For the Christian, every Sunday is a resurrection Sunday! We meet to worship God and encourage one another on Sundays – not Saturdays – because the rhythm of our weekly routine beats with the drum of resurrection life on the first day of the week! And the song we will finish our morning services with this Sunday – Christ is risen, He is risen indeed! – is one of the best modern hymns in declaring that glorious and hopeful truth!
The hymn begins by pausing to reflect on the incredible wonder of the cross: that our very Creator has “born our sin through sacrifice, to conquer every sting of death.” Of all the religions in the world, only the Bible proclaims a self-sacrificing God. And so of all the people in the world, we should be the ones to sing, sing, “Hallelujah” (a Hebrew word for, ‘Praise God!’).
With moving poetry, the hymn continues to describe the events of that first Easter. We reflect on the unimaginable joy the disciples experienced when their beloved friend – whom they thought dead and buried forever – stood before them as flesh and blood! Literally everything turns on the resurrection. As the Apostle Paul argued, if the resurrection didn’t happen, then we Christians ought to be pitied for our folly and naivety (1 Corinthians 15:13-19). But because it is true – as Paul continues in v20, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” – we can have absolute confidence and great joy!
That confidence and joy transformed the disciples. “Once bound by fear now bold in faith, they preached the truth and power of grace.” And that’s the challenge Christ is risen leaves us with. We 21st-century Christians have been given new and eternal with exactly the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. And so our joyful privilege and sombre responsibility – in equal measure – is to, “Go – tell of His goodness.”
How can it be, the One who died,
Has born 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.