This hymn reminds me of my life without Jesus. I didn’t become a Christian until I was 26. As a teenager and through my early 20’s, I lived my life in “vanity and pride”. I did not know or care that Jesus was crucified for me.
The song talks about mercy and grace. The chorus says “...mercy there was great…” At the cross one can see the abundant mercy of God who has provided a way of escape from our sins. Paul tells us that our God is rich in mercy. (Eph.2:4)
This hymn says “grace was free”. The very definition of grace is that it is undeserved, unmerited favor. Eph. 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Salvation is a gift from God! However, it is not unconditional. God has placed conditions on His gift and we must respond to the Gospel in the obedience of faith (Rom. 1:5).
Another phrase says, “Pardon there was multiplied to me” God has made it possible for us to receive absolute pardon from every sin. Again, such is true only because of the sending of His Son. It’s sad to think of the people who have rejected the pardon made available to them because of unbelief. Jesus said “…if you do not believe I am He, you will die in your sins”. (John 8:24)
The chorus concludes “…there my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.” At the cross Jesus has given His blood to unburden our soul. We Christians find freedom when we submit to Christ in loving obedience. We are united with Him in the grave of baptism, based on our faith and repentance.