Easter Song of the Day: “Risen Indeed”

By

If you called my dad right now, on Easter Sunday, he wouldn’t say hello when he picked up the phone. He’d say, “He is risen,” and he’d sit there waiting on the phone for the proper reply before you could talk. “He is risen, indeed,” you’d blurt, awkardly, then he’d laugh a preacherly laugh. It’s something the early Christians said to each other, and two thousand years later we’re still saying it. Or, my dad is. I used to think it was hokey, but the older I get the more I wonder if we couldn’t all use a little more hokeyness in our lives.

The other day I tweeted a Martin Luther quote about the resurrection: “Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime,” and some guy tweeted back, “Show me one person who’s been reserected [sic], MEDICAL verification required, and we’ll talk.” I’m not an apologist, but something tells me no amount of arguing would convince this guy of a thing. I appreciate that he’s a guy after the answers (or, hopefully he is)–but it’s not proof he needs. It’s wonder. Or, if you like, faith.

But the early Christians, the ones who greeted each other like my dad will when I call him today, didn’t need faith to believe Christ’s resurrection like I do. They had medical verification. They saw him. They ate fish with him. They walked and talked with the man who just a week ago was strung up like a criminal and dead as a doornail. For them it wasn’t blind faith. And that’s why the word spread like wildfire. Hundreds and hundreds of people laid eyes on the one human being since the beginning of time who kicked down Death’s door and made it out alive again.

C.S. Lewis: “The Resurrection is the central theme in every Christian sermon reported in the Acts. The Resurrection and its consequences were the ‘gospel’ or good news which the Christian brought; what we call the ‘gospels’, the narratives of Our Lord’s life and death, were composed later for the benefit of those who had already accepted the gospel. They were in no sense the basis of Christianity: they were written for those already converted. The miracles of the Resurrection, and the theology of that miracle, comes first: the biography comes later as a comment on it. Nothing could be more unhistorical than to pick out selected sayings of Christ from the gospels and to regard those as the datum and the rest of the New Testament as a construction upon it. The first fact in the history of Christendom is a number of people who say they have seen the Resurrection.”

I long to see him face-to-face. I long to put my hand in his side, and touch the scars. I want to thank him and to worship him without this confounded veil between us. Just fighting to believe can make you weary, and faith is hard to hold. But we are given moments of reprieve. Easter comes around and the pews are full of every-Sunday sinners and once-in-a-blue-moon saints. The ice melts. The daffodils glow like little suns. We remember the earth-shaking fact of the resurrection of Jesus, and hope comes galloping in from the east, trumpeting the tune of victory.

Today, when I walked the hill and saw the buds on the tulip poplar spreading out their little hands, I believed it. When I sat in the dark during the Good Friday service and sang “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” with a roomful of saints who, astonishingly, forsook whatever else they could have been doing to drive across town to mourn the murder of Christ–I believed it. And now, as I write this on Easter morning, when I think of the pain and death and sorrow that surrounds me and my community, I believe it, because I have seen a light the shadow cannot touch. I have seen healing, and unexplainable faith; I have seen quiet mercy stop evil in its tracks.

Demand proof if you want. Proof has its place, as it did for the early Christians. But blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe. The stories are true.

Let wonder infect you.

———————————–

Here’s an Easter song I wrote last year for the Resurrection Letters tour. It’s the only recording we have, and I must once again apologize for my crybaby tendencies. When this was recorded the song was only about a week old, so I got emotional. It won’t be on Counting Stars because I’m saving it for Resurrection Letters, Vol. I. I hope your Easter Sunday is a good one.


