“As Light From Darkness Once Was Spoke”: A Resurrection Hymn

It’s been good for my soul in recent years to observe Easter not just as a day, but as a whole season. Sustained focus on the resurrection, and on the Lordship of the risen Christ over all of creation, brings me a freshness which is fitting for the time of year as spring hits its stride and summer approaches.

In that spirit, I wanted to share an Easter hymn. I wrote the bulk of this (along with an accompanying melody) several years ago, on an Easter Sunday, sat at the upright mahogany piano at my in-laws’ house. I can’t remember where I read it or who said it now (if you know, please tell me!), but a line from somene had been rattling around my head to the effect that it can offend the exegetical sensibilities of many to find resurrection in Genesis 1, but by gum it’s there. That got me thinking about how, when we speak of Christ’s prefigurement in the Old Testament (which we don’t do nearly enough), we often confine ourselves to shadows of the cross and omit shadows of the resurrection. How, I began to wonder, can we trace the foreshadowing of the resurrection all through the Old Testament?

From there, most of the hymn came quite quickly, though I’ve tinkered with the details for years. My aim was to cover the sweep of the key Old Testament eras – Genesis, the Exodus, the Law, the Wilderness and Conquest, the Kingdom era, and the Exile, before bringing things to bear upon the post-resurrection Church. Pleasingly, that’s made for seven verses.

So I hope this is at least a small help in rejoicing in the hope of the resurrection this Eastertide.


As Light From Darkness Once Was Spoke

As light from darkness once was spoke,
so Christ, our Christ, is risen;
as Adam to his bride awoke,
so Christ, our Christ, is risen.
As branch from judgement’s flood was claimed,
as Isaac from the barren came,
as Joseph, though betrayed, did reign,
so Christ, our Christ, is risen.

As Moses was from Pharaoh kept,
so Christ, our Christ, is risen;
as hope survived though mothers wept,
so Christ, our Christ, is risen.
As Israel from Death’s Plague were saved,
as sons were freed from years as slaves,
as nation from the waters raised,
so Christ, our Christ, is risen.

As Aaron from the ark returned,
so Christ, our Christ, is risen;
as smoke up from the offerings burned,
so Christ, our Christ, is risen.
As Great High Priests by blood claimed grace,
as they bore us to holy space,
as they declared God’s shining face,
so Christ, our Christ, is risen.

As Joshua through Jordan passed,
so Christ, our Christ is risen;
as he walked Canaan’s land at last,
so Christ, our Christ, is risen.
As he led all God’s people in,
as he delivered them from sin,
as he brought rest from wandering,
so Christ, our Christ, is risen.

As David from the valley rose,
so Christ, our Christ, is risen;
as by God’s hand he crushed his foes,
so Christ, our Christ, is risen.
As through his suff’ring glory came,
as he sat down, God’s king, to reign,
as all the nations feared his name,
so Christ, our Christ, is risen!

As Daniel from the lions’ jaws,
so Christ, our Christ, is risen;
as Esther from the scheming law,
so Christ, our Christ is risen.
As good news coming through the hills,
as Judah brought from exile’s guilt,
as broken temple was rebuilt,
so Christ, our Christ is risen.

As Jesus, our Lord, rose in pow’r,
so we, yes we, are risen;
as we are his and he is ours,
so we, yes we, are risen.
As after firstfruits harvest comes,
as after firstborn siblings run,
as head and body move as one,
so we, will we, be risen.

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Resembled

An original poem by Rhys Laverty

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