CHRIST IS RISEN

He’s alive!

HE IS RISEN

HE IS RISEN

 

 

Up from the Grave He Arose!

God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life again, for death could not keep him in its grip.

Acts 2:24
Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior! Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!

Death cannot keep his prey, Jesus my Savior! He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!

Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus my Savior! Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’re 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!

Christ Arose Robert Lowry (1826-1899)

Always hearing music

It’s hard to match this hymn for sheer drama. The first stanza begins dismally, then strikes a note of hope, and then the chorus explodes with joy. The music itself comes rising up from the depths and celebrates on high.

Robert Lowry wrote both the words and music to this hymn in 1874. At the time, he was professor of literature at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and pastor of a nearby church. He had written other hymn tunes and texts as he practiced his passion for poetry and song. “Sometimes the music comes and the words follow,” he explained once. “I watch my moods, and when anything strikes me, whether words or music, no matter where I am, at home, on the street, I jot it down. My brain is sort of a spinning machine, for there is music running through it all the time.”

Our “Resurrection Week” readings are adapted from The One Year® Book of Hymns by Mark Norton and Robert Brown, Tyndale House Publishers (1995). Today’s is taken from the entry for April 9.

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Wise Stewards

The Making of Wise Stewards

Proverbs 4:5-9

Wise people devote themselves heart and soul to seeking more and more wisdom. Wisdom helps us know the truth and love the lovely. In New Testament terminology, we come to recognize Christ as the wisdom of God (see 1Co 1:24,30Col 2:2-3), a treasure of supreme worth we are to seek (with mind, heart and soul) at the cost of all else (see Lk 14:33).

Best-selling author Philip Yancey reflects on the position of the believer in relation to Jesu supreme sacrifice:

The author and preacher Tony Campolo delivers a stirring sermon adapted from an elderly black pastor at his church in Philadelphia.  It’s Friday, but Sunday Comin is the title of the sermon, and once you know the title you know the whole sermon. In a cadence that increases in tempo and in volume, Campolo contrasts how the world looked on Friday when the forces of evil won over the forces of good, when every friend and disciple fled in fear, when the Son of God died on a cross with how it looked on Easter Sunday. The disciples who lived through both days, Friday and Sunday, never doubted God again. They had learned that when God seems most absent he may be closest of all, when God looks most powerless he may be most powerful, when God looks most dead he may be coming back to life. They had learned not to count God out.

Campolo skipped one day in his sermon, though. The other two days have earned names on the church calendar: Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Yet in a real sense we live on Saturday, the day with no name. What the disciples experienced in small scale three days, in grief over one man who had died on a cross we now live through on cosmic scale. Human history grinds on, between the time of promise and fulfillment. Can we trust that God can make something holy and beautiful and good out of a world that includes Bosnia and Rwanda, and inner-city ghettoes and jammed prisons in the richest nation on earth? It’s Saturday on planet earth; will Sunday ever come?

That dark, Golgothan Friday can only be called Good because of what happened on Easter Sunday, a day which gives a tantalizing clue to the riddle of the universe. Easter opened up a crack in a universe winding down toward entropy and decay, sealing the promise that someday God will enlarge the miracle of Easter to cosmic scale.

Proverbs 23:23 calls us to “Buy the truth and do not sell it.   We have been handpicked by God as trustees of the wisdom of the cross. Whatever else we do, we owe it to our Creator, Savior and Lord not to sell out.

 

Think About It

  • What can you do to get wisdom?
  • In what way is Jesus the wisdom of God?
  • In what ways do you feel we live on Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday?

 

Pray About It

Lord, sometimes it’s so hard to live here on earth. I long for your redemption. In the meantime, I will wait and seek to live wisely.

 

HE’S ALIVE

He’s alive!

I Know My Redeemer Lives

But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God. I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!

Job 19:25-27 NLT

I know that my Redeemer lives; what joy the blest assurance gives! He lives, He lives, who once was dead; He lives, my everlasting Head!

He lives, all glory to His name; He lives, my Savior, still the same; what joy the blest assurance gives: I know that my Redeemer lives!

I Know That My Redeemer Lives
Samuel Medley (1738-1799)

One of those verses

Every once in a while, a verse jumps out of the Old Testament and takes on a new meaning. Job lost his fortune, family, and much of his health. In a stunning display of faith, he expresses his only remaining hope: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25). The words find an uncanny fulfillment in Jesus.

Jesus gave His life to redeem us, to buy us back from our slavery to sin. His death was the price of our freedom. But that’s not the bottom line, thank God. As the sun rises on Easter morning, we can say with Job, “I know that my Redeemer lives.” He lives! Death could not hold Him. He lives, to finish salvation’s work in me.

Hymn writer Samuel Medley often repeated words and phrases in his songs. Here, what’s repeated is the most important concept: “He lives…He lives…He lives.”

Our “Resurrection Week” readings are adapted from The One Year® Book of Hymns by Mark Norton and Robert Brown, Tyndale House Publishers (1995). Today’s is taken from the entry for April 2.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

 

take this message of repentance to all the nations

Hymns of victory

And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise again from the dead on the third day. With my authority, take this message of repentance to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: There is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to me.”

Luke 24:46-27 NLT

The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad; the passover of gladness, the passover of God. From death to life eternal, from earth unto the sky, our Christ hath brought us over with hymns of victory.

The Day of Resurrection
John of Damascus (eighth century)

Raising a racket

It is said that John of Damascus started his hymn writing career with a funeral hymn for a fellow monk. The monk wasn’t dead yet, but everyone thought death was near. So John prepared his song and was singing it loudly in his room, testing it out. Suddenly the monk for whom is was written burst into the room and scolded John for raising such a racket. Tradition says that John was expelled from the monastery briefly for causing this disturbance, but then the Lord told the abbot that John would be doing great things with music, so the abbot welcomed John back.

And John did some great things, collecting and organizing the great hymns of the Greek-speaking church. His major accomplishment was the writing of the Golden Canon, an Easter liturgy still used in the Greek Orthodox church and from which this hymn is taken. Scholars have called his text the finest sacred poetry in the Greek language.

Our “Resurrection Week” readings are adapted from The One Year® Book of Hymns by Mark Norton and Robert Brown, Tyndale House Publishers (1995). Today’s is taken from the entry for March 30.

Digging Deeper/Telling Others: For more on the meaning of Easter, read Why the Resurrection by Greg Laurie (Tyndale, 2005), also available in 6-pack for distribution.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

CHRIST IS RISEN! AMEN

Christ the Lord is Risen Today!

But the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again.

1 Corinthians 15:20 NLT

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia! Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! Following our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Christ the Lord is Risen Today
Charles Wesley (1707-1788) and others

Christ has won the final victory

The grave has been “boasting” of its power since Eden. But now it has finally met its match. It wraps Jesus up at the Cross and “forbids him to rise,” but our Champion, Jesus Christ, fought and won. Where is your sting now, O Death? Christ has won the final victory.

We know that whatever boasting we do is not in ourselves, but in the power of Christ. He has won the victory, and now we’re just soaring where Christ has led. We bask in the benefits of the Cross, and we look past the grave to our heavenly reunion with Him. Alleluia!

Our Easter Week readings are adapted from The One Year® Book of Hymns by Mark Norton and Robert Brown, Tyndale House Publishers (1995). Today’s is taken from the entry for April 3.

Digging Deeper/Telling Others: For more on the meaning of Easter, read Why the Resurrection by Greg Laurie (Tyndale, 2005), also available in 6-pack for distribution.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

 

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