RISEN INDEED

And so the winter dies with a blast of icy wind
Like a mournful cry—it’s giving up the ghost again
Another sheet of snow melts away to gold and green
Just look at Peter go, he’s racing to the tomb to see

Where has my Jesus gone?
He is not dead; he is risen, risen indeed

And now the flowers bloom like a song of freedom
Behold the earth is new, if only for the season
And so the seed that died for you becomes a seedling
Just put your hand into the wound that bought your healing

And let your heart believe
He is not dead; he is risen, risen indeed

And the rain will fall on the furrow
It immerses the earth in sorrow
Mary, the sun will rise again
Mary, the sun will rise again
Daughter, listen, listen
Daughter, listen
He speaks your name

Father Abraham could not have dreamed of this
Could never understand the end of all those promises
How all the pieces fit, every star and grain of sand
Is safely hid in Jesus’ hand

Let every tongue confess
He is not dead; he is risen, risen indeed

Mary, the sun will rise again
Daughter, listen, listen
Daughter, listen, he speaks your name.

As a singer-songwriter and recording artist, Andrew has released more than ten records over the past fifteen years. His music has earned him a reputation for writing songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. He has also followed his gifts into the realm of publishing. His books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga.


71 Comments

  1. Hans

    Andrew, thank you so much. As a musician, a writer, a creator made in God’s image, your songs minister encouragement, life, and hope to me in ways that I cannot express. The Spirit moves in and through you, brother. He IS risen, indeed!

  2. Beth Gillespie

    My husband and I read this to our two children (3year old and 4months old) before getting up for the day. What a glorious way to fix our eyes upon our Lord on this morning.
    The song is great, we listen to Resurrection Letters: Vol2 at least once a week, our 3 year old son is starting to sing along as well.
    A lot Christian songwriters seem write songs when faith is strong, when life is good, you write songs that we can sing the other 75% of the time when faith is a battle, when doubts cloud our vision, and when our spirits are low. And somehow, crying out to our Invisible God or crying out Hosanna, Lord Save Us gives us a closer dependance on Christ.
    Thanks for all you do, our family are brought nearer to Christ through your writing.

  3. Duane

    Thanks for being vulnerable Andrew. Sometimes, being “polished” on the outside doesn’t always cut it. Great song. He is risen, indeed!

  4. JJ

    Amen and amen.

    No need to apologize for your “crybaby tendencies”. The Violet Burning’s “The Killing” brings me to a weeping mess every time I hear it. A dozen or more of your songs do that too, like High Noon, Hosea and No More Faith are a few. I think my heart, even at its very hardest, can be very deeply affected by Truth in a song. There’s something about Biblical Truth and music together that can take a normally stable man and turn him into a blubbering mess. And I have no problem with that. 🙂

  5. Ryan

    This is why I long for the release of Resurrection Letters Vol. 1!

    Thanks Andrew for another song from the heart and from the Word. Amen!

  6. Tim Black

    Wonderful song, Andrew. Great way to start my Easter morning! I love the section about Abraham’s promise coming into fruition; we are truly blessed by the Ultimate Seed, and He can now save to the uttermost as our Great High Priest.

  7. Leah

    Great song, Andrew – thanks for the great reminder that HE IS RISEN!!!! I love Easter Sunday 🙂 “I am the Resurrection and the Life” !! Amen! 🙂 Blessed Easter to you and your family xxx

  8. rus

    I joined you in weeping with this song.
    Thank you very much for posting it. It was just what I needed on a hard morning.

  9. Julie Brown

    I do not generally have “cry baby tendencies” but you can bet there are tears now! I love what SD Smith said, “wrecked in joy.” exactly! it is all simply too good to be untrue!

  10. Margret

    Yes, in every sense of the word, yes!

    Jesus, our Lord and Savior, is alive and well. He conquered death and the grave and being the Word made flesh, which makes all the other stories in the Bible true, real, and believable. It’s what I’ve tried to convey in every story I write: Love is alive, so no matter what happens—and a lot of stuff does—we can find ourselves in those pages, and we can hear Him calling our names.

    All of Heaven’s best to you, yours, and the entire family of God: those who already know they’re accepted and those who have yet to find out.

    Margret

  11. Paula KM

    Thank you for your obedience and submission to the overwhelming awareness of God His Spirit has put in you. What a gift not only to you but through to the rest of us. He IS Risen INDEED. In you, in me and in all who by faith call on His Name. It floors me (literally…face down) that God waits for us, longs for each of us, to turn our hearts and minds to Him and trust Him with everything we are and have. No pre-cleaning needed. He just asks us to walk, kneel, crawl, or allow ourselves to be carried under the Living Waterfall of His Life-giving Love. Jesus’ blood was shed for every single sin. there is not one exception. not even mine. Grace abounds! Happy Resurrection Day!

