Robert Lowry, 1826–1899
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. (Romans 6:8, 9)
“Alleluia, He is Risen!” “Alleluia, He is Risen Indeed!” If you and I had been living during the early Christian era, this undoubtedly would have been our greeting to one another as believers on an Easter Sunday. For the past century, however, many evangelical churches have been inspired anew in celebrating this triumphant day by singing “Christ Arose”, written and composed by Robert Lowry in 1874.
Robert Lowry is a highly respected name among early gospel hymn writers. He served for a time as a professor of literature at Bucknell University, pastored several important Baptist churches in the East, and then became the music editor of the Biglow Publishing Company. It has often been said that the quality of Lowry’s numerous publications did much to improve the cause of sacred music in this country.
During the Easter season of 1874, while having his devotions one evening, Robert Lowry was impressed with the events associated with Christ’s resurrection, especially with these words recorded in Luke 24:6, 7:
He is not here, but is risen; remember how He spoke unto you when He was in Galilee, saying, the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
Soon Robert Lowry found himself seated at the little pump organ in the parlor of his home, and in a very spontaneous fashion, the words and music of “Christ Arose” gave expression to the thoughts that had been uppermost in his mind. The hymn was published the following year and has been an inspirational favorite with God’s people ever since.
Low in the grave He lay—Jesus, my Savior! Waiting the coming day—Jesus, my Lord!
Vainly they watch His bed—Jesus, my Savior! Vainly they seal the dead—Jesus, my Lord.
Death cannot keep his prey—Jesus, my Savior! He tore the bars away—Jesus, my Lord!
Chorus: Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er His foes; He arose a Victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign: He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!
For Today: Matthew 27:5–66; John 19:41, 42; 1 Corinthians 15:4
Allow the truth of Christ’s resurrection to thrill your life anew. Sing with triumph as you go—
Osbeck, K. W.
- And when he had cast down the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for us to put them into the treasure, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them a potter’s field, for the burial of strangers. Wherefore that field is called, The field of blood, until this day. (Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the Prophet, saying, And they took thirty silver pieces, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of israel valued. And they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.) And Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou that King of the Jews? jesus said unto him, Thou sayest it. And when he was accused of the chief Preists and Elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they lay against thee? But he answered him not to one word, insomuch that the governor marveled greatly. Now at the first the governor was wont to deliver unto the people a prisoner whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner called Barabbas. When they were then gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whether will ye that I let loose unto you Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? (For he knew well, that for envy they had delivered him. Also when he was set down upon the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with this just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream by reason of him.) But the chief Priests and the elders had persuaded the people that they should let loose unto you? And they said, Barabbas. Pilate said unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus, which is called Christ? They all said to him, Let him be cruified. Then said the governor, But what evil hath he done? Then they cried the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Piilate saw that he availed nothing, but that more tumult was made, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just man: look you to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Thus let he Barabbas loose unto them, and scourged Jesus, and delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took jesus into the common hall, and gathered about him the whole band. They stripped him, and put about him a scarlet robe, And platted a crown of thorns, and put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand, and bowed their knees before him, and mocked him, saying, God save thee, King of the Jews. And spitted upon him, and took a reed, and smote him on the head. Thus when they had mocked him, they took the robe from him, and put his own raiment on him, and let him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, named Simon: him they compelled to bear his cross. And when they came unto the place called Golgotha (that is to say, the place of dead men’s skulls) They gave him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, and did cast lots, that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the Prophet, They divided m garments among them, and upon my veture did cast lots. And they sat and watched him there. They set up also over his head his cause written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. And there were two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by, reviled him, wagging their heads. And saying, Thou that destroyest the Temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself: if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the high Priests mocking him, with the Scribes, and Elders, and Pharisees, said, He saved others, but he cannot save himself: if he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. He trusted in God, let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. The self same thing also the thieves which were crucified with him, cast in his teeth. No from the sixth hour as there darkness over all the land, unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabchthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of them that stood there, when they heard it, said, This man called Elijah. And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. Others said, Let be: let us see if Elijah come and save him. Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice, and yielded up the ghost. And behold, the veil of the Temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom, and the earth did quake, and the stones were cloven, And the graves did open themselves, and many bodies of the Saints, which slept, arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. When the Centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earth quake, and the things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. And many women were there, beholding him afar off, which had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him, Among them was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. And when the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who had also himself been Jesus’ disciple. He went to Pilate, and asked the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. So Joseph took the body, and srapped it in a clean linen cloth, And put it in his new tomb, which he had hewn out in a rock, and rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulcher. Now the next day that followed the Preparation of the Sabbath, the high Priests and Pharisees assembled to Pilate. And said, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was just alive, Within three days I will rise. Command therefore, that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, lest his Disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so shall the last error be worse than the first. Then Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go, and make it sure, as you know. And they went, and made the sepulcher sure, with the watch, and sealed the stone. Matthew 27:5–66
- And in that place where Jesus was crucified, was a garden, and in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein was never man yet laid. There then laid they Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation day, for the sepulcher was near. John 19:41-42
- And that he was buried, and that he arose the third day, according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:4