He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: `He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” Matthew 28:6-7 NIV
Easter! What do you think of when you hear the word, Easter? I have been celebrating the Lord’s resurrection most of my life, and I think of Easter music.
There are so many glorious hymns that have been written about Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection! I grew up in a Baptist church, and these Hymns of the faith were regularly sung, but especially at Easter time, hymns like “The Old Rugged Cross”, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”, “Because He Lives”, “Christ Arose”, “He Lives”, “In the Garden”, “Crown Him with Many Crowns” and many others. What are your favorites? Which ones evoke thoughts of Easters gone by? Charles Wesley gave us two fabulous ones, “And Can it Be That I Should Gain?” and “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”. For me, the words that were inspired by scripture as well as the very familiar notes in these songs stir my heart to worship my Lord, to thank Him for His sacrifice, to sit at His feet and be in awe of the love that motivated Him to give up everything, to come to earth to die for me, for my sin, so that I can have a relationship with the God of the universe. How about you?
I was a college student in the early 1980’s. Contemporary Christian music was just getting started at that time. As a college student and then as a single young lady in the 1980s, there were several songs which captured the heart and soul of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection Sunday as well, but they sound different from the traditional hymns. Sandi Patty performed “Via Dolorosa” https://youtu.be/7asEdmZsSPo and it still tells the story of Jesus’ crucifixion in an unbelievable way to me. Then Don Francisco, a gifted musical storyteller, wrote a song called “He is Alive” https://youtu.be/70qk6tLHht4 which tells the story of Easter morning from Peter’s point of view. Anne Herring of 2nd Chapter of Acts wrote the “Easter Song” https://youtu.be/GYMZc0DdMac, and Keith Green also sang his version of “Easter Song” https://youtu.be/p0-5f22swrY. Sandi Patty came out with “Was it a Morning Like This?” https://youtu.be/GnBRrIa25NY, a few years after “Via Dolorosa”. It is a glorious celebration of Easter morning. More recently Casting Crowns performed a song called “Glorious Day” https://youtu.be/VXp6xcY5IqU that summarizes all that Jesus did for us and the hope we have in his return someday.
Take time to look at the lyrics of your favorite Easter hymns, or these songs I listed above, and listen, feel, and pray though the message of Easter expressed in music.
HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!