“CHRIST AROSE”

Wayne S. Walker

“Ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for He is risen…”
(Matt. 25.5-6).

     INTRO.:  A song which reminds us of the fact that Jesus, who was
crucified, was also raised form the grave, is “Christ Arose” (#174 in
“Hymns for Worship Revised”).  The text was written and the tune (He
Arose) was composed both by Robert Lowry (1826-1899).  A native of
Philadelphia, PA, who was educated at Bucknell University, he became a
Baptist minister and lived in the New York City, NY, area from 1859-1869.
 As a result of his interest in writing hymns, he was selected by the
Biglow and Main Publishing Co. of New York City as the music editor for
its Sunday school songbooks and he is credited with the publication of
over 20 collections.

     This particular hymn was produced in 1874 after he had moved to
preach in Lewisburg, PA, where he also served as Professor at Bucknell.
During the spring of that year, he was having his evening devotions and
was impressed with the events associated with Christ’s resurrection.
Soon he found himself in the parlor of his home and, in a very
spontaneous fashion, there came forth from his thoughts the words and
music for this song.  It was first published the following year in a
Sunday school songbook “Brightest and Best” of which he was co-editor
with William Howard Doane (1832-1915).

     This song emphasizes both the facts and the importance of the
resurrection of Christ.

I. Stanza #1 talks about how Christ lay in the tomb waiting the
resurrection day
 A. The Bible records the burial of Jesus in Joseph’s new tomb: Matt.
27.57-61
 B. However, this was only a waiting period, because even the Old
Testament had prophesied that the Messiah would be raisd from the dead:
Psa. 16.9-11; cf. Acts 2.29-31
 C. And even Jesus Himself had often predicted His own resurrection:
Matt. 16.21, 17.22-23, 20.17-19

II. Stanza #2 tells about how preparations were made to keep Christ’s
body in the tomb
 A. THe Jewish leaders were afraid that the disciples would steal the
body, so they asked Pilate to set a guard and seal the tomb: Matt.
27.62-66
 B. They remembered His redictions of a resurrection and wanted to have
all their bases covered: Matt. 12:38-40
 C. But, of course, all their preparations were in vain, and the very
thing which they sought to prevent is what they eventually claimed
happened: Matt. 28.11-15

III. Stanza 3 speaks of how Christ came forth from the grave
 A. The simple fact is that after three days in the tomb, Jesus arose
just as He said that He would: Matt. 28.1-2
 B. Following His resurrection, He appeared to a number of people to show
by many infallible proofs that He was indeed alive again: Acts 1.1-3, 1
Cor. 15.3-8
 C. And the rest of the New Testament teaches us to remember Christ’s
resurrection because it declared Him to be the divine Son of God: Rom.
1.3-4, 2 Tim. 2.8

CONCL.:  The chorus then triumphantly declares, “Up from the grave He
arose, With a mighty triumph o’er His foes”!  The resurrection of Christ
from the dead is recorded in the scriptures not as some kind of allegory
but as an actual event: Lk. 24.6-8).  And it is presented in the
scripture as the basis for our hope (1 Pet. 1.3-4).  Therefore, we can
rejoice and have hope because of the fact that “Christ Arose.”

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