Posted by: rcottrill | March 7, 2019

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

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Words: Charles Wesley (b. Dec. 18, 1707; d. Mar. 29, 1788)
Music: Easter Hymn, by an unknown composer

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Wesley’s original of this hymn had eleven stanzas. In present hymnal, usually four are used, as quoted below. The word Alleluia reflects the Greek form of the Hebrew word Hallelujah, meaning Praise the Lord! In the ancient church, it was a common greeting on Easter morning.

The word “resurrection” comes to us from a Latin word signifying a resurgence. It can mean to bring to life again, or to bring back into use.

In the latter case, for example, a song that was popular decades ago can be brought back and be a hit once more. Or, a style of dress that was in vogue long ago can come into fashion again. Or, in debate, the notion that the world is flat, not round, can be resurrected once more.

In Greek, the word literally means a raising up. It was used in ancient times of someone rising from a chair, or getting out of bed. But in the New Testament it always speaks of a person who was dead coming to life again.

In this regard, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a major theme of the Bible, being discussed dozens of times, using words such as resurrected, raised, and risen–and also by a simple contrast of death, and life. The glorified Christ says to John, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore” (Rev. 1:18).

It’s impossible to cover the many Bible verses that deal with this subject in a short treatment. But I’ll try to summarize some of the Scriptures’ teaching on the vital truth of Christ’s resurrection under four headings.

I. The Prediction of It

Even back in the Old Testament, this great event is anticipated. “You will not leave my soul in Sheol [the grave], nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption” (Ps. 16:10; cf. Acts 2:24, 27, 31). Speaking prophetically of the death of Christ Isaiah says, “It pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He [God the Father] 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). And Jesus Himself predicted both His death and resurrection (Matt. 16:21; cf. Jn. 2:22).

II. The Proof of It

“The angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay’” (Matt. 28:5-6). “He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days” (Acts 1:3).

III. The Proclamation of It

Because it was great good news, Christ’s resurrection was published from the very beginning. “Go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead” (Matt. 28:7). “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:32). “Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead)” (Gal. 1:1).

IV. The Purpose of It

What are some things accomplished by Jesus’ resurrection? Here are a few references you can check out.
¤ Only Christ declared He had the power over death (Jn. 10:17-18), so His resurrection confirms His identity (Rom. 1:4; 6:9).
¤ By His resurrection life He provides salvation from sin (Acts 5:30-31; 13:36-39).
¤ His resurrection is a divine guarantee of our own one day (Rom. 8:11; I Cor. 6:14; 15:20; I Pet. 1:3).
¤ In heaven, the risen, glorified Christ is our Advocate and Intercessor (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; I Jn. 2:1-2).
¤ And by His power we are equipped for service (Acts 4:10; Rom. 7:4; cf. Eph. 4:11-12).

Because this is a brief article, we’ve only scratched the surface regarding what the Bible has to say. Christ’s resurrection has rightly been the subject of many of our hymns. Among them, the glorious truth of it is presented in what may be our greatest Easter hymn, Christ the Lord Is Risen Today. It was written in 1739 by Charles Wesley and has been published in over a thousand hymnals since.

CH-1) Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

CH-2) Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is o’er, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!

CH-4) Lives again our glorious king, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

CH-5) Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Questions:
1) Why is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ so important?

2) What is the most memorable Easter Sunday morning you have experienced?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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