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—