a version she included in her novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”
2. John Newton never ceased to be amazed at God’s amazing grace. He was heard to say near the end of his life, “Although my memory is fading, I remember two things very clearly: “I am a great sinner and Jesus Christ is a great Savior.”
1. His “Amazing Grace” saved a wretch like me!
God’s amazing grace has changed the world forever. The rendition that follows is sung by Il Divo in the ruins of the Roman Coliseum. That is fitting for it was the death of believers touched by the grace of Jesus that finally put an end to the brutality of that evil place. Be sure to listen to the final inspiring verse and pray for Jesus to return soon and put an end to evil and violence forever.