Because He Lives!

Bill and Gloria Gaither are known for such songs as “He Touched Me,” “Something Beautiful,” “Let’s Just Praise the Lord” and “The King is coming” among others. However, among their over 400 songs is “Because He Lives.” Since 1970 its lyrics have encouraged many persons with hope and assurance.

The timing and occasion of “Because He Lives” was one characterized by “great turmoil” owing to the prevailing drug culture. And if that were not enough, there was the Vietnam War. It was at this time that Benjy, their first son, was born. With two girls already and now a son, the Gaithers wondered about the time. Uncertain and somewhat discouraged about what was happening during the period of the late 60’s and the beginning of the 70’s, they were inspired to pen the words: “How sweet to hold our new-born baby and feel the pride and joy he gives, but better still the calm assurance this child can face uncertain days because He lives.” So encouraged and reassured, they reasoned that because Christ lives, they and their children could face tomorrow. The same could be our experience given the difficulties and uncertainties of the present. We, too, “can face uncertain days [with some assurance] because Christ Jesus lives.”

Facing Uncertainties
We all love to know that there is someone who knows the way or understands a situation we are about to face. Knowing that we are not alone and that we have some indication as to how the matter is likely to turn out gives a sense of calm and assurance. We have that assurance in Christ. The writer of the book of Hebrews noted, "We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin" (Hebrews 4:15, The Message). Is it any wonder that in the next verse we are encouraged? “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16, NKJV).
Few would deny that these are the days that require the help of one who knows the times and what to do. That person is definitely Christ. As God, He knows everything. He is all-powerful and posses everything. In short, He is in control and stands ready to assist us in every situation. The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians argues: "And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins" (1 Corinthians 15:17, NKJV). Christ is alive and now intercedes on our behalf before His Father, and hence as Bill and Gloria Gaither, we can face the present and the future with certainty, “Because He lives.”

Christ’s Resurrection Gives Meaning
It is a known fact that if one can find meaning or a reason to live, he or she is likely to shun despair and suicide. It is when he perceives that there is no reason to live that he feels inclined to let go and calls it quits; but with Christ inspiring hope, one now possesses a different outlook. What once seemed dismal and gloomy now appears to be optimistic and promising. Although the situation is still likely to be the same, the difference is in the outlook, which was made possible by looking unto Christ. I speak from experience as one who rather see the bucket as “half full” instead of “half empty.” While the water level is the same, to say it is “half full” is more promising and hopeful than to say it is “half empty.” It is Christ who gives us hope; and the fact that He is alive punctuates our lives with positive vibes. Some times others who know not Christ look at Christians as being weird people; for they reason how can they be so cheerful or positive in trying circumstances such as during tough economic times? How can they still praise the Lord when they have been laid off or diagnosed with cancer? Truth told, it is not the Christian, it is Christ and His resurrection as Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote, “Because He Lives, we, too, can live.” Their ultimate and lasting joy is not tied to a given political party, a political figure or even an election outcome. It is rapped up in Jesus; and therefore, the current season referred to as Holy Week must translate into daily living with a sense of hope and much faith. Following this week, it must not be business as usual; for the reality of this God and what He means to this nation and to this world must now translate into responsible and positive living. If the reality of the cross and resurrection power of the tomb do not impact us to godly living, then we are likely to make of none effect the power of that event –the resurrection of Christ.

Ellen White, a noted author, in her work Desire of Ages, encourages all Christians to “spend a thoughtful hour in prayer each day on the life of Christ especially the closing scenes which take in the resurrection.” It goes without saying that what we read, meditate upon and muse over will have an “in kind” effect upon us. Therefore, I ask that you read about and meditate on the life of Christ; and accept His resurrection, recognizing that “Because He Lives, we can face [today and] tomorrow.”

Leonard A. Johnson, D. Min., President,
Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists
(Comprising the Bahamas, Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands)