DAY 20 - UP FROM THE GRAVE HE AROSE
Jesus has overcome death. He is risen.
One of my favorite Easter hymns is Christ Arose by Robert Lowry. I always look forward to singing or hearing it at Eastertime. I never thought much about the songwriter until I found the story behind the song. Robert lived a phenomenally successful life. He was a professor and an immensely popular Baptist preacher. He was also known for his ability to paint word pictures in the imagination of his congregants during his sermons. But preaching and teaching were not his only passions. He wrote amazing hymns that you may remember singing. Some of his best-known hymns are Nothing but the Blood of Jesus, I Need Thee Every Hour, Shall We Gather at the River and We’re Marching to Zion.
In the spring near Easter, Lowry was reading Luke 24:6-7, an account of Jesus’ death and resurrection. This was a passage he had read hundreds of times, but something was different this time. His eyes were opened in a unique way to the significance of the event. He sat down at his little pump organ in the parlor of his home and in a very spontaneous fashion, the words and music of Christ Arose were written as an expression of this passage of scripture. Robert wrote the hymn in 1874, and it remains to this day an inspirational favorite at Easter Sunday and for baptism throughout the year.
Here are the words of the chorus of Christ Arose, sometimes called Up from the Grave He Arose:
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!
Resurrection is one of the founding principles of Christianity. We have a God who became human, died for His people, and was raised in power and glory to rule His church forever. When Christ was raised from the dead, He conquered death, and we will too. Christ took our sins with Him on the cross and sin was defeated forever. We will be raised from the dead to live forever with Christ. Resurrection gives us hope for the future and the promise of sharing eternity with Jesus.
Resurrection shows us God’s faithfulness to Jesus and all God’s children. Through the resurrection, God says to Jesus, “You are My beloved and My love is everlasting.” God also says to us, “You are My beloved children, and My love is everlasting.”
We are loved, and we have a future. Jesus says, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying (John 11:25). This is the gift of resurrection and our reason for celebrating Easter.
Make Easter Resurrection Rolls with the family. It is super easy, and you only need a few ingredients. The rolls symbolize Jesus’ resurrection by placing a marshmallow in the center of a crescent triangle to symbolize Jesus. When you bake the rolls, the marshmallows disappear. Watch the faces of the children when they ask what happened to the marshmallow. Now you have a perfect opportunity to retell the Resurrection story of Jesus.
Here is the link to the recipe: https://www.yummyhealthyeasy.com/wprm_print/13699/
PRAYER & REFLECTION
Easter calls us to not only remember Christ’s great miracle rising from the grave and defeating the enemy forever, but it calls us to live through that miracle today and every day. Who are we inviting to church on Easter Sunday? Have we invited them yet? Have we offered to give them a ride if they need one or made sure to attend the same service to sit by them? What could you do to make them feel more comfortable attending our church?
Father God, your love is boundless, and you are always doing new things in our lives. Jesus was redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified. Now Lord, do the same with all your people. Let the message of the Easter season resonate in our hearts and in the hearts of those we invite to church on Easter. Thank you, God, for the gift of eternal life that you have given us through the life of your Son and for knowing that whoever has the Son has life. Amen.