Posted by Shofar/Liz
The Resurrection of Christ is the most historic event celebrated by all believers of Jesus from 2,000 years ago to the present. Below are the words of a family member who remembered this very significant day, Easter or Resurrection Day, celebrated this past Sunday, March 27th:
“Happy Easter to you. For us believers, Easter is the most important event in the history of mankind. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then we are the most hopeless of men (paraphrased from Paul to the Corinthians). Through the Resurrection, Jesus Christ conquered death and Satan. Through the Resurrection, He became our Savior, Redeemer, and Lord of all. Praise God!!!”
Many folks who wouldn’t darken the door of a church, will often make an exception for Easter and Christmas. I remember years ago, there would be an overflowing crowd for Easter vigil and Easter masses. It would be standing room only and a line that went out of the church front entrance for Holy Communion. There is something about being in on the joyful day that Jesus rose from the grave and conquered death. Maybe next year I should go back to my old church and hear the homily about Jesus’ tomb being found empty for Jesus had risen from the dead! I would sing with my heart bursting with joy as the church organ billowed out:
Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
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!
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!
(Christ the Lord is Risen Today– Charles Wesley 1739)
On the way home from church, memories came back of my days in the Southern Baptist Church when I was a young teen. The choir and all the members sang out:
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!
(Christ Arose, Robert Lowry 1874)
My favorite hymn was ‘He Lives’ and my childhood friend and I loved to belt this one out:
I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today;
I know that He is living whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him, He’s always near.
He lives, He lives,
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives,
Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.
In all the world around me I see His loving care,
And tho’ my heart grows weary I never will despair;
I know that He is leading thro’ all the stormy blast,
The day of His appearing will come at last.RefrainRejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek Him, the help of all who find,
None other is so loving, so good and kind. (Refrain)
A MUST READ! The inspiring story behind ‘He Lives’ by the preacher/composer of the song: http://nickel-notes.blogspot.com/2012/03/hymn-history-he-lives.html
I was very grieved that none of the traditional Easter songs in our church hymnal were sung by my church congregation. The church was elaborately decorated for Easter service. In the service, there were a brass ensemble, hand bell musicians, choir special ‘Credo’ by Schubert’s Mass in G, duet special, Hallelujah chorus with a full-volume-on organ performing, and before church started there was breakfast served and an egg hunt. But, I really missed the congregational singing, raising our voices in jubilant worship of our Risen Savior on this special occasion, with the ‘traditional’ hymns of the Risen Christ.
Perhaps we should forget about all that is associated with Easter and concentrate our minds upon what the RESURRECTION is all about. This is what the apostle Paul said:
“That I may know him, and the power of his Resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
If by any means I might attain unto the Resurrection of the dead.” (Phil 3:10-11)
If Christ had not risen from the dead, then He is not God, and our Faith in Him would be in vain! But Jesus rose from the dead as He promised He would, and He is alive and has the power to also save us, bless us, help us, and to Resurrect us up one day in the Rapture! Praise God! AMEN!