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Musings and Memories

He Is Risen!

By Doug Dezotell
Posted 4/8/23

Tomorrow Morning in our Easter Sunday Service at Cannon United Methodist Church our worship will open with the Easter Hymn, “Christ The Lord Is Ris’n Today!”

This beautiful song …

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Musings and Memories

He Is Risen!


Tomorrow Morning in our Easter Sunday Service at Cannon United Methodist Church our worship will open with the Easter Hymn, “Christ The Lord Is Ris’n Today!”

This beautiful song was written and published in 1739 by the co-founder of the Methodist Movement, Rev. Charles Wesley.

Wesley wrote more than 6,500 hymns throughout his life-time, and many of them have been published in hymn books that are used in various churches today.

Wesley’s hymns are sung by Christians in so many different denominations because they are filled with the important doctrines of Christ that unite us all together.

In the Christmas Season the Christian churches around the world sing Wesley’s hymn, “Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Glory To The Newborn King!”

His hymn, “O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing, My Great Redeemer’s Praise,” has traditionally been the first song in Methodist hymnals throughout the world ever since 1780.

Wesley’s hymns have found a place in the hearts of Christians for hundreds of years, again because they instruct us, and relate to us so much about the scriptural doctrines and theology of Christ that unite us, and inspire us to sing and offer praise to our Lord and Savior.

At Cannon UMC, where I serve as the pastor, we’ll be singing these words of Wesley’s at 10:00 AM tomorrow:

“Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

“Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once He died our souls to 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 His rise, Alleluia! Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

“Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia! Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

“Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia! Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

“King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia! Everlasting life is this, Alleluia! Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia! Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!”

Throughout the year as we look to the clouds, and long for the Angel’s Trumpet Sound announcing the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we may sing this Wesley Hymn, “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.”

“Come, Thou long expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free; From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in Thee. Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art; Dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

“Born Thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, Born to reign in us forever, now Thy gracious kingdom bring. By Thine own eternal spirit, rule in all our hearts alone; By Thine all sufficient merit, raise us to Thy glorious throne.” Interestingly enough, Charles Wesley’s favorite hymn was not one of his own, but was one that was written by Isaac Watts.

Wesley said that he would give up all his other hymns to have written this ONE. It spoke that powerfully to him.

That hymn was “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”

Watts’ lyrics are my testimony as well.

“When I survey the wondrous cross, On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.

“Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God! All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.

“See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down! Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

“His dying crimson, like a robe, Spreads o’er His body on the tree; Then I am dead to all the globe, And all the globe is dead to me.

“Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.”

That final phrase is so powerful, “Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.”

And it’s what the Apostle Paul is speaking of in Romans 12:1, when he wrote: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service…”

Do you consider yourself to be holy? Do you consider yourself to be acceptable to God? Do you know you are washed in the blood of Jesus?

It’s By His Blood That We Are Made Holy! And we need to see ourselves through the Lens of The Blood of Jesus.

Christians celebrate Easter Sunday, Resurrection Sunday, as a blessed reminder of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

He did it all for us! He became the Lamb of God, a Living Sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. And we need to live our lives as a Sacrifice for Him!

Wesley’s hymn, “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” originally had 18 stanzas. That’s a lot of verses to sing in a church service.

But some of those verses that didn’t make it into most hymnbooks include these, numbers 13-16:

“Look unto Him, ye nations, own your God, ye fallen race! Look, and be saved through faith alone, be justified by grace!

“See all your sins on Jesus laid; the Lamb of God was slain, His soul was once an offering made for every soul of man.

“Harlots and publicans and thieves, in holy triumph join! Saved is the sinner that believes From crimes as great as mine.

“Murderers and all ye hellish crew, ye sons of lust and pride, Believe the Savior died for you; for me the Savior died.”

Christ died for all of sinners!

Back in 2017 I had the privilege of visiting the nation of Israel with my wife.

I remember standing gazing up at the Hill of Golgotha, the Place of the Skull, on which Christ was crucified. I was so moved as I remembered just what Jesus did for sinners like me.

And then I walked across through the garden toward the Tomb, and I looked down at a crowd of people waiting in line to go in there.

But, I thought to myself, “He’s not in there! He is Risen.”

He is risen indeed!

And I know that He is coming again!

“O for a thousand tongues to sing my Great Redeemer’s Praise!”