“I am the First and the Last; I am the Living One. I was dead, and behold, I am alive forever and ever.” – Revelation 1:17,18
What a glorious truth to ponder – Jesus is not the “Great I WAS”, but rather the “Great I AM!” He is not only a historical fact but a present day living reality. Our Christian faith rests upon the truth that Jesus Christ rose from the grave and is now seated at the Father’s right hand.
The great hymn of faith, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” has been one of the Church’s most popular Easter hymns since it was first written by Charles Wesley after his “heart-warming” encounter with the Living Lord in 1738. The first Wesleyan Chapel in London was a deserted iron foundry, and became known as the Foundry Meeting House. This hymn was written by Charles for the first service in that chapel.
Following his encounter with Christ, Charles began writing numerous hymns on every phase of the Christian experience – some 6,500 in all. It has been said that the hymns of Charles Wesley clothed Christ in flesh and blood, and gave Christians a belief they could easily grasp, embrace with personal faith, and if necessary, even die for. Charles once said, “If all of our eternity is to be realized on this side of the grave, we are hopeless and to be pitied (I Corinthians 15:19), but for the Christian, the resurrection assures us of God’s tomorrow. This anticipation makes it possible to live joyfully today, regardless of life’s circumstances.”
Read and reflect on these great words by Charles Wesley:
“Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say: Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heavens and earth reply: Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Dying once He all doth save, Alleluia! Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
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!
Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!”
The message of the resurrection is to “come and see” – to personally experience the transforming power of the living Christ, then – “to go and tell.” Let’s carry this great hymn of triumph with us, as we experience a glorious Easter season together.
“O Come, Let Us Adore Him!”
In God’s Love, Tim G.