Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands

Representative Text

1 Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands
for our offenses given;
but now at God’s right hand he stands
and brings us life from heaven.
Therefore let us joyful be
and sing to God right thankfully
loud songs of alleluia! Alleluia!

2 No son of man could conquer death,
such ruin sin had wrought us.
No innocence was found on earth,
and therefore death had brought us
into bondage from of old
and ever grew more strong and bold
and held us as its captive. Alleluia!

3 Christ Jesus, God's own Son, came down,
his people to deliver;
destroying sin, he took the crown
from death's pale brow forever.
Stripped of pow'r, no more it reigns;
an empty form alone remains;
its sting is lost forever. Alleluia!

4 It was a strange and dreadful strife
when life and death contended.
The victory remained with life,
the reign of death was ended.
Holy Scripture plainly saith
that death is swallowed up by death;
disgraced, it lies defeated. Alleluia!

5 Here the true Paschal Lamb we see,
whom God so freely gave us;
he died on the accursed tree–
so strong his love– to save us.
See, his blood now marks our door;
faith points to it; death passes o'er,
and Satan cannot harm us. Alleluia!

6 So let us keep the festival
to which the Lord invites us;
Christ is himself the joy of all,
the sun that warms and lights us.
Now his grace to us imparts
eternal sunshine to our hearts;
the night of sin is ended. Alleluia!

7 Then let us feast this Easter day
on Christ, the bread of heaven;
the Word of grace has purged away
the old and evil leaven.
Christ alone our souls will feed;
he is our meat and drink indeed;
faith lives upon no other! Alleluia!

Source: Christian Worship: Hymnal #439

Translator: Richard Massie

Massie, Richard, eldest son of the Rev. R. Massie, of Goddington, Cheshire, and Rector of Eccleston, was born at Chester, June 18, 1800, and resides at Pulford Hall, Coddington. Mr. Massie published a translation of Martin Luther’s Spiritual Songs, London, 1854. His Lyra Domestica, 1st series, London, 1860, contains translations of the 1st Series of Spitta's Psalter und Harfe. In 1864 he published vol. ii., containing translations of Spitta's 2nd Series, together with an Appendix of translations of German hymns by various authors. He also contributed many translations of German hymns to Mercer's Church Psalter & Hymn Book; to Reid's British Herald; to the Day of Rest, &c. He died Mar. 11,1887. -- John Julian, Di… Go to person page >

Author: Martin Luther

Luther, Martin, born at Eisleben, Nov. 10, 1483; entered the University of Erfurt, 1501 (B.A. 1502, M.A.. 1503); became an Augustinian monk, 1505; ordained priest, 1507; appointed Professor at the University of Wittenberg, 1508, and in 1512 D.D.; published his 95 Theses, 1517; and burnt the Papal Bull which had condemned them, 1520; attended the Diet of Worms, 1521; translated the Bible into German, 1521-34; and died at Eisleben, Feb. 18, 1546. The details of his life and of his work as a reformer are accessible to English readers in a great variety of forms. Luther had a huge influence on German hymnody. i. Hymn Books. 1. Ellich cristlich lider Lobgesang un Psalm. Wittenberg, 1524. [Hamburg Library.] This contains 8 German h… Go to person page >



CHRIST LAG IN TODESBANDEN is an adaptation of a medieval chant used for "Victimae Paschali laudes" (the same chant is the source for CHRIST IST ERSTANDEN, 407). The tune's arrangement is credited to Johann Walther (b. Kahla, Thuringia, Germany, 1496: d. Torgau, Germany, 1570), in whose 1524 Geystlic…

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The Cyber Hymnal #882
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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #398
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Instances (1 - 25 of 25)

Ambassador Hymnal #114


Christian Worship (1993) #161


Christian Worship (2008) #720

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Christian Worship #439


Christian Worship #440

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #343


Evangelical Lutheran Worship #370

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Glory to God #237

Great Songs of the Church (Revised) #237

Hymnal #470

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Hymns to the Living God #182

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Lutheran Service Book #458


Lutheran Worship #123

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Moravian Book of Worship #367

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #398

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Rejoice in the Lord #324


The Cyber Hymnal #882


The Hymnal 1982 #185

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The Hymnal 1982 #186

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The Presbyterian Hymnal #110


The United Methodist Hymnal #319


Together in Song #364


Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #279

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Trinity Psalter Hymnal #359


Voices Together #463

Include 28 pre-1979 instances
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