Story behind the hymn ‘What can wash away my Stain’

Written by on March 10, 2024

The hymn you’re referring to is titled “What Can Wash Away My Sin” and is commonly known as “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.” The song was written by Robert Lowry, an American hymn writer and Baptist minister, in the late 19th century.

The story behind the hymn revolves around Lowry’s contemplation of the forgiveness of sins through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. As a minister, Lowry was deeply acquainted with the Christian doctrine of salvation and the concept of atonement. He sought to capture the profound impact of Jesus’ bloodshed on the cross as the means to cleanse and redeem humanity from sin.

The lyrics of the hymn express the central theme of salvation and the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood. The refrain states, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” This repetition emphasizes the sole source of redemption and forgiveness found in the sacrificial act of Jesus.

Lowry’s composition quickly gained popularity and became a cherished hymn in Christian worship services. It resonated with believers who sought a deep sense of assurance and cleansing from their sins through the work of Christ on the cross. The hymn’s simple yet powerful message, coupled with its memorable melody, contributed to its enduring popularity and its inclusion in hymnals across various Christian denominations.

“Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” continues to be sung and cherished by Christians around the world as a testament to the transformative power of Christ’s sacrifice and the hope of forgiveness and redemption it offers to all who believe.

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