–By Elizabeth Ahlman
This week’s Easter Season in Song was chosen by a current Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod seminarian who has done both Globally Engaged in Outreach (GEO) work and short-term work in the region. This servant of the Lord hopes to return to the region, but cannot be named due to the sensitive countries in which the work was done. Please pray for all workers and former workers in the region today! The hymn choice is the Tanzanian hymn “Christ is Arisen, Alleluia” (Lutheran Service Book, 466).
- Christ has arisen, alleluia.
Rejoice and praise Him, alleluia.
For our Redeemer burst from the tomb,
Even from death, dispelling its gloom.
Refrain: Let us sing praise to Him with endless joy;
Death’s fearful sting He has come to destroy.
Our sin forgiving, alleluia!
Jesus is living, alleluia!
- For three long days the grave did its worst
Until its strength by God was dispersed.
He who gives life did death undergo;
And in its conquest His might did show. (Refrain)
- The angel said to them, “Do not fear!
You look for Jesus who is not here.
See for yourselves the tomb is all bare;
Only the grave cloths are lying there.” (Refrain)
- “Go spread the news: He’s not in the grave;
He has arisen this world to save.
Jesus’ redeeming labors are done;
Even the battle with sin is won.” (Refrain)
- Christ has arisen; He sets us free;
Alleluia, to Him praises be.
Jesus is living! Let us all sing;
He reigns triumphant, heavenly King. (Refrain)
The joy this hymn conveys in its words and its repetitive use of Alleluia is especially palpable. After 40 days of no alleluias, these Easter weeks resound with them, and rightly so. Is there anything better than to know and to sing and hear proclaimed that Jesus has defeated death and that Jesus is living? The hymn reminds us, but in joyful terms, of Christ’s victorious death which was His conquest of death itself (v. 2). “The grave did its worst,” but there was no way it ever could have overcome Christ Jesus (v. 2). The imagery of Christ bursting from the tomb in verse one is powerful as it reminds us that this was not some little thing that God accomplished, but rather a mighty act of resounding significance.
Throughout the hymn we are reminded that the struggle is over for us because Christ has fought it and ended it Himself. The battle with sin is won, we are set free and the labor it takes to do so is done — by Christ — for us. Death is conquered, and we can heed the words of the angels: “Do not fear!” There is nothing left to fear in this glorious, victorious, jubilant proclamation: “Jesus is living!”
This is a proclamation that we can easily and joyfully share with our neighbors, our families, our co-workers and our friends. When they are facing difficulty and sadness that seems beyond rectifying, we can speak words of life, of Jesus, alive for them and willing to enter into their hurt and sadness to redeem, sanctify, relieve and bring resurrected life. We can tell them that He is able to do this because He died and rose for them, and that resurrected life is ongoing. It’s not that He was alive in the past, but that He lives now and into all eternity for us, to intercede for us before the Father in heaven and to bring us out of the grip of sin, death and the devil. Jesus is living is not just a statement of fact, but a statement of joyful hope. He is living, and He lives for me and He lives for you!
Let us Pray: We give thanks and praise to You, our living Lord Jesus Christ, that You have burst from the tomb and conquered death for us; may we ever share that joy and that truth with those who need to hear that You died, rose, and live for them, so that they may be called to faith by the power of the Holy Spirit; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
- If you are interested in serving as a GEO (1-2 year commitment), short-term worker (6 weeks-1 year commitment), Career worker (5 year commitment) or short-term team member, please contact David Fiala or Rev. Dan McMiller at BecomeAMissionary@lcms.org.
- The hymn is performed by Mathias Hohls. Mathias is a student at the seminary of partner church body, The Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK), and the organist at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Oberursal, Germany. Mathias offered some background concerning the organ: “The organ is a mechanical organ, none of that electric nonsense. It has some very beautiful flute 2 and four foot registers. The Hauptwerk has 6 Registers, including a Prinzipal 8, three bass registers, including a reed register called Faggot 16, which makes for awesome thundering sound when one plays Ein Feste Burg and the verse where the Devil, Hell and Sin appear on the scene. We also have a Rückpositiv, which has all the Nazard and quint Registers.”
- Pray for Mathias Hohls and the former GEO Missionary of the LCMS as they study to become pastors.
- Read last week’s Season in Song “Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands” here.