Bishop of the Diocese of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands
“Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Saviour, Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord! Up from the grave He arose, With a mighty triumph o’er His foes…”
American Professor of Literature, Baptist Minister and hymn writer, Robert Lowry (1826-1899), allowed the Holy Spirit to speak through him and wrote the well-known Easter hymn entitled, “Up from the grave He arose!”
The first verse begins by talking about Jesus in the grave and ends with Jesus rising “up from the grave”. Those who know the tune would also know that when the words switch to “Up from the grave He arose…” the beat of the music also changes dramatically. How effective this is in communicating the difference between death and resurrection, gloom and glory, defeat and victory.
This difference between where Jesus started and where He ended up is at the heart of the Easter message: God doing a radical, unorthodox and unheard – of thing like of raising His son from the dead. The power of Easter energized all of the other things that faith and commitment and perseverance have been able to do in the lives of ordinary women, men, girls and boys over the centuries.
Yes, in life there are so many people, situations and circumstances that are impossible. But Christians and others believed in something bigger than themselves and believed that a better day would come. Therefore, they held faith, they kept on loving and serving, they did not give up on people, and they did not give in to oppression and injustice. As a result, they saw change come, they saw a new day, they saw fences mended and bridges rebuilt. They saw walls fall down and chains loosed. This is still happening today.
The human spirit cannot be crushed. It is often intertwined with faith. It is expressed through our Christian faith. It is most certainly always strengthened by faith. That faith causes our human
spirit to swell into a raging inferno that can withstand most things and overcomes most circumstances.
St. Paul writes: “
Simply put, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is an historical fact, it is a pillar of our faith and it is a parable about what an Almighty God can do in our frail, messy human experience.
Believe in Jesus today. Claim Jesus as your personal Saviour. Submit your life to God’s plan even if other Christians do not appear to be doing so as they ought to be. Let the Resurrection be your beacon to navigate the seas of life… and sing with me:
Happy Easter from the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands. Yours in Christ,
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you.
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) This is what enabled others to do… and it is what faith calls us to do… not to give up but to “keep on keeping on.”
Up from the grave He arose;
with a mighty triumph o’er His foes;
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
and He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!