  12. Christopher

    God bless you for this, Andrew. It was so beautifully said. I had a wonderful Easter morning by the way and this just made it even better. I love your music too and can’t wait for the new album.

  13. Jesse D

    Andrew, it’s good to know that your songs make you cry, too. Maybe it’s that element that reduces to often to tears when I listen to your songs. You have a way of sharing the Word that pierces my heart with its beauty.

  14. Chris

    The sweetness of the memory yet to be made when Jesus says our name just like He did with Mary. There is no Goodness like the Risen Saviour.

  15. Tom

    Thanks for that song. It brought tears to my eyes as I listened. The happy kind of tears though. He is risen!

  16. Lindsey A.

    Andrew, thank you so much for sharing that beautiful song. You are a gifted lyricist, and I thank God for your ability to put words to what my heart yearns to say. I hope you and your family have a blessed Easter! He is risen, indeed!

  17. Alyssa

    I love how God can create kinship and mutual joy among brothers and sisters in Christ who have never met. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your songs so that we can all partake of them together and be edified by each other. I cannot wait to share eternal fellowship with all of you folks with whom I walk this earth and yet will not meet upon it.

    Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. He is risen!

  18. Paula Shaw

    Thank you, Andrew. I absolutely LOVE this song. Don’t apologize for crying! When I listened to this song the first time, without knowing the place you spoke about where you cried, I started weeping in the very same place! So see, it’s not just you! I think it’s probably God’s Spirit in each of our hearts testifying to the truth of what you were singing.

    The Lord is risen! The Lord is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

  19. Dieta

    The Rabbit Room is a daily part of the start of most every day for me-but not today. Today was a rush to get to worship to rehearse with the choir and then a day filled with brunches and Easter egg hunts for friends kids that are much smaller than mine are now. Then I came home and started the Easter feast for the Duncan 5 complete with bunny cake. THEN I sat down to check in with the RR. What a perfect meditation and song to conclude this blessed Easter Day. Thank you, my friend. You are a gift.

  20. Zach M

    Thanks for sharing, and letting us hear the emotion that comes out when singing songs of truth. This morning I couldn’t hold back my tears singing “In Christ Alone”, and I remember the same thing happening on many of your own songs at the right moment and time. What a great message you share with all of us. I can’t wait for Resurrection Letters Vol 1!!

  21. sissy Boone

    Thank you Andrew! What a special gift this Easter to once again benefit from the beauty of your craft! Don’t EVER stop writing and recording!

  22. Bryan

    Recently I spent a week in various parts of Guatemala working with an organization called Joni and Friends (Wheels for the World). Our final wheelchair distribution was in Flores and one of the conditions in our working environment usually consisted of the locals playing copious amount of spanish praise and worship music over a pa system.

    On the last day, out of the blue I hear a break in the music and the beginning to Canaan Bound. What followed was the entire Love and Thunder cd. Hugh? It was the strangest thing seeing how once the album ended it went back to spanish music. Looked at my wife, told her to listen to what was playing, and we both got a good laugh!

  23. Peter B

    As a serial doubter, I don’t demand proof; I BEG for it, to remind my poor forgetful soul that Christ is risen and at work. Thank you for continuing to offer up reminders of that proof wherever it is found.

  24. JJ

    Btw, is there anything in print by S.D. Smith? I see mention of The Fledge Chronicles and an upcoming novel on his blog but nothing about if they were actually published or not.

  25. josh Williams

    The guy that wanted to have “proof” of someone who’s been resurrected is obviously from a long tradition of people who want Christians to explain their faith in a way that takes faith out of the equation…

  26. Leanore

    I first listened to this on Monday (with my daughter laughing at me sitting with headphones and singing along). Today I woke up with it in my head, a gift to battle the demons of the day. The words go deep but the piano drives it even further, thanks to Ben for such a tender styling. Please tell us the album will be released before next Easter season.

