Here is another "Behind the music" story on "Christ the Lord is risen today". I learned some interesting things about it; did you?
The earliest forms of the hymn can be traced back to a Latin text from the 14th century. In 1708 the four Latin stanzas were translated into English and published by J. Walsh in Lyra Davidica under the title “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today.” A few decades later, in 1739, a modified version was published by John and Charles Wesley in Hymns and Sacred Poems under the title “Hymn for Easter Day.” It is this version, later shortened and supplemented with the “Alleluia” refrain, that has become the hymn that remains so popular today. Here are all 11 stanzas published by the Wesleys. It is worth reading through each one thoughtfully, and perhaps especially the ones that we no longer sing. They are rich with biblical allusion and the wonderful implications of Easter.
1. "Christ the Lord is ris’n to-day,”
Sons of Men and Angels say!
Raise your Joys and Triumphs high,
Sing ye Heav’ns, and Earth reply.
2. Love’s Redeeming Work is done,
Fought the Fight, the Battle won,
Lo! our Sun’s Eclipse is o’er,
Lo! He sets in Blood no more.
3. Vain the Stone, the Watch, the Seal;
Christ hath burst the Gates of Hell!
Death in vain forbids his Rise:
Christ hath open’d Paradise!
4. Lives again our glorious King,
Where, O Death, is now thy Sting?
Once He died our Souls to save,
Where thy Victory, O Grave?
5. Soar we now, where Christ has led,
Following our Exalted Head,
Made like Him, like Him we rise:
Ours the Cross; the Grave; the Skies.
6. What tho’ once we perish’d All,
Partners of our Parent’s Fall,
Second Life we All receive,
In our Heav’nly Adam live.
7. Ris’n with Him, we upward move,
Still we seek the Things above,
Still pursue, and kiss the Son,
Seated on his Father’s Throne;
8. Scarce on Earth a Thought bestow,
Dead to all we leave below,
Heav’n our Aim, and lov’d Abode,
Hid our Life with Christ in God!
9. Hid; ’till Christ our Life appear,
Glorious in his Members here:
Join’d to Him, we then shall shine
All Immortal, all Divine!
10. Hail the Lord of Earth and Heav’n!
Praise to Thee by both be giv’n:
Thee we greet Triumphant now;
Hail the Resurrection Thou!
11. King of Glory, Soul of Bliss,
Everlasting Life is This,
Thee to know, thy Pow’r to prove,
Thus to sing, and thus to love!
I must say, I wish we had these verses still in our hymnal today!
The stone was rolled away from the door, not to permit Christ to come out, but to enable the disciples to go in. ~ Peter Marshall
The Easter lily is the floral symbol of Easter because its shape resembles a trumpet heralding the resurrection of Christ.
If the Christ who died had stopped at the cross His work had been incomplete.
If the Christ who was buried had stayed in the tomb He had only known defeat;
But the way of the cross never stops at the cross, and the way of the tomb leads on to the victorious grace in the heavenly place where our LORD has gone!
Did you know......?
76% of people eat the ears on chocolate bunnies first!
Americans consume over 16 million jellybeans on Easter, enough to circle the globe three times over!
One of the most popular hymns sung at Easter Sunday services worldwide is “Christ the LORD is risen today”.
We live and die; Christ died and lived! ~ John Scott
A dead Christ I must do everything for; a living Christ does everything for me.
Easter is always the answer to, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me! ~ Madeleine L’ Engle
I absolutely love this story and it stirs me up every time I read it! I hope it is a blessing to you too!
Edith burns was a wonderful Christian who lived in San Antonia, Texas. She was the patient of a doctor by the name of Will Phillips. Dr. Phillips was a gentle doctor who saw patients as people. His favorite patient was Edith Burns.
One morning he went to his office with a heavy heart and it was because of Edit Burns. When he walked into that waiting room, there sat Edith with her big black Bible in her lap earnestly talking to a young mother sitting beside her.
Edith Burns had a habit of introducing herself in this way: “Hello, my name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?” Then she would explain the meaning of Easter, and many time people would be saved.
Dr. Phillips walked into that office and there he saw the heard nurse, Beverly. Beverly had first met Edith when she was taking her blood pressure. Edith began by saying, “My name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?”
Beverly said, “Why yes I do.”
Edith said, Well, what do you believe about Easter?”
Beverly said, “Well, it’s all about egg hunts, going to church, and dressing up.”
Edith kept pressing her about the real meaning of Easter, and finally led her to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Phillips said, “Beverly, don’t call Edith into the office quite yet. I believe there is another delivery taking place in the waiting room.”
