Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
A Blessed and Happy Easter to you all. Here is Martin Luther’s magnificent Easter hymn: Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands.
Thanks to Pastor Steve Starke for sending me the text of this hymn as it is going to appear in Lutheran Service Book, which has done a very fine job restoring the "missing" verses that were, for whatever reason, not included in the Luthean Worship version of the hymn. They are once more included and the translation improved.
Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands
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 alleluia!
No son of man could conquer death,
Such ruin sin had wrought us.
No innocence was found on earth,
And therefore death had brought us
Into bondage from of old
And ever grew more strong and bold
And held us as its captive.
Christ Jesus, God’s own Son, came down,
His people to deliver;
Destroying sin, He took the crown
From Death’s pale brow forever:
Stripped of pow’r, no more he reigns;
An empty form alone remains;
His sting is lost forever.
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,
Its sting is lost forever.
Here the true Paschal Lamb we see,
Whom God so freely gave us;
He died on the accursèd tree—
So strong His love—to save us.
See, His blood now marks our door;
Faith points to it; death passes o’er,
And Satan cannot harm us.
So let us keep the festival
To which the Lord invites us;
Christ is Himself the joy of all,
The sun that warms and light us.
Now His grace to us imparts
Eternal sunshine to our hearts;
The night of sin is ended.
Then let us feast this Easter Day
On Christ, the bread of heaven;
The Word of grace has 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!