Posted by: rcottrill | February 27, 2012

Christ Arose

Words: Robert Lowry (b. Mar. 12, 1826; d. Nov. 25, 1899)
Music: Robert Lowry

Wordwise Hymns (Robert Lowry)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: There isn’t currently a specific note on this hymn in the Wordwise Hymns link, but there is a bit about Pastor Lowry and some other songs he wrote.

Robert Lowry was having his evening devotions at Easter time in 1874. As he meditated on the Scriptures, he was particularly impressed with the words of the angel, in Luke:

“He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again’” (Lk. 24:6-7).

Inspired by this thrilling scene, Lowry seated himself at the little reed organ in his parlor, and created both words and music for Christ Arose (sometimes called Low in the Grave He Lay). The song is unusual in that the refrain is more than twice as long as each stanza. But it sounds an important note of triumph.

This is a much used gospel song not only about the resurrection of Christ, but about the necessity of His resurrection. “Vainly they seal the dead” (CH-2), “death cannot keep its prey” (CH-3). In the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, it is repeatedly asserted that the Messiah, though He die, would most assuredly rise again from the dead. Unlike any other human being, Christ not only had the power to die, but to take up His life again (Jn. 10:17-18).

“You will not leave my soul in Sheol [the grave, the place of the dead], nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption” (Ps. 16:10; cf. Acts 13:34-35).

“I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You” (Ps. 22:22; cf. Heb. 2:9, 11-12).

“It pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand” (Isa. 53:10; see vs. 8-12).

The angelic message (Lk. 24:6-7), and both the Lord Jesus, and later the apostles, spoke of Christ’s resurrection as the fulfilment of prophecies and declarations previously made.

“The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day” (Lk. 9:22; cf. Jn. 2:19-21).

“Then He said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (Lk. 24:25-26).

“Then He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day’” (Lk. 24:46).

“Whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it….He [David], foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption” (Acts 2:24, 31).

CH-1) Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Saviour,
Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

1) If Christ had not risen, what would that show about Him? Since Christ has risen, what does that show about Him?

2) What does Christ’s resurrection mean to us as Christians?

Wordwise Hymns (Robert Lowry)
The Cyber Hymnal


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