A Battle Cry for Easter: “The Strife is O’er, the battle done.”

1 Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The strife is o’er, the battle done;
the victory of life is won;
the song of triumph has begun.

2 The powers of death have done their worst,
but Christ their legions has dispersed.
Let shouts of holy joy outburst.

3 The three sad days are quickly sped;
he rises glorious from the dead.
All glory to our risen Head.

4 He closed the yawning gates of hell;
the bars from heaven’s high portals fell.
Let hymns of praise his triumph tell.

5 Lord, by the stripes which wounded thee,
from death’s dread sting thy servants free,
that we may live and sing to thee.

Easter is no ordinary religious celebration. It is a battle victory. Cute bunnies, little kids in Easter dresses and bowties, and jelly beans have their way of softening the day; but it’s really important for us to remember that Easter is about death and life. Easter is about a battle.

This hymn reminds us of the fight. Jesus wins victory over death on Easter as he walks freely from the tomb. The enemy is strong and powerful. No human being has yet been able to defeat death though we’ve been trying for generations. We can’t stop it. We can’t over turn it when it happens. We can’t even slow it down. Death is a powerful enemy against humanity. Jesus is powerfuller. (I know that’s not a word, but it will make you stop and think about just how powerful Jesus is that he can defeat our greatest enemy: death)

Enjoy what candy is left in your Easter baskets today. Smell some tulips or lilies. Hang up your Easter finest. But, never forget that Easter is about a battle that Jesus won over your greatest enemy. Alleluia!

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