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“Christ Arose”

Growing up in church and then later, as a music minister, on every Resurrection Sunday morning (Easter) it was inevitable that we would sing the hymn, “Lo in the Grave He Lay.”  You know this Easter hymn as the one that starts off slow and very somber and then like thunder clapping in the sky we burst forth on that morning with the chorus, “up from the grave He arose…”. We don’t sing this one much anymore in our church. I like the mixture of the mentioning of Christ’s sacrificial atonement on the cross followed by the exuberant chorus that announces His victory over sin and death. The death, burial, and the resurrection of Christ; this is the gospel. This is the good news. As the Apostle Paul would quote Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14, “‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law, but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”  1 Corinthians 15:54b-57 NASB.  I take comfort with great hope in knowing that death will be Christ’s final enemy. At the end of all things Christ will “put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death” 1 Corinthians 15:25-26 NASB. What hope we have in Christ. Hallelujah! Christ arose!

I was reminded of this hymn while preparing a song list for the upcoming Resurrection service in April. And so, I looked around in my music sources to see if anyone had done a modern arrangement of this hymn. I could not find one. So, on Thursday I wrote a new melody for the hymn and added some alternate words to go with the chorus. Friday I recorded it so I could have a listening track for our worship team. I decided today to share it with you. By the way, the hymn was written originally by Robert Lowry (1826-1899) in 1874.

“CHRIST AROSE”  (mp3)  (pdf-Lead sheet)
Words by Robert Lowry (1874)
Additional Words and Music by Glenn Tatum

Verse 1:
Low in the grave He lay,
Jesus my Savior,
Waiting the coming day,
Jesus my Lord!

Verse 2:
Vainly they watch His bed,
Jesus my Savior,
Vainly they seal the dead,
Jesus my Lord!

Chorus: (original words in parenthesis)
Up from the grave He arose,
Triumphing o’er His foes (with a mighty triumph o’er His foes)
A Victor over death’s domain, (He arose a Victor from the dark domain)
Our Savior, Christ, forever reigns (and He lives forever, with His saints to reign)
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah, Christ arose!

Verse 3:
Death cannot keep his prey,
Jesus my Savior,
He tore the bars away,
Jesus my Lord!


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