  27. lyndsay

    just now heard this. i so needed to hear this tonight. thanks for posting it.

    btw – little yet-to-be-born slaten was perfectly asleep until this song started. he danced the whole way through it. does that make him your youngest fan?

  28. Erica

    You dont have crybaby tendencies…it is the effect of the Holy Spirit!!! I listened to this song once and then woke the next day with it in my mind and its stayed with me…”he is risen, risen indeed”. Thank you for sharing!! 🙂

  29. Emily

    Just heard this song at a recent concert, in Louisville, KY. It is such a blessing, and a faithful reminder of the Gospel. Thank you! Are there any thoughts of recording it soon??

  30. Nathaniel Miller

    This article is two years old today, but it’s one to which I keep returning. It’s one of the most beautiful reminders of the resurrection that I have ever read or heard. The song comes back to me every spring when the trees, flowers, and grass starts bursting back to life. Can’t wait for the day when we do as well.

  31. carrie luke

    I just saw this in a retweet this morning! This is my FAVORITE Easter song….EVER, and I only have a recording of it on my phone from Andrew singing it at a Charlotte show last month. I’m SO happy to know it’s here w/ what I am sure is Ben on the accordion. This song makes me cry EVERYTIME I hear it. From the first moment I heard it last year, I knew I was the “daughter” whose name was known by the risen Christ. Thank you SO much Andrew! He is Risen Indeed!

  32. DMcDaniel

    Andrew does it again. He writes as beautifully as he sings. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

  33. Tenika Dye

    Just read this post and listened to the song for the first time. Please never apologize for “crybaby tendencies”. My heart was already tender from the sacedness of the day. I just sat and had my on “crybaby” moment and worshipped me Lord. Thank You for this song!

  34. Carrie

    On Easter Sunday morning last year, my boss was in the hospital dying of cancer. Her sister came into the room and greeted her, “He is risen.” She replied, “He is risen, indeed.” Then, a moment later, she said, “It’s Resurrection Day and my boots are in the closet.” She saw Jesus that very night, with no confounded veil between them.

    Thanks for this song, AP. Thanks for these words, written almost three years ago, which I’m discovering today. I saw snowdrops for the first time this year a few days ago. And, like I do every spring, I’m discovering all over again that I believe in Resurrection and the Life, and though I will die, yet will I live.

  35. Loren

    So thankful that Carrie Luke posted this today on the Hutchmoot page. It’s one I’ll need to revisit a lot. That quote of C. S. Lewis hit me with truth I hadn’t pondered much before.

  36. carrie luke

    I am sitting in Barnes and Noble w/ tears streaming down my face listening to this song yet again. i wish I could get a copy of it somehow for the women’s retreat I am speaking at next weekend. We are ending Sunday with the crucifixion/resurrection story. I have put so many hours of study into this weekend and am undone by how much Jesus loves me and speaks my name. I just don’t understand how it can be so and am glad His love is not based on my ability to grasp it mentally. I hope all he ladies will also come to hear Him speak their names.

    Thank you Andrew. Peace Be With You.

  37. carrie luke

    When all else fails to silence my over crowded and loud mind, this song can always quiet it just enough for me to hear Him speak my name. Thank you AP.:)

  38. Mamie Rose

    I can’t believe I haven’t found this gem of a song until now. Thank you so much for sharing even though the recording isn’t “perfect” (or whatever that word means.) This song has blessed me today and I’m sure I’ll keep it on repeat from here on out. Thank you for speaking the beauty of this truth. May it make us all choke up in wonder and gratitude.

  39. Scott

    I’m so glad i found this! Its been stuck in my head ever since the stageit concert on Tuesday. Such a beautiful way of expressing the beauty of the gospel and the ressurection. This will definitely be playing on repeat here in the next couple of weeks.
    Thanks Andrew for this beuatiful song and for doing stageit concerts so us Californians can enjoy your music! God bless.

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