I love this time of year. April brings warmer weather and blooming flowers, and the promise of summer break is right there on the horizon of my calendar. Spring also means Easter and the opportunity to celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection for us.
When you’ve been hearing about Christ’s resurrection for awhile, you might start to wonder, “So what?” So what if the tomb was empty? What does this mean for me today? I hope to answer some of those questions this month as we walk through the verses of the hymn “Worship Christ, the Risen King.” These opening verses declare Christ’s victory and the praiseworthiness of His triumph:
“Rise, O church, and lift your voices, Christ has conquered death and hell.
Sing as all the earth rejoices; resurrection anthems swell.
Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ the risen King!
See the tomb where death had laid him, empty now, its mouth declares:
‘Death and I could not contain him, for the throne of life he shares.’
Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ the risen King!”
The words of hymns are not Scripture, but they can be inspiring and helpful, especially when we see the words reflected in God’s Word. The truth of this hymn can be found in passages such as these:
“God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” (Acts 2:24)
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)
I love how the words of this hymn and the words of Scripture remind us that Christ conquered death and hell. Our modern lives are busy and typically free from the threat of death. We often forget that death and hell are our greatest enemies, so we don’t always find peace and comfort in our Savior’s triumph over them.
But when we recognize that our greatest need is to be saved from death and hell, we realize the magnitude of what Christ has done. He is our risen King, and His triumph means that death and hell no longer threaten those who belong to Him.
When we see the empty tomb with eyes of faith, our response is to join creation in resurrection anthems. We come and worship, lifting our voices in songs of praise to the risen King.
No matter what you face this week, Christ has conquered death and hell.
P.S. I’ve had a hard time finding a great recording of this hymn – maybe others don’t love it as much as I do? But you can watch a recording here on YouTube. 🙂Share