He Arose! Hallelujah! Christ Arose!

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One of my favorite hymns celebrating the resurrection of Christ from the grave is “Low in the grave he lay” (also known in many hymn books as “He Arose”) by Robert Lowry, a 19th-century preacher and hymn writer. Apparently, he wrote this beautiful hymn at his organ rather spontaneously after reading and reflecting on Luke 24:5–8:

And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words.

The verses of the hymn sing rather like a dirge (a funeral song), but the chorus is cheerful and celebratory, highlighting the sadness of Christ’s death but the triumph for sinners in both his death and his victorious resurrection.

“Low in the grave he lay” goes 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!

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!

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

Easter Sunday is truly a day to rejoice as we specifically set aside time to remember and celebrate the victorious resurrection of our Lord from the grave.

It’s so sad today that we don’t see this great hymn sung in many churches on Easter Sunday anymore! My wife and I loved singing this hymn at church every Easter Sunday in our younger years. So, on this Easter Sunday at our special sunrise service at the Ark, we will be singing this great hymn, led by musician Michael O’Brien.

Today, Easter Sunday is truly a day to rejoice as we specifically set aside time to remember and celebrate the victorious resurrection of our Lord from the grave. The Apostle Paul, writing in 1 Corinthians 15, captures the overwhelming emotion of excitement, gratitude, and celebration that we should feel when we reflect on Christ’s victory over death for us:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55–57)

Peter writes,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3–5)
The ultimate reason we celebrate Christ’s resurrection is because of what it means to us as believers, not just because it’s a tradition.

Many people will celebrate Easter this year by attending a church service, possibly for the first time since Christmas (or maybe last Easter). But the ultimate reason we celebrate Christ’s resurrection is because of what it means to us as believers, not just because it’s a tradition. You see, we all die because of sin (Romans 5:12). The first man, Adam, brought sin into the world and the just penalty for sin is death (Genesis 2:17). We can’t save ourselves because all of us have sinned against God (Romans 3:23) and our righteousness is nothing but filthy rags to the perfect Judge, our Creator God (Isaiah 64:6).

So, Christ stepped into history as our relative, a descendant of Adam just like us, but he never sinned (2 Corinthians 5:21). But, in his death, he took our sin upon himself and died in our place. He took our penalty for us! Three days later he rose triumphant from the grave, defeating both sin and death. Now he offers the free gift of eternal life to all who will repent and believe:

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:9–10)

When faced with the death of his friend, Jesus told Lazarus’ sister:

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–26)

His question is the same today—“Do you believe this?” Jesus is the resurrection and the life, powerfully seen when he laid down his own life and took it up again three days later (John 10:18). He stands ready to forgive you of your sin if you will humble yourself, repent, and believe (Acts 3:19).

“Do you believe this?” Will you receive this free gift of salvation if you have not done so?

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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