Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed
w/m Keith & Kristyn Getty, Ed Cash
How can it be, the One who died
Has borne our sin through sacrifice
To conquer every sting of death?
Sing, sing hallelujah
For joy awakes as dawning light
When Christ’s disciples lift their eyes
Alive He stands, their Friend and King
Christ, Christ He is risen
Christ is risen, He is risen indeed!
Oh, sing hallelujah
Join the chorus, sing with the redeemed
Christ is risen, He is risen indeed
Where doubt and darkness once had been
They saw Him and their hearts believed
But blessed are those who have not seen
Yet, sing hallelujah
Once bound by fear now bold in faith,
They preached the truth and power of grace
And pouring out their lives they gained
Life, life everlasting
The power that raised Him from the grave
Now works in us to powerfully save
He frees our hearts to live His grace
Go tell of His goodness
He’s alive, He’s alive!
Heaven’s gates are opened wide
He’s alive, He’s alive!
Now in heaven glorified
There’s something about a 6/8 song that just moves a congregation to sing. That’s one of the reasons so many hymns and praise choruses are written in that time signature. It flows, it keeps moving and it’s easy to get swept up in the melody… if the melody is a good one… and this one is.
My favorite worship album is the Getty’s live at the Gospel Coalition and this is the song that starts it off. We sang this last year for Easter and my plan is to use it again as it is the perfect blend of theology and heartfelt praise.
If there has ever been a question that has, and should, perplex the church, it is expressed in the opening lines of this song, How can it be, the One who died has borne our sin through sacrifice? There are a lot of questions I have for God, but the one I’ll never understand is why would God die for me? Oh, I can explain it theologically, but as a totally depraved enemy of God, dead in my sins, and yet willful enough to rebel against the one who made me, why would He choose to save me? That I don’t think I will ever fully understand, but it humbles me. To conquer every sting of death? Sing, sing hallelujah! All I can do in the face of such undeserved favor and kindness is sing Hallelujah!
For joy awakes as dawning light when Christ’s disciples lift their eyes. Alive He stands, their Friend and King, Christ, Christ He is risen! After months of Jesus saying He would die, I don’t think the disciples really “got it” until they actually saw Him being taken away and beaten. Most ran and went into hiding, Peter tried to follow Jesus, but after his betrayal, hid in fear as well. Only John, that we know of, followed Christ all the way to the site of the crucifixion. This must have been a devastating time for those who, a few days earlier, were debating over who would get to be first in the Kingdom. Now it seemed there would be no Kingdom. There was no joy… not until the women came bursting into the room proclaiming Jesus was alive. I’m sure there were doubts in the minds of more than just Thomas until Jesus Himself appeared before them in the upper room. Their friend, their King was alive and standing in their presence.
Christ is risen, He is risen indeed! Oh, sing hallelujah. Join the chorus, sing with the redeemed “Christ is risen, He is risen indeed.” A simple chorus, almost stunningly simple, but it was the kind of chorus that speaks the very reaction of the disciples when they first saw their risen Savior. It also calls us to sing with the redeemed, not just the redeemed standing around us, but the redeemed of all the ages, the great cloud of witnesses. We sing with the church militant (those alive) and the church triumphant (those in heaven) that He is risen indeed!
Where doubt and darkness once had been they saw Him and their hearts believed. Resurrection of a dead body was something most did not ever think about in that day. They knew of an eventual resurrection on the last day, but even when Jesus said Lazarus would rise from the dead, it did not click with Martha that He meant right then, for she said, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” The darkness turned to light, and the doubt became hope and assurance when Jesus stood before them. But blessed are those who have not seen yet, sing hallelujah. John 20:29 says, “Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” We walk by faith and not by sight.
Once bound by fear now bold in faith, they preached the truth and power of grace, and pouring out their lives they gained life, life everlasting. Here the writers shift from the resurrection to the impact of the resurrection on the disciples. There has never been such a transformation of a group of people like the disciples. Before the day of Pentecost, they were hiding up in a room, having lost their leader, afraid for their lives. Then, having seen the resurrected Lord and being empowered by the Holy Spirit, they went out into the streets and preached quite possibly the least seeker-friendly sermon in the history of gospel preaching, and thousands got saved. This boldness never ended as all but John were eventually martyred for their faith.
The writers now shift to the application part of the song. What does this theology mean to us? The power that raised Him from the grave now works in us to powerfully save. He frees our hearts to live His grace. Go tell of His goodness! The resurrection power that brought Jesus back to life is the same power that saves us and will one day allow us to partake in that resurrection. We are no longer in bondage to sin, but are free to serve Him, and live out what has been worked in us. That is why we share the gospel around the world. It is the good news that saved us and can save them. We serve a risen Savior! He’s alive, He’s alive! Heaven’s gates are opened wide. He’s alive, He’s alive! Now in heaven glorified!
Bill Itzel has been a worship leader and singer/songwriter for over 30 years and is based in Westminster, MD. His family tours and leads worship around the country. Bill and his family attend Belcroft Bible Church in Bowie, MD. This is a blog about congregational worship and the latest news in the The Itzel's ministry.