New Song: O Praise the Name (Anastasis)

What do you think of story songs?
I love them.
Growing up, our family sang story songs all the time.
Go, tell Aunt Rhodie,
Go, tell Aunt Rhodie,
Go, tell Aunt Rhodie,
The old, grey goose is dead.
Wait…the grey goose is DEAD?  What were we thinking?!?!?!?
The song we are learning this weekend is also a story song that talks about death in that it tells the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and death, but also his resurrection and return.  (But first the title…the tagline Anastasis is a Greek word that means “resurrection” or “rising up”.  This whole song is about the resurrection of Jesus and because he rose, we also will rise.)
First, we need to understand what it means that Jesus was on a cursed tree for us.  As we read in Galatians 3:13,
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)
One of the basic ideas of Christianity is that Jesus took our place.  We were cursed from the law that pointed out our sin…and Jesus took it all on himself…
We also start with an active remembrance of the story of Jesus.  BUT this isn’t simply a memory…this is active memory.  In other words, in worship we remember Jesus’ death and resurrection and this remembering is not a passive process, but one by which we actually enter into the story and experience Christ in a real way.  So we start with active memory…
 Verse 1
I cast my mind to Calvary
where Jesus bled and died for me.
I see His wounds, His hands, His feet.
My Savior on that cursed tree
 The second verse confirms that this was a historical event with real people…
Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God.  Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body.  Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. -Luke 23:50-53
Verse 2
His body bound and drenched in tears
they laid Him down in Joseph’s tomb.
The entrance sealed by heavy stone
Messiah still and all alone.
And because of what Jesus has done, we echo the psalms in praising God now AND forevermore…

Psalm 113:2

Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore.

O praise the name of the Lord our God
O praise His name for ever more
For endless days we will sing Your praise
Oh Lord, oh Lord our God.

We’ve sung about the death of Jesus, but now we enter into his resurrection and dish out some trash-talk on death!  As Paul writes,

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  -1 Corinthians 15:54-56

Verse 3
Then on the third at break of dawn,
the Son of heaven rose again.
“O trampled death where is your sting?”
The angels roar for Christ the King.
Looking towards the second coming of Jesus, we decided to change a couple lyrics to make sure we were biblically accurate.  The original lyric refers to Jesus returning in “robes of white”.  However, Revelation says that Jesus is coming back in a robe “dipped in blood” which means red!  However, the saints of God and the armies of God do wear robes of white symbolizing righteousness.  The important part of this verse, however, I think is the end of it.  Again, Paul tells us that we will see Jesus face to face and will be known by him since we will be redeemed and righteous…
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
Verse 4
He shall return, His saints in white,
the blazing Son shall pierce the night.
And I will rise, my finished race
and gaze transfixed on Jesus’ face.

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