Reflections on Easter (With Some Song Recommendations)

Churches throughout the world will celebrate Easter next month, following a church calendar that Christians have used for centuries. Many may also do something unique for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday and/or Good Friday. It should go without saying that Jesus’ substitutionary death for our sins and his victorious triumph over the grave should be our focus not only every Easter, but every week and every day. This is the Gospel of Christ, who is our life – the Gospel that we must continue in and never shift from, the Gospel in which we stand, the Gospel that strengthens us, the Gospel that has been entrusted to us, the Gospel for which we are called to suffer, the Gospel that is of first importance (Col. 1:23; 1 Cor. 15:1; Rom. 16:25; 1 Thess. 2:4; 2 Tim. 1:8; 1 Cor. 15:3). We have no access to God apart from Jesus Christ (Heb. 10:19-22). Our worship is only acceptable to God through him (1 Pet. 2:4-5). In addition, the hosts of heaven are caught up in worshiping the Lamb who was slain to ransom a people for God from “every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9; 5:12; 13:8). How can we NOT rehearse, celebrate and respond to the glorious Gospel in our worship?

But Easter Sunday and the events leading up to it provide numerous opportunities. First, it serves churches that don’t have a regular emphasis on the work of our Savior. While the glorious realities of the cross and resurrection can certainly be reduced to moralistic encouragements or some vague promise that “God can help you overcome your crosses, too,” there’s always the possibility that the earth-shattering news of the Gospel will bring new life to dead hearts. Second, when wisely led, special services give us another occasion to rehearse the realities upon which we base our lives. And what better reason to meet than to worship God for his kindness in send Jesus to save us from our sins? Third, for now many non-Christians still feel an obligation to attend church during the Christmas and Easter seasons. What a wonderful opportunity to clearly, succinctly, and lovingly preach the good news that God has sent a Savior to free us from the penalty and power of our sins.

So we sing. Last year, I did a post on Songs for the Resurrection, where I recommended numerous songs that referenced that theme. This year I wanted to make you aware of songs that Sovereign Grace writers have written that focus on the death and resurrection of the Savior. I pray they’ll be an encouragement to you. Clicking on the song title will take you to the lyrics, while clicking on the CD title will take you to the CD page.

Songs that Focus on the Crucifixion

Alas and Did My Savior Bleed (Songs for the Cross Centered Life)
At the Foot of the Cross (King of Grace)
By Your Wounds (Glory of the Ages)
For Me (Everlasting)
For Me, For You (Overflow 3)
Here is Love (All We Long to See)
How Deep (Valley of Vision)
I Look to the Cross (Love Beyond Degree)
I Love the Cross (Everlasting)
It Should Have Been Me (All For You)
My Savior’s Precious Blood (FUSE)
Perfect Lamb of God (Worship God Live)
The Glory of the Cross (King of Grace)
The Look (Songs for the Cross Centered Life)
The Precious Blood (Valley of Vision)
This Fathomless Love (Songs for the Cross Centered Life)
We Sing Your Mercies (All For You)
Only in the Cross (Songs for the Cross Centered Life)

Songs for Resurrection Sunday

Before the Throne of God Above (Songs for the Cross Centered Life)
“Behold him there the risen Lamb”
Behold the Lamb (King of Grace)
“But look again, the cross stands empty now and he is risen”
Greater Love (No Greater Love)
“You are the mighty warrior, Lord, who broke the back of hell”
Hallelujah, What a Savior (Upward: The Bob Kauflin Hymns Project)
“Lifted up was he to die, ‘It is finished’ was his cry, now in heav’n exalted high”
He is Risen (Overflow 1)
“Spread the glad truth far and wide, Christ once dead is now alive”
I Will Glory in My Redeemer (Songs for the Cross Centered Life)
“HIs triumph song I’ll ever sing”
Jesus Came to Earth (Awesome God)
“Jesus came to earth, he lived a perfect life, he died upon the cross, then he rose from the dead”
Lift Up Your Eyes (All We Long to See)
“God has exalted the Lamb who was slain”The Glories of Calvary (Songs for the Cross Centered Life)
“Your saints below join with your saints above, rejoicing in the Risen Lamb”
The Gospel Song (Songs for the Cross Centered Life)
“On the cross he took my sin, by his death I live again”

