|I am a wife and a mother. It was in the middle of the upheaval in the sixties that we were expecting our third baby. The drug culture was in full swing, existential thought had obviously saturated every area of our American thought, the cities were seething with racial tension, and the God-is-dead pronouncement had infiltrated its way all through our educational system.
On the personal front, Bill and I were going through one of the most difficult times in our lives. Bill had been discouraged and physically exhausted by a bout with mononucleosis, and in that weakened condition had little reserve to fight the psychological battle brought on by some external family problems. Someone whom we had cared about a great deal had hurled some accusations at us and at the Fellowship of Believers and at the whole idea of the existence of God.
It was on New Year’s Eve that I sat alone in the darkness and quiet of our living room, thinking about the world and our country and Bill’s discouragement and the family problems—and about our baby yet unborn. Who in their right mind would bring a child into a world like this? I thought, the world is so evil. Influences beyond our control are so strong. What will happen to this child?
I can’t quite explain what happened at that moment, but suddenly I felt released from it all. The panic that had begun to build inside was gently dispelled by a reassuring presence that engulfed my life and drew my attention.
Gradually, the fear left and the joy began to return. I knew I could have that baby and face the future with optimism and trust. It was the Resurrection affirming itself in our lives once again. It was LIFE conquering death in the regularity of my day.
The purpose of this blog is a commentary of sort related to the song title above. Gloria Gaither wrote the song when she and her family found themselves in dire circumstances at one point in their lives. Many of you who are familiar with the lyrics will agree that it is a song of comfort and hope especially during times of uncertainty. We are going to carefully examine the lyrics and affirm its most profound and spiritual message. However, before we do that, a statement from Gloria Gaither has been provided below about the origin of the song.
Many of us can relate to the preceding. Maybe not the same experiences but close enough. Some might have lost loved ones and others may have been hurt time and again by people they have trusted. Nevertheless, the following lyrics, adopted as my anthem provide the assurance that God carries us every step of the way.
|Because He Lives
God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus,
He came to love, heal, and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.
Because He lives I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives all fear is gone;
because I know He holds the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.
How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride, and joy He gives;
but greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.
And then one day I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then as death gives way to victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory and
I’ll know he lives.
Let us look at the first four words of the first verse which says, God sent His Son. Why did God send His Son? It is written, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John Ch. 3 v. 16). The operative word that encapsulates the essence of God in the preceding is love. He sent His son because of the love He has for mankind. His love is so profound that He sacrificed His son so we could live. They called Him Jesus. Jesus is prophesied, promised and preached from Genesis to Revelation. Initially prophesied by Almighty God as the Seed that would bruise the head of the serpent (Gen. Ch. 3 v. 15). He was also prophesied as The Son of Promise through Abraham (Gen. Ch. 22 v. 18) and preached from Acts of The Apostles and even today.
That name Jesus, “the name which is above every name…” (Philippians Ch. 2 v. 9). There are a multitude of names that are called upon and worshiped by people of various religions. However, “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and of those on earth and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (vs. 10-11).
He came to love, heal and forgive. Jesus, being the epitome of His Father, came to mankind with His heart overflowing with agape love (pronounced ah-gap-ay) or unconditional love. A love so pure and holy, that it compelled Him to look beyond our sinful nature with expressions of love, healings and forgiveness. The entire New Testament speaks of this. He lived and died to buy my (our) pardon. Sacrificing Himself for sinful, undeserving man was an extremely daunting task. Nevertheless, Jesus said, “…for this purpose I came…” (John Ch. 12 v. 27). An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives. Halleluiah! Chapter 28 of Matthew’s account speaks of two women, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph (Ch. 27 v. 56) visiting the tomb where they met with an angel who informed them “He is not here; for He is risen…”
The chorus avows to the assurance echoed throughout the Holy Scriptures that tomorrow has been taken care of and we can face all our tomorrows without fear. “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matt. Ch. 6 v. 26).
The second verse — How sweet to hold a newborn baby and feel the pride and joy he gives. Babies are adorable, blessings from God. However, some are born into unfavorable conditions. Nevertheless, Jehovah God said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jeremiah Ch. 1 v. 5). A pronouncement like that made by Almighty God Himself is enough for us to sing out loud but greater still the calm assurance, this child can face uncertain days because He lives. Halleluiah! I have heard countless testimonies from fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord about repeated childhood abuse, days met with hunger and other unfortunate childhood events. However, the good news preached to them about our risen Lord has been a beacon of hope which encouraged them to face uncertain days knowing “God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians, Ch. 4 v. 19).
The final verse speaks of the end of life’s journey here on earth. When my nephew was five years old I asked him if he wanted to go to heaven, he responded “No!” I asked, “Why not?” He replied, “Because I have to die first.” I was taken aback by his answer because as far as I was concerned everyone wanted to go to heaven; at least those who believe there is one. Nevertheless, his response had me thinking about people’s perception of death. Steve Jobs once said, “Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die to get there.” Saints, unless the rapture occurs during our lifetime (Luke Ch.17 vs.34 – 36), physical death is inevitable. However, Psalm, Ch. 116 v. 15 says, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” Christ’s disciples eagerly awaited death because their desire was to be with their Lord once again for He told them, “Where I am, there you may be also” (John Ch. 14 v. 3). After being witnesses to His Ascension into heaven, they knew He was alive and they wanted to be where He was. Paul, in 2 Corinthians, Ch. 5 v. 8, says “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
Saints, our entire Christian well-being is in knowing that we serve the true and living Almighty God, who sent His son Jesus, the Christ, who became sin, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2Cor. Ch. 5 v.21) and died for us. Then He rose again, is seated at the right hand of His Father, “Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God” (Luke Ch. 22 v. 69); “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person and upholding all things by the word of His power when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. Ch. 1 v. 3); “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Ch. 8 v. 1) and we in Him, “And raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. Ch. 2 v. 6). Shout Halleluiah! We can face all our tomorrows because our Lord and Savior lives.
Almighty God, thank You for Your Son, Jesus, our resurrected Lord and Savior, in whom we have all things and through whom we can do all things because He is our strength. Our life in Him is assured because He is Life in us. Amen.
Blessings to all of you.
All scripture was taken from the New King James Version