Let's look at 12 contemporary Christian songs to prepare your hearts as you celebrate Christ's glorious resurrection!
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/SplashofPhotography
1. Death Was Arrested by North Point InsideOut ft. Seth Condrey
This has to be one of my favorite Easter songs. Just imagine: On the first Easter, God placed death under arrest. Jesus paid our ransom. God canceled our debt. We were freed—once and for all.
Seth Condrey’s strong, soft voice is perfect for this deeply touching song. I particularly love the part after Seth sings: “Our savior displayed on a criminal’s cross/Darkness rejoiced as though heaven had lost.” Following a long, dramatic pause, he emerges from the darkness and triumphantly proclaims: “But then Jesus arose with our freedom in hand/That’s when death was arrested and my life began!” What a rockstar moment. A powerful, feel-good song, “Death was Arrested” reiterates the deeper meaning and significance of Easter.
Reflecting on the making of the song, songwriter Paul Taylor Smith said: “We realized the potential and thought maybe our song could redefine what it means to trust Jesus. We soon saw that it could not only redefine spiritual death but also physical death, because death cannot separate us from the love of God. We wanted to communicate that salvation is much more than simply praying a prayer, but rather it is complete transformation. We started to think about all the things that occur when we trust Jesus.”
2. RATTLE! by Elevation Worship
Upbeat and exciting, this song, appropriately called “RATTLE!”, is itself an Easter celebration. The first verse epitomizes the hope we have because of the risen Jesus: “Saturday was silent/Surely it was through/But since when has impossible/Ever stopped You/Friday’s disappointment/Is Sunday’s empty tomb/Since when has impossible/Ever stopped You.”
Later, in the bridge, the lyrics declare: “My God is able to save/And deliver and heal/And restore anything that He wants to/Just ask the man/Who was thrown/On the bones of Elisha/If there’s anything that He can’t do.” Here, the song alludes to a scene from Ezekiel that prefigures the resurrection of Jesus.
In Ezekiel 37, God brings the prophet Ezekiel to a valley that is full of dry bones. The Lord then asks Ezekiel if the bones in the valley can live, and Ezekiel replies: “Lord, you alone know.” God consequently tells Ezekiel to prophesy over the bones and say: “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 37:4-6, NIV).
“RATTLE!” is ultimately a powerful reminder that all things—even things that seem utterly impossible, like restoring dry bones to life—are possible with God.
3. Lamb of God by Vertical Worship
The phrase “Lamb of God” has always moved me. Just imagine our Savior as an innocent lamb, pure and sinless, offering Himself up as a sacrifice on our behalf. Performed with immense heart and passion, “Lamb of God” captures the wonder of Jesus’ atoning death: “You came from heaven’s throne/Acquainted with our sorrow/To trade the debt we owed/Your suffering for our freedom.” You won’t stop smiling after you hear this song—and it’s a perfect way to kickstart your Easter festivities.
4. Living Hope by Phil Wickham
This hit song gorgeously brings to life the beautiful words from 1 Peter 1:3: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (NIV).
Feel encouraged and uplifted as you listen to the breathtaking music and the meaningful lyrics of this wonderful Easter song. I think this verse is awesome: “Then came the morning that sealed the promise/Your buried body began to breathe/Out of the silence, the roaring lion/Declared the grave has no claim on me!”
5. Glorious Day by Passion
This song will make you rise to your feet with its catchy, upbeat chorus: “You called my name/And I ran out of that grave!/Out of the darkness/Into Your glorious day!” A befitting ode to the triumph of the resurrection, “Glorious Day” will remind everyone listening that Easter is the celebration of celebrations—the holiday that marks that glorious day in history when Jesus conquered death and won our place in eternity!
6. I Will Rise by Chris Tomlin
No contemporary Christian playlist is complete without a Chris Tomlin number. “I Will Rise” is a soothing, hopeful song that describes the power of resurrection that we all have within us. I am sure you will be comforted and inspired as you listen to Chris croon of the wonder of Easter. You’ll find yourself singing along to the uplifting chorus all day: “And I will rise when He calls my name/No more sorrow, no more pain/I will rise on eagles’ wings/Before my God fall on my knees/And rise/I will rise!”
Photo Credit: ©Sparrowstock/David Clark
7. Resurrecting by Elevation Worship
A major takeaway from this song is that resurrection is a lifelong process. We are all “resurrecting”—that is, each and every one of us is in a lifelong process of being made new in Jesus. The chorus of this upbeat song is incredibly catchy and inspiring and will boost your mood: “By Your spirit I will rise/From the ashes of defeat/The resurrected King, is resurrecting me/In Your name I come alive/To declare Your victory/The resurrected King, is resurrecting me!”
8. Behold The Lamb by Passion
Passion outdoes itself with this worshipful Easter song. A beautiful meditation on the magnitude of Jesus’s sacrifice, “Behold the Lamb” is a perfect addition to your Easter playlist. I just love this verse: “See Him there, the great I Am/A crown of thorns upon His head/The Father’s heart displayed for us/Oh God, we thank You for the cross/Lifted up on Calvary’s hill/We cursed Your name and even still/You bore our shame and paid the cost/Oh God, we thank You for the cross.”
9. My Victory by Crowder
Isn’t it amazing how the cross—a horrible instrument of torture—ended up becoming the world’s greatest symbol of victory? Contemporary Christian singer David Crowder articulates the glorious irony of the cross in this famous song, appropriately called “My Victory.” Its chorus sums it up perfectly: “Oh, Your love bled for me/Oh, Your blood in crimson streams/Oh, Your death is hell’s defeat/A cross meant to kill is my victory!”
10. Christ is Risen by Mack Brock
Former front man of Elevation Worship Mack Brock delivers an amazing performance with this victorious Easter song. With its evocative lyrics and Mack’s deeply emotional voice, “Christ is Risen” will remind you of the victory we have because of the risen Jesus. I love the pre-chorus: “O death where is your sting?/O fear where is your power?/The mighty King of kings has disarmed you/Delivered and redeemed/Eternal life is ours/O praise His name forever.”
11. Remember by Passion
This uplifting song tells us that whenever we feel sad or defeated, we should always “remember the empty grave.” Indeed, the empty grave is a powerful reminder that all things are possible with God, who restores even the dead to life. Be inspired as you listen to this contemporary Easter masterpiece. I’m sure the chorus will get stuck in your head: “Down in the valley, when waters rise/I’m still believing/Hope is alive!/All through the struggle and darkest day/I’ll remember the empty grave.”
12. Forgiven by Crowder
Good Friday is a much-needed reminder that we have been freed and forgiven of our sins because of Jesus’s incredible act of love. David Crowder poignantly sings of this awesome forgiveness in “Forgiven,” demonstrating his chops both as a singer and a lyricist. I’m confident you’ll be moved by the beautiful music, the emotion in Crowder’s amazing voice, and the poignant and very meaningful lyrics. Just look at the imagery Crowder creates from the song’s very beginning:
I’m the one who held the nail,
It was cold between my fingertips.
I’ve hidden in the garden,
I've denied You with my very lips.
God, I fall down to my knees,
With a hammer in my hand.
You look at me, arms open!
Child there is freedom from all of it!
Say goodbye to every sin,
You are forgiven!
With Easter quickly approaching, let us remember the beauty and the power of the Holy Spirit's presence as we worship Him in heart and song.
Photo Credit: ©David Clark/SparrowStock
Originally published Monday, 11 April 2022.