There are really only two seasons of the year where church music stands out to the average church goer: Christmas and Easter. Don’t believe me? After 11 years in worship ministry, just ask me what the lobby is like after service during these seasons when you don’t sing someone’s favorite Christmas carol or Easter hymn. You can go from pumped up about an awesome service to questioning your calling in a matter of minutes. Well, maybe that’s being melodramatic. Nevertheless, people have their favorite songs during these times of year and they want to hear those songs in worship services.
I digress. That is not at all the point of this blog post. I want to take you on a journey through some of the songs that have left their mark on me as I remember the sacrifice that Christ paid for me and as I celebrate His ultimate victory over death, hell, and the grave on Resurrection Sunday. I want you to not necessarily pay attention to the musical styles of these songs, but rather the power of the lyrics presented. For some, this may be a trip through church music history. For others, there may be some new things presented that you haven’t heard before. Either way, I hope you enjoy seeing how song writers have attempted to describe the events of the week leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus.
At The Cross – Isaac Watts; refrain by Ralph Hudson approximately 180 years later
When I Survey The Wondrous Cross – Isaac Watts (This hymn has been recently remade with an additional chorus and is named ‘The Wonderful Cross’ in those arrangements.)
I Stand Amazed In The Presence – Charles Gabriel (No Chris Tomlin did NOT write this one. It was penned back in 1905)
The Old Rugged Cross – George Bennard 1913
Man of Sorrows – Hillsong
Jesus Is Alive – Ron Kenoly (It amazes me how few churches do the slow opening to this song.)
Arise My Love (yes NewSong does it better, but I’m partial to these guys. It’s not because I’m singing with them, it’s because these were three incredible guys to sing with and I miss singing with all of them terribly)
Forever – Bethel Music and Kari Jobe (yes it’s almost 13 minutes long, but stick with it and if the spoken word section doesn’t have you shouting hallelujah, I don’t know what will)
Victor’s Crown (Darlene Zschech)
These are just a few. I could have kept this list going on and on and on, but I didn’t want to bore you. Take time this week and thank God for His sacrifice, and for His victory over the grave. I hope you all have a blessed Easter!