Field Stone Cottage Blog

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday's Hymn: Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands

Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands,
For our offenses given;
But now at God's right hand he stands
And brings us life from heaven;
Therefore let us joyful be
And sing to God right thankfully
Loud songs of hallelujah. Hallelujah!

It was a strange and dreadful strife
When life and death contended;
The victory remained with life,
The reign of death was ended;
Holy Scripture plainly saith
That death is swallowed up by death,
His sting is lost for ever. Hallelujah!

Here the true Paschal Lamb we see,
Whom God so freely gave us;
He died on the accursed tree—
So strong his love!—to save us.
See, his blood doth mark our door;
Faith points to it, death passes o'er,
And Satan cannot harm us. Hallelujah!

So let us keep the festival
Whereto the Lord invites us;
Christ is himself the Joy of all,
The Sun that warms and lights us.
By his grace he doth impart
Eternal sunshine to the heart;
The night of sin is ended. Hallelujah!

Then let us feast this joyful day
On Christ, the Bread of heaven;
The Word of grace hath purged away
The old and evil leaven.
Christ alone our souls will feed,
He is our meat and drink indeed;
Faith lives upon no other. Hallelujah!

Martin Luther, 1524, translated by Richard Massie, 1854
Tune: Christ Lag in Tod­es­band­en, Geist­liche Ge­sang­büch­lein, 1524; ar­ranged by Johann S. Bach, 1724

1 comment:

Kim from Hiraeth said...

Hi Dorothy,

That hymn affected me in much the same was as it did you. It reminded me (as is so often the case in so many instances) of our recent conversations on Hebrews as well as our conversation on Thursday after the study about the Passover.

It's true, the tune may be somber, but the words are so incredibly uplifting--I did not sense the same disconnect as was mentioned.