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16 April 2017

Up from the Grave He Arose
(Low in the Grave He Lay)

Words and music by Robert Lowry
Tune Name: CHRIST AROSE

Consider the dark and solemn images of the days leading up to Easter. It was dark at Christ's arrest on Maundy Thursday. It was darker at His crucifixion and burial on Good Friday. How dark and sorrowful it must have been for His followers as they observed the Sabbath and, in keeping with Hebrew law and custom, could not do any work, much less attend to the broken body of Christ.

But the mood changed rapidly on Easter morning. Christ's friends and followers discovered that the body was no longer in the tomb. They learned from Christ and the angels that He is Risen.

HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN, INDEED!

What joy overwhelms us with these words! From what appeared to be the unbelievable defeat of God at Calvary we burst into the ecstatic joy of Christ's resurrection.

This week's featured hymn captures the change from darkness to light, from sadness to joy, both in words and in music. It was written by Robert Lowry (1826-1899), who also wrote Nothing But the Blood and Shall We Gather At the River, as well as the refrain to a hymn by Isaac Watts, Marching to Zion. To capture the contrasts, Up From the Grave He Arose begins quietly, telling how God carried out His plan for salvation patiently and deliberately, how man's efforts to seal God's fate are futile, and how death is ineffective in the face of our Lord. Then suddenly, with fanfares and shouts, the music and text proclaim Christ's ultimate victory over death. Ponder the Easter meaning of these words as you read them:

1. Low in the grave he lay, Jesus my Savior, 
waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord! 
(Refrain)

2. Vainly they watch his bed, Jesus my Savior, 
vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord! 
(Refrain)

3. Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior; 
he tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord! 
(Refrain)

Refrain: 
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!

He is risen! Christ arose! Hallelujah!

God Bless You!

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