Easter: The Story Behind “Power in the Blood”

Hi, friends. As promised, here is the first of three “Story Behind” posts this week. Remember that we have a theme of blood this Easter. [The featured images will commemorate the last things Jesus did before dying. This is the last supper between Jesus and the twelve disciples.]

Lewis Edgar Jones

lewjones

Minimal information can be obtained about the author of the song. Jones was born in Illinois in 1865 and died in California in 1936. He attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago with evangelist Billy Sunday. He worked for the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) in multiple states, indicating that he served various positions over the years. He wrote over 200 hymns, composing lyrics and music, but none were as popular as this one. He wrote “Power in the Blood” in 1899.

“Power in the Blood” Devotional

This song uses Jesus’ blood to symbolize faith in God. The “pow’r in the blood” enables believers to “be free from the burden of sin,” “be free from [our] passion and pride,” and “do service for Jesus [our] king.” The reason that Jesus’ blood “has power” is that His crucifixion fulfilled a new covenant between God and humanity. People no longer need to sacrifice animals because Jesus became the Lamb, a perfect sacrifice, and we can all be washed “whiter than snow” because our sins are forgiven. Though Christians don’t literally gain strength, hope, and faith from anyone’s blood, we were enabled to do all the things in the song by Jesus’ sacrifice. I also love the repetition of “would you?” because it reiterates that salvation is a free invitation.

9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10: 9-13, NIV)

Lyrics:

Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.
Refrain:
There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r
In the blood of the Lamb;
There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r
In the precious blood of the Lamb.

Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide;
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.

Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Sin-stains are lost in its life-giving flow;
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.

Would you do service for Jesus your King?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.

Many renditions of the song are available on YouTube, but I found one that’s faithful to the lyrics and the original music. [A lot of renditions change/add to the original tune.]

Thanks for reading! The next one comes Wednesday.

8 comments

  1. I had never heard that song before. When I read your previous post about the meaning of blood in Christianism, I browsed your archives and checked your other posts abour Christmas’ songs and hymns and I knew all the three you had written about. So I was curious about what you’d bring for Easter and I was almost sure that I wouldn’t know any of them. I guess that hymns are not so popular within the Spanish Catholic church.
    Anyhow, beautiful, meaningful song.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We don’t really sing too often in the church in Spain, I think. Sometimes some parts of the mass liturgy are sung, like the hosanna praise or the Pater Noster, but it’s more like music is added to those words nor like any original song. I went a catholic school and we attended mass there every week and we used to sing there more. We had some songs about forgiveness but they are rather childish. And there several popular songs about Virgin Mary but I don’t remember we sang them in the church.

        I now live in Switzerland and here they always have hymn books in the church and people do sing. I don’t know if it is because they often hold ecumenic or non-denominational services even at the catholic church or because Switzerland was a historical stronghold for the reformation and that part of it has permeated here the catholic rites.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s so interesting! In Protestant churches, worship music, whether old hymns or new contemporary, is basically a given as part of the church service–usually 3 or 4 songs on a Sunday morning. I’ve never attended a Catholic mass, so I am not sure how often they sing during mass in the US (I know they sing at least a little because my Catholic friend remarked once that she sings badly but passionately at church lol).

        Like

  2. I’ve always liked this song for the seconding. My memories on church growing up are my dad singing loudly, especially the second long parts. I try to make a point to sing seconding parts in songs I’m familiar with

    Liked by 1 person

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