5 Modern Hymns We Love to Sing for Easter / Passion Week

Tuesday I wrote about 5 Traditional Hymns we love to sing for Easter, so today I am writing about 5 modern hymns/songs we love to sing for Easter. There are many others that could be included, but these are songs we have gravitated to year after year.

5. Because He Lives

This Bill Gaither song definitely has a country gospel feel to it, so it fits our rural Missouri church quite well. It does not perform any lyrical gymnastics, but it manages to capture great truths with simple, sincere words. The first verse covers the entirety of the gospel. The second verse stems from the personal experience of God’s comfort and peace during a tumultuous time when Bill and Gloria were expecting their 3rd child. The last verse deals with the reality that we must all die, but we have hope that there is life beyond the grave Because He 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

Words and Music by Bill and Gloria Gaither

4. The Look

So this one is cheating a little bit since it was originally written by John Newton. But it was “updated” in 2001 by Bob Kauflin of Sovereign Grace Music. By imagining being there at the cross, looking at the Savior, we see His death was an act of love so that we might have forgiveness of sins.

Thus while His death my sin displays
For all the world to view
Such is the mystery of grace
It seals my pardon too
With pleasing grief and mournful joy
My spirit now is filled
That I should such a life destroy
Yet live by Him I killed

Words by John Newton and Bob Kauflin, music by Bob Kauflin

3. Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery

This is one of those hymns that moves us through the gospel account, verse by verse. The lyrics enrich the narrative of the gospel with theological terms and imagery. Each act of the life of Christ, from birth to sinless life to death to resurrection, is a mystery we are invited to contemplate. Not only is this a great doctrinal song, its simple melody is easy to learn and sing by any congregation.

Come behold the wondrous mystery;
slain by death the God of life.
But no grave could e’er restrain Him;
praise the Lord; He is alive!

What a foretaste of deliverance;
how unwavering our hope.
Christ in power resurrected
as will we be when he comes.

Matt Boswell, Michael Bleeker, and Matt Papa

2. In Christ Alone

I really can’t decide between the order of these last 2 songs. “In Christ Alone” was penned by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. Its popularity is a large source of the influence the Getty’s have in modern hymn-writing (for which I am grateful!). This is another one that moves us through the entire gospel story, with the 4th verse dedicated completely to the believer’s confidence in final victory. Personally, it’s hard for me not to raise my hands in worship and sense the grace of God when singing “And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me!”

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

1. The Power of the Cross

This song focuses on what the cross accomplished. Woven into the lyrics are both the narrative account of Christ’s journey to the cross and the agony he bore along with the spiritual truths of the gospel. The chorus focuses on that supremely sacrificial substitution of the righteous for the guilty:

This, the pow’r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Stuart Townend and Keith Getty

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