Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son; endless is the victory, thou o’er death hast won; angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away, kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay.
Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son, Endless is the vict’ry, thou o’er death hast won.
Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb; Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom; let the Church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing; for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting.
No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life; life is naught without thee; aid us in our strife; make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love: bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above.
Music: Maccabeus (adapted from the oratorio by Georg Friedrich Handel, 1685-1759)
St Luke 24: 1-12
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
This hymn perfectly displays the glory and brilliance of Christ’s resurrection. The first stanza discusses the power of the resurrection. The women must have been terrified when the two men appeared out of nowhere. We can imagine that we may have done the same thing that the women did, especially if their clothes shone that brightly that we were dazzled!
The second verse tells Christ’s people to shed their doubt now that Christ has conquered the grave. Not that simple, I hear you cry! The women were not believed immediately, not until Peter had run to the tomb and checked things out for himself. What he found – or didn’t find – caused him much wonderment. Would we have had to run to the tomb to check things out? How does this make us feel?
The third verse tells us to quench our fear now that the Prince of peace reigns. It states the assertion that all doubt has now been banished and that life is infinitely richer with Christ in our lives. Christ’s assistance is sought to overcome all our adversaries and bring us into His presence, finally.
The powerful lyrics and the universally-liked tune, have led to the hymns’ enormous popularity. It is a hymn for yesterday, today and tomorrow, and will surely stand the test of time.
Jesus, Hope of our hope and victor over death itself; help us to behold God’s glory and to commit our lives to you in the certain knowledge that we can all overcome death. You are our beginning and our end; in you we have the assurance that we are God’s people. Suddenly, we see the resurrection-splendour. You touch our lives and suddenly we are transformed. Turned triumphantly to face your light. The stone rolled away……the tomb empty. Life ahead, beginning now. Lord, give me the courage to reach out and take it.
Adapted from a prayer by Eddie Askew.
Ann Barton is the Facilities Manager of Church House.
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