One of the beauties of singing is that we eventually come to know both the melody and words by heart. This morning as I woke up the hymn "Christ Arose" ran through my mind. The words go like this:
Low in the grave He lay, Jesus, my Savior,
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!
Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus, my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus, my Lord!
Death cannot keep his Prey, Jesus, my Savior;
He tore the bars away, Jesus, my Lord!
This hymn was written by Robert Lowry in 1874 and he based it on two Scriptures: Mark 16:6 and I Corinthians 15:55. This hymn expresses the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the grave and defeated death and sin for our sake. Since we are entering the beginning of Lent today (forty days of reflection and prayer coming before Easter), it seems like a wonderful time to think on what God has done for us.
In Paul's letter to the Church in Rome, he wrote these wonderful words of hope: "But while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person - though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die - but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life" (Romans 5:6-10).
Just considering this passage alone, it is amazing what God through Christ has done for us. We did not seek Him or want Him. We were all caught up in sin, and yet, God sent His Son to be our sacrifice. Christ brought peace with God (Romans 5:1) and a reconciliation with the Father. Now we no longer face the wrath of God, but have the promise of eternal life when we place our faith in Jesus Christ. Because Christ arose from the dead and lives, we also shall live in Him. Death is not the final word for Christians.
During this time of Lent, let us reflect on what Christ did for us. I would challenge you to read through the book of Romans and think about the freedom we have in Christ. Then start singing those old faithful hymns like the one above that reminds us that our Lord rose from the grave for we also will rise from death if we put our faith in Him. Selah!