Christ Arose

“Jesus Christ did not come to make bad people good; he came to make dead people alive.” [Christian speaker Ravi Zacharias]

Good news: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! MUCH GLADNESS! Give this classic gospel hymn a listen, then come back for more!

Two VERY different plans

This song takes us into the breath-taking, gut-wrenching moment of collision that would decide between God’s plan for man and the devil’s plan for man.

At stake was whether mankind would live or die.

The Players:
God, who is all powerful, all loving and all good.
The devil, who is all evil, all hate, a liar and murderer. The devil is no match for God. Not now, not ever.

Since God is all powerful, and the devil is no match for Him, where is the spell-binding drama in this story?

Enter one other player: mankind. From the beginning, God’s man has had freedom of will. (I’d be tempted to think of man’s freedom of will as being a monkey wrench in God’s all-powerful status —- EXCEPT that it was God’s idea, so I’ll be quiet, listen, and learn some more.)

It is our uncertainty of how men will use their freedom of will that makes the drama of the gospel story so captivating.

Spoiler alert

Around the year 1600, William Shakespeare wrote the tragic play called “Romeo and Juliet”. The story is set in Verona, Italy. Very powerful, never a dry eye in the house when the play is performed. It is such a compelling story that, years later, around 1960, the same story was retold on Broadway and in film as “West Side Story”. Same plot, but set in New York’s 1950’s Upper West Side. It, too, was very powerful, never a dry eye in the house. (Side note: A few years after West Side Story rocked the modern generation of movie goers, a new film version of “Romeo and Juliet” was released. Some people complained Romeo and Juliet stole the plot from West Side Story. It seems MY generation is always smarter than those who came before us by at least half.)

The point is, even though that story had been told again and again, and even though people watching KNEW how it would end, they still watched and were deeply moved with each retelling. How much more WE are moved, even shaken to the core, each time we hear the story of how Jesus Christ won the victory for mankind.

Christ Arose ♫♪

Even before hearing today’s song, I imagine most of you dear readers already knew how this story ends. No need to give you a spoiler alert.

But as we rehearse the story, once again we are overcome with amazement, humility, thanksgiving, awe, joy and wonder. There cannot be a dry eye in our house. We watch, again, how in the beginning Adam was without sin and was “worthy” to keep mankind alive. But Adam soon used his freedom of will to turn his back on God, leaving none other on Earth worthy or able to keep mankind alive.

Then the last Adam, Jesus Christ, arrived, ALSO without sin, and was the only person on Earth worthy to win back what Adam had tragically conferred to the devil. BUT JESUS CHRIST USED HIS FREEDOM OF WILL TO OBEY GOD, even unto death. (He prayed to the Father, “Not my will but yours be done.” Remember?) He could have played the “monkey wrench” card — he could have walked away, he could have quit before salvation was won. That very possibility was what drove the devil to TRY to defeat God by getting Jesus Christ to abandon his mission. (Indeed, the devil had never stopped trying to destroy mankind and kill off the Christ line ever since the Garden of Eden.) Our song brings us to the devil’s last-ditch effort to kill God’s promise. But Jesus Christ willed to remain faithful and obedient. JESUS CHRIST OBEYED GOD, AND WON THE VICTORY.

HOW?!? How could he do it? What drove him? Jesus Christ so loved God, and so loved us. For the joy set before him, he endured. Absolutely amazing. Breath-taking.

Will there be a sequel?

This story of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection continues to be told and continues to move people. What about a sequel? Does this story move forward? OH MY, does it!!! For those who accept Jesus’s invitation, the day is rapidly approaching when this fragile but precious life we now have gets changed into a new kind of life — one that will never end, to be lived in a place of unimaginable joy and peace. We get glimmers of it now, but the fullness is still on its way.

Dear Ones, we all hold the monkey wrench — freedom of will. Will we decide to align with God and honor the victory Jesus won, and go with LIFE? Will we be faithful and remain engaged?

God told Paul to explain it this way: “If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Nothing in there about “being good”. Instead, believe God raised Jesus from the dead — CHRIST AROSE — HE LIVES! —Jesus is ALIVE NOW, which makes the other part of this verse possible: make Jesus our Lord, Director, Leader. We decide to go with Jesus Christ. The invitation does not ask us to do the impossible. It asks us to believe Jesus Christ has done what the Bible says he has done, and decide to follow him. Each person can do it NOW. There is no benefit in waiting to decide.

God bless you lots!
-Dale R.

LYRICS: Christ Arose
Words & music by Robert Lowry (1874)

Low in the grave he lay,
Jesus my Savior,
Waiting the coming day,
Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave he arose; (he arose!)
With a mighty triumph o’er his foes; (he arose!)
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! (he arose!)
He arose! (he arose!)
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Vainly they watched his bed,
Jesus my Savior,
Vainly they sealed the dead,
Jesus my Lord!

Death could not keep its prey,
Jesus my Savior;
He tore the bars away,
Jesus my Lord!

Your thoughts?

Please add to what I said. What would YOU tell other people who might read this? Please jot a note in the “Leave a reply” spot below.

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9 Replies to “Christ Arose”

  1. Julia Witchard


  2. Cathy

    I love that song. Interesting perspective. I want to be in the book of Life. I’ll take the story over of jesus’s life instead of the story of mine!


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