~Ten Thousand Angels
has a hymn-writer been led to Christ by his own song, but such was the
case with Ray Overholt.
1958, at the height of his show-business career, Ray Overholt wrote his
now-famous song, Ten Thousand Angels.
Here is his story as he related itó
day I thought to myself: Iíve written secular songs, Iíd like to
write a song about Christ.
opened the Bible. I knew a little about it from my mom. I began to read
how Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane told Peter to put away his sword.
Jesus told Peter that he could ask his Father and he would send twelve
legions of angels. I didnít know at the time that would have been more
than 72,000 angels. (cf: Matthew 26:53)
thought a good title for a song would be He Could Have Called Ten
Thousand Angels. The more I read about Jesus, the more I admired him
for what he had done.
was playing in a nightclub in Battle Creek, Michigan, when the Lord
impressed me to write the song. I wrote the first verse and put it in my
guitar case. I then told the club that I was quitting.
finished the song and sent it to a publishing house, which reluctantly
agreed to publish it.
later I found myself singing at a small church. I sang He Could Have
Called Ten Thousand Angels.
my singing, a preacher spoke a message that gripped my heart. I knew I
needed Christ. So I knelt there and accepted, as my Savior, the One whom
I had been singing and writing about.
Overholt became a traveling singer and preacher.
(1) They bound the hands of Jesus in the garden where
They led Him thro' the streets in shame.
They spat upon the Saviour so pure and free from sin;
They said, "Crucify Him; He's to blame."
He could have called ten thousand angels
To destory the world and set Him free.
He could have called ten thousand angels,
But He died alone for you and me.
(2) Upon His precious head they placed a crown of
They laughed and said, "Behold the king."
They struck Him and they cursed Him and mocked His
All alone He suffered ev'rything.
(2) To the howling mob He yielded; He did not for
The Cross of shame He took alone. And when He cried,
"It's finished," He gave himself to die;
Salvation's wondrous plan was done.