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8 Responses to Reflections on Easter (With Some Song Recommendations)

  1. Cass March 6, 2007 at 6:13 PM #

    Hey Bob,

    Easter is one of my favorite holidays, and yet it is the one that blows my mind the most. That he took all of that, when there was no assurance that I would give him my life in gratitude, upon his shoulders and died just…. There’s no words for it. Yet when he rose again, it’s the fact that He’s giving me, the greatest of sinners, a relationship with Him that means more than life here on earth. And He rose.
    I found myself singing through all the songs you had listed, and it was a great reminder of what worship can entail. And yet Jesus requires that every breathe be worshipful to him. Singing is just icing on the cake.
    Cass

  2. Jordan Fowler March 7, 2007 at 8:04 AM #

    Another stunning Rez song is one by Matt Maher that just got recorded by Michael Olson (on his album “Where Fear and Faith Collide).

    Creation brings an offering
    As autumn leaves turn to gold
    The trees bow down in highest praise
    Now made bare before Your throne
    The western sky an amber blaze
    At the end of the day
    For ev’rything must die
    To rise again

    The winter’s chill a bitter cold
    As sin and shame leave us to fall
    The clouds now full of newborn snow
    For grace to come and save us all
    Within the darkest night of man
    Was found Your saving hand
    For ev’rything must die
    To rise again

    On the third day behold the King
    On the third day death has no sting
    On the third day
    We’re forgiven and reconciled

    The earth it groans in labor pains
    As flowers stretch to heav’n above
    Your creatures sing the prophet’s song
    To be a gift of selfless love
    The sun is rising in the east
    And Your Spirit is unleashed
    For ev’rything must die
    To rise again

    And so we wait in joyful hope
    For You to come and take us home
    And so we join beneath the cross
    In suffering from whence we go
    The greatest act of sov’reign grace
    In the universe displayed
    For ev’rything must die
    To rise again

    On the third day the saints rejoice
    On the third day we lift our voice
    On the third day
    We’re united and glorified

    We have no connection to either guy. We just love it. Doing it live with full music video on Easter. You can hear a snippet and get a lead sheet at the CCLI songselect site.

  3. Bob Kauflin March 7, 2007 at 5:05 PM #

    Jordan,

    Thanks for the song recommendation. When I first read through the lyrics I was struck by the creativity and imagery in the lyrics. But it seems a little confusing to me, in this way. There is a tension between the refrain “everything must die to rise again” and what Jesus actually accomplished through his death and resurrection. In the 4th verse it seems as though Jesus’ work on the cross is simply following the general principle that everything must die to rise again. But the choruses are great.

  4. Carri March 9, 2007 at 10:40 AM #

    I have found some awesome theology packed, cross centered songs written by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. We do alot of them in our church in the UK. We are doing one of theirs called “The Power of the Cross” or (“O to see the dawn”) for Easter. I highly recommend looking into their stuff.
    Blessings!

  5. JD Longmire March 10, 2007 at 6:38 AM #

    Bob – thanks for this remarkable listing of music. As the first poster mentioned, we should all love to sing songs in gratitude of the amazing work of Christ, dying a substitutionary death so that His children, whom He knew from before creation, could be cleansed from their sin-debt, given a heart of flesh, the scales fall from their eyes and surrender to the Lord of Eternity is an awesome idea to consider.

    Too often, we get lost in the hustle bustle of “churchy” lives to take time to reflect on the work of the Cross – thank you for this timely reminder and resource.

    Praise be unto the Lamb that was slain!

  6. Carter March 13, 2007 at 8:42 PM #

    Almost all praise songs are appropriate for Easter as Christ’s resurrection is the center of our faith.

  7. edna March 19, 2008 at 7:28 PM #

    I have a few other songs that might be appropriate

    1.Because he lives

    2.Oh lamb of God

    3.Celebrate Jesus Celebrate

    4.Oh Happy Day

    5.Lord I lift your name on high

  8. Jacob Hantla March 22, 2008 at 5:38 PM #

    Great list. I made my own with a few of the same and some different at http://www.hantla.com/blog/pivot/entry.php?id=565

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