343. Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands

1 Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands,
For our offenses given;
But now at God's right hand He stands
And brings us life from heaven;
Therefore let us joyful be
And sing to God right thankfully
Loud songs of allelujah!

2 No son of man could conquer death,
Such mischief sin had wrought us,
For innocence dwelt not on earth,
And therefore death had brought us
Into thraldom from of old
And ever grew more strong and bold
And kept us in its bondage.

3 But Jesus Christ, God's only Son,
To our low state descended,
The cause of death He has undone,
Its pow'r forever ended,
Ruined all its right and claim
And left it nothing but the name,
Its sting is lost forever.

4 It was a strange and dreadful strife
When Life and Death contended.
The victory remained with life,
The reign of death was ended;
Holy Scripture plainly saith
That death is swallowed up by death,
In vain it rages o'er us.

5 Here the true Paschal Lamb we see,
Whom God so freely gave us;
He died on the accursed tree--
So strong His love--to save us.
See, His blood doth mark our door;
Faith points to it, death passes o'er,
And Satan cannot harm us.

6 So let us keep the festival
Whereto the Lord invites us;
Christ is Himself the Joy of all,
The Sun that warms and lights us.
By His grace He doth impart
Eternal sunshine to the heart;
The night of sin is ended.

7 Then let us feast this Easter Day
On Christ, the Bread of heaven;
The Word of Grace hath purged away
The old and evil leaven.
Christ alone our souls will feed,
He is our meat and drink indeed;
Faith lives upon no other.

Text Information
First Line: Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands
Title: Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands
German Title: Christ lag in Tobesbanden
Author: M. Luther, 1483-1546
Translator: R. Massie, 1800-87
Meter: 87 87 78 74
Language: English
Publication Date: 1996
Topic: Resurrection
Tune Information
Meter: 87 87 78 74
Key: c minor
Source: Latin melody, c. 1100, adapt.

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