Saturday, April 15, 2017
CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY
Dearly Beloved, CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY “But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Matthew 28:5-6 NKJV). One of the popular hymns that are always sung during Easter celebration is “CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY” written by that great hymn writer, Charles Wesley (1708-1788) in 1739 to commemorate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ when He rose from the grave to conquer of death and its power. The original version of the hymn had eleven stanzas, but did not have the “Alleluias” that distinguish it today. An unknown composer later added the “Alleluias” to fit into its musical tune. There are variations in stanzas of the hymn in various hymnals available today. However, the hymn is a call to celebrate the death and especially the resurrection of Jesus Christ. An outstanding feature of the hymn is that its lyrics are written in the present tense. "Christ the Lord is risen today" – not "has risen" or "rose." This is powerful because it places us (Christians living presently) in community with those who actually witnessed the resurrection in their own lifetimes, and reaffirms our own hope of being set free from death. As “Sons of men and angels” declared the news of the risen Lord, Charles Wesley in the hymn enjoined heavens and earth to raise their joy and triumph high in celebration of the risen Lord. Charles Wesley mocked death, grave, the stone (that was rolled over the grave), the seal on the stone, and the guards for their failure to hold Jesus Christ from resurrecting. Charles Wesley talked about the redeeming work that is done and the battle that was won on the cross. As Jesus Christ soared above death and grave, so also Christians will soar where He has led being made like Him and raised like Him. Indeed, the risen Christ is to be hailed and praised. Alleluia! “Alleluia” (in Greek) or “Hallelujah” (in Hebrew) originally means, “Praise the Lord”. This word prominently leads off Psalms 106, 111, 112, 113, 117, 135 and especially the “Hallelujah Psalms” – Psalms 146-150. The word is re-echoed in Revelation 19 connoting the final victory of the saints. The word is perfectly fitted later into the lyrics of this great hymn to celebrate the risen Lord. Alleluia, Christ the Lord is indeed risen! Have you put your faith in this risen Christ, or are still following a dead or powerless leader? No other religious leader is worthy of following because they have died or will die one day. Only Jesus Christ died and is risen again. Alleluia! In His service, Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Prayer Point: Thank God for the risen Christ and His finished work of salvation on the cross.