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HYMN 23 Christ the Lord is Ris'n Today

Updated: May 3

Matthew 28:5-6


Charles Wesley (1707-1788) Tune: Lyrica Davidica (1708)


1. "Christ the Lord is ris'n today," Alleluia!

Sons of men and angels say; Alleluia!

Raise your joys and triumphs high; Alleluia!

Sing ye heav'ns and earth reply. Alleluia!


2. Love’s redeeming work is done; Alleluia!

Fought the fight, the battle won; Alleluia!

Death in vain forbids him rise; Alleluia!

Christ hath opened paradise. Alleluia!


3. Vain the stone, the watch, the seal; Alleluia!

Christ hath burst the gates of hell; Alleluia!

Death in vain forbids him rise; Alleluia!

Christ hath opened paradise. Alleluia!


4. Lives again our glorious King; Alleluia!

Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!

Once he died, our souls to save; Alleluia!

Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!


5. Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!

Foll'wing our exalted Head; Alleluia!

Made like him, like him we rise; Alleluia!

Ours the cross, the grave, the skies. Alleluia!


6. Hail, the Lord of earth and heav'n! Alleluia!

Praise to thee by both be giv'n; Alleluia!

Thee we greet triumphant now; Alleluia!

Hail, the Resurrection, thou! Alleluia!


MEDITATION

Christ is risen! He is ris’n indeed! This hymn plays on the ancient greeting of the

church, one to another which we read in Luke 24:34 as the Emmaus disciples come

to tell the eleven that the Lord is risen indeed. The Russian Orthodox have used it

during what they call the Paschal kiss. It continues to be the greeting Christians use

on Easter morning. We will remember it and say it to those with us, and to those we

talk to via social media. It will bring back memories. You will remember times you

heard it and long to be near the persons who said it to you. I can remember my

preacher father early Easter morning thrilled to cry out “Christ is risen!” And

expecting an equally enthusiastic reply. I hear that sound with special poignancy

just now. Being alone makes those recollections especially keen. You will have your

own memories. Relish them. As Psalm 42:4 says,

“These things I remember,

as I pour out my soul:

how I would go with the throng

and lead them in procession to the house of God

with glad shouts and songs of praise,

a multitude keeping festival.”


The Psalmist speaks for us all. Memories can be evangelical, calling us back to what

is important. We will remember this Easter more clearly than almost any other. I

hope it will remind us of what we found to be redeeming.


We should also remember these words have been said by Christians suffering the

most terrible torture and punishment. Maybe we have said them perfunctorily on an

early Easter morning and gone back to our lives of ease. (Maybe they go deeper now

in our isolation.) How much more joy did they bring prisoners suffering

unimaginable cruelty. They knew their one consolation was Jesus whose

resurrection put an end to the powers of those who were torturing them. They knew

that Christ had gone before them in suffering and death, but that was not the final

word. They believed something much more powerful glimmered in another

dimension which their captors could not see, Their Lord, the Lord of all creation:

Jesus Christ raised from the dead. Paradise is open. Christ is risen! He is risen

indeed!


HYMN INFO


Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley wrote this hymn, a rich recounting of the victory of Jesus. It is often confused with "Jesus Christ is Ris’n Today: and sometimes has another tune. While the texts are somewhat different, this tune is the necessary one. It has to be the one for today. I know you are longing to be in such a service as you can see here, but all I can give you are these links to various glorious renditions of it with full congregations, choirs, organs and orchestras. They are necessary for today, given our isolation. Can we give each other virtual kisses? I don’t think so, but we can greet each other with these wonderful words of the angels and disciples. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!


LINKS

Congregation, choir, organ, orchestra

https://youtu.be/15dmjnB8FZU


Coral Ridge Presbyterian

https://youtu.be/nrI2sBiIDxE


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

https://youtu.be/cErtpg5hBSw

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