After being called back in the doctor’s office, Edith sat down and when she took a look at the doctor she said, “Dr. Will, why are you so sad? Are you reading your Bible? Are you praying?”
Dr. Phillip said gently, “Edith, I’m the doctor and you’re the patient.”
With a heavy heart he said, “Your lab report came back and it says you have cancer, and Edith, you’re not going to live very long.”
Edith said, “Why Will Phillips, shame on you. Why are you so sad? Do you think God makes mistakes? You have just told me I’m going to see my precious Lord Jesus, my husband, and my friends. You have just told me that I am going to celebrate Easter forever, and here you are having difficulty giving me my ticket!”
Dr. Phillips thought to himself, “What a magnificent woman this Edith Burns is!”
Edith continued coming to Dr. Phillips. Christmas came and the office was closed through January 3rd. On the day the office opened, Edith did not show up. Later that afternoon, Edith called Dr. Phillips and said she would have to be moving her story to the hospital and said, “Will, I’m very near home, so would you make sure that they put women in here next to me in my room who need to know about Easter.”
Well, they did just that and women began to come in and share that room with Edith. Many women were saved. Everybody on that floor from staff to patients were so excited about Edith, that they started calling her Edith Easter; that is everyone except Phillis Cross, the head nurse.
Phyllis made it plain that she wanted nothing to do with Edith because she was a “religious nut”. She had been a nurse in an army hospital. She had seen it all and heard it all. She was the original G.I Jane. She had been married three times, she was hard, cold, and did everything by the book.
One morning the two nurses who were to attend to Edith were sick. Edith had the flu and Phyllis Cross had to go in and give her a shot. When she walked in , Edith had a big smile on her face and said, “Phyllis, God loves you and I love you, an dI have been praying for you.”
Phyllis Cross said, “Well, you can quit praying for me, it won’t work. I’m not interested.”
Edith said, “Well, I will pray and I have asked God not to let me go home until you come into the family.”
Phyllis Cross said, “Then you will never die because that will never happen,” and curtly walked out of the room.
Every day Phyllis Cross would walk into the room and Edith would say, “God love you Phyllis and I love you, and I’m praying for you.”
One day Phyllis Cross said she was literally drawn to Edith’ room like a magnet would draw iron. She sat down on the bed and Edith said, “I’m so glad you have come, because God told me that today I your special day.”
Phyllis Cross said, “Edith, you have asked everybody here the question, 'Do you believe in Easter’ but you have never asked me.”
Edith said, “Phyllis, I wanted to many times but God told me to wait until you asked, and now that you have asked.”
Edith Burns took her Bible and shared with Phyllis the Easter story of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Edith said, “Phyllis, do you believe in Easter? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is alive and that He wants to live in your heart?”
Phyllis Cross said, “Oh I want to believe that with all of my heart, and I do want Jesus in my life.”
Right there, Phyllis prayed and invited Jesus Christ into her heart. For the first time Phyllis Cross did not walk out of a hospital room, she was carried out on the wings of angels.
Two days later, Phyllis Cross came in and Edith said, “Do you know what day it is?”
Phyllis said, “Why Edith, it’s Good Friday.”
Edith said, “Oh, no, for you every day is Easter. Happy Easter Phyllis!”
Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis Cross came in to work, did some of her duties and then went down to the flower shop and got some Easter lilies because she wanted to go up to see Edith and give her some Easter lilies and wish her a Happy Easter.
When she walked into Edith’s room, Edith was in bed. That big black Bible was on her lap. Her hands were in that Bible. There was a sweet smile on her face. When Phyllis went to pick up Edith’s hand, she realized Edith was death. Her left hand was on John 14: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you you myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
Her right hand was on Revelation 21:4, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Phyllis Cross took one look at that dead body, and then lifted her face toward heaven, and with tears streaming down her cheeks, said, “Happy Easter, Edith, Happy Easter!”
Phyllis Cross left Edith’s body, walked out of the room, and over to a table where two student nurses were sitting. She said, “My name is Phyllis Cross. Do you believe in Easter?"
I am just an ordinary girl who is loved by an extraordinary God and I seek to love others the same way. I love to bake, read, do puzzles, watch Hallmark movies, and go shopping with my mom! This blog was created as a place where I could share some thoughts that the Lord has shown me and to be an encouragement to others who desire to know Him in a deeper way. My prayer is to learn to sit still and trust God with my future.
Did you know that Sit Still my Daughter has a magazine for women? Real woman share real stories of their struggles with self-worth, fear, anxiety, infertility, and waiting on God for their spouse. Click here to read it!