Arise, My Love
Not a word was heard at the tomb that day.
Just shuffling of soldiers feet as they guarded the grave.
One day, two days, three days had past.
Could it be that Jesus breathed his last?
Could it be that his Father had forsaken him?
Turned his back on his son, dispising our sin.
Oh hell seemed to whisper, "Just forget it, He's dead."
Then the Father looked down to his son and he said..
Arise, My love.
Arise, My love.
The grave no longer has a hold on you
No more death sting
No more suffering
The Earth trembled and the tomb began to shake, and like lightening from Heaven
The stone was rolled away.
And this dead man the guards they all stood there in fright
As the power of love displayed its might
And suddenly a melody filled the air
Riding wings of wind, it was everywhere
The words of creation had been longing to hear.
The sweet sound of victory, so loud and clear.
Arise, my love.
Arise, my love.
The grave no longer has a hold on you.
No more death sting no more suffering
Sin, where are your shackles?
Death, where is your sting?
Hell; has been defeated. The grave will not hold, the king.
Arise, my love.
Arise, my love.
I know it’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these…keeping busy with life (darn it, having a life really interferes with my not having a life!!) tends to interfere with my free time to just sit and think about things, and I had to find a new song that spoke to me…fitting that a song by Newsong should be the new song that “set me off”.
The artists of Newsong paint the vivid picture of that first Easter morning, the early dawn that saw the resurrection of the living Christ. And just for the records: Christ died and was buried Friday, before the sundown and commencement of Shabbat. That’s day one. Shabbat is from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. That’s day two. Early Sunday morning, the women hurried to the tomb once the sun was up to illuminate the way (no streetlights to light the way back then), and found that Christ had been resurrected. That’s day three.
Through their lyrics, we see the supposition in Hell that they’ve finally won, that the Son of God is dead. But then, in a moment that changed everything, they tell us that God looked down on His beloved Son and called out “Arise, my Love!”
I cry when I listen to this, and particularly when I try to sing along (and no, it’s not because I sound so bad!). But part of what makes me cry so is the other message I can hear in this song. You see, I can hear more than just the call of God to His Son…I can hear the call of God, of Christ, to his slumbering bride.
We, as a body, have grown comfortable, content, even complacent in our place. We take comfort in the promise of eternal life, not as much because we yearn to be with our creator as our desire to escape Hell and the weeping and gnashing of teeth. Our ideas of eternity often include ideas of our own pleasure, so that Heaven becomes a hedonistic pleasure palace focused on our own wants than it is basking every day, every moment, in the omnipotent will and love of the God who longs for us to delight in Him alone. We worship a god, alright…the god of our own comfort and pleasure.
Yes, I know, I just stepped on toes…I stepped on my own in the process (impressive, ain’t it? :P ). But then I can do as the early disciples did, and obey the Lord despite the cost, stepping on toes in the process, or I can consider the comfort of those around me and shut up the message that I feel God is crying to His church. Ah, but then I face a new problem, one Jeremiah faced. “But if I say, ‘I will not mention Him or speak anymore in His name,’ His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” (Jeremiah 20:9)
So here I go, stepping on toes again, including my own. If you don’t want to hear more, you don’t want to read more. But if you long to please your King, you’ll keep reading, pray, and ask Him to reveal Himself and His truth to you. And there are those in the world that aren’t living a comfortable Christianity, people who have to hide their identities to survive every day, and yet who remain because the Word burns within them to share the Love of God with an otherwise unreachable people. Yes, they are oridinary people, humans who make mistakes like the rest of us, who are fallible and reachable…but they’re living on the razor’s edge. They aren’t the ones I’m accusing of being content in their Hell Insurance. Its you, and me, that I’m talking to. Those of us who are able to sit back and let the world pass us by. Soccer Moms. Nascar Dads. Going through the day to day with little or no thought to the God that gives us every breath we take. Yup…there are those toes again. (Maybe I should invest in steel-toed boots?)
Paul said that we count all that was to our profit as loss for the sake of Christ. He counts everything rubbish (I understand the original word here could be better translated sewage), that he may gain Christ and be found in Him. “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death…” (Phillipian 3:10)
So how are we sharing in His sufferings? If we are comfortable and content, where is there room to share in His suffering, and thus know the power that resurrected Him? Why don’t we see the kinds of miracles that are recorded in the Bible today? Because we’re too content to let Him pour Himself through us. Yes, I said it. We are the reason that we don’t see God working. Why should be bother to shake us up when we don’t want Him to? We refused to be worked in the Potter’s hands, while too many die without Him every minute that passes us in our coupes and sedans.
And yes, I’m confessing to being just as guilty as everyone else. I don’t do what I know I should, and that is sin. What am I going to do about it? This is part of what I’m doing about it. But what are you going to do?
The resurrected Christ is looking at a dead church. He has the power to resurrect us, to make us like Him. But before we can get there, we have to make the sacrifice and die to ourselves. We have to share in His sufferings. Christ has set us free, and we’re sitting here with open shackles on our ankles, believing we’re still prisoners. We suffer the pain of imprisonment that isn’t ours because we refuse to share in the sufferings of Christ, sufferings He bore in our stead. He longs to set you free! Can’t you hear His call?
Arise, My Love! Arise, My Love! The grave no longer has a hold on you! No more Death’s sting, no more suffering! Arise! Arise, My Love!