WDTM: Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands

WDTM: Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands (Hymnology)

720Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands

1Christ 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!  Alleluia!


2No 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!  Alleluia!


3Christ 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!  Alleluia!


4It 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 says That death is swallowed up by death;

Its sting is lost forever. Alleluia!  Alleluia!


5Here 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!  Alleluia!


6So 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!  Alleluia!


7Then 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!  Alleluia!


This important and historic Easter text is set to a new tune with the hope of reviving its use within the church.


Text: Martin Luther, 1483–1546; tr. Richard Massie, 1800–1887, alt.