Arise

Luke 7:11-17 (NIV)

Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son

11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12 As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”

14 Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

Lyrics

VERSE

What will I do? 

Where will I go? 

What will they say 

To me?

 

How will I go on?

How will I face dawn

Knowing what reality will be?

 

PRE-CHORUS

Then He came

His heart met my needs 

When hope was lost

Restoring life, restoring me, He said 

 

CHORUS

“Don’t cry 

Don’t cry 

I know how you feel 

Arise 

Arise 

Come, My child, be healed”

 

BRIDGE [2X]

I know that You’re a Savior who still cares 

When You’re silent, You still hear my prayers 

Even when I don’t know why You take from me

I trust You in Your plans to give just what I need

Just what I need

Just what I need

 

CHORUS

“Don’t cry 

Don’t cry 

I know how you feel 

Arise 

Arise 

Come, My child, be healed 

Come, My child, be healed 

Come, My child, be healed”

Image by Jose A.Thompson

Dive Deeper

 

 

Prayer:  Lord, allow my gaze to be fixed on You.  Open my heart to Your goodness and righteousness and allow my soul to find rest in Your presence.  Speak to me through Your Word and through this song; let it draw me nearer to You.

 

The song, Arise, is inspired by the passage, Luke 7: 11-17

          In this passage, Jesus approaches a widow and heals her dead son. Picture the widow walking down the stone road, behind her dead son as he is being carried beyond the town gate. Her eyes are likely on the ground, her head hanging low as she weeps.  

          Before Jesus comes, the widow walks with the burden of grief on her shoulders, likely struggling to put one foot in front of the other. She wonders how her life will go on, not only without her husband, but without her son.  

          The verse in “Arise” describes the widow’s hopeless heart and deepest fears before Jesus speaks to her…

 

What will I do?

Where will I go?

What will they say to me?

How will I go on?

How can I face dawn knowing what reality will be?

 

          At this point, the widow has lost all hope. There is no one left to care for her since both her husband and son are dead, and she wonders how she is going to live without either of them in her life. She is truly hopeless...until Jesus speaks to her.

Jesus sees this woman in distress and goes over to her, and I can picture the Lord leaning down to the woman, lifting her head up, and telling her not to cry before he walks over and raises her son up from death.  

          The words of Jesus are sung in the chorus of this song, as Jesus tells the woman “Don’t cry”  before He tells the son to “Arise.”  

          By healing the widow’s son, Jesus is restoring her life and her hope that was lost. Once her hope is restored, the widow can place her hope in Jesus rather than in the circumstances of her life. Once hope is placed in Christ rather than in life’s circumstances, one can properly sing the bridge of “Arise” with confidence. We can sing knowing that Jesus will never fail us once we place our hope in Him, no matter what life may bring.

 

I know that You’re a Savior who still cares

When You’re silent You still hear my prayers

Even when I don’t know why You take from me

I trust You in Your plans to give just what I need

 

          A passage in the book of Lamentations also speaks of this everlasting hope that we can have no matter what our earthly lives may look like.

 

Lamentations 3: 17-25 (NIV)

17 I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. 18 So I say, “My spendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.”  

 

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. 20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. 21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

 

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail, 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” 25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.” 

          Lamentations is a response to the destruction of Jerusalem, so the human writer (Jeremiah) knows pain and grief all too well. The writer knew that even in the midst of sorrow and pain, he could find hope in the Lord.  

          When Jesus told the widow not to cry, he didn’t mean that expressing sorrow was bad, but her tears came from a hopeless weep. Essentially, Jesus was telling the woman not to lose hope because her story wasn’t finished. Since Jesus is able to make all things new, He is calling all of us to have hope no matter how terrible or depressing our situations may seem.  No one can be too broken or too hurt to receive the restoration of Jesus Christ.  

 

          In life, not all of our deepest pains and struggles will be physically healed like they were in this passage. Sometimes, we will be forced to live with the grief, just like the writer of Lamentations had to endure Jerusalem’s destruction. But, we who trust in the Lord can receive the same hope that the widow of Nain received. Regardless of life’s circumstances, our hope can be restored because of what Christ has done for all of us.

          Jesus’ sacrifice wipes all sin clean and saves all of His followers from being consumed by life’s pains. Through His death and resurrection, an eternal home of peace and joy has been secured for all who believe. Even though we will face trials and tribulations in this life, because of Jesus, we have hope for the perfect and everlasting paradise that is to come.

 

We can have constant hope in the midst of sorrow because our hope doesn’t depend on the circumstances of our life, but on the sacrifice that Jesus made.


 

Questions for Reflection

  1. The burden of her son’s death was weighing down the widow at the beginning of this passage.  What burden is weighing down your shoulders?

  2. Has God physically restored you by saving you from earthly troubles as Jesus did for the widow?  Or are you still living in sorrow like the writer of Lamentations?

  3. Are you able to accept the hope that Christ offers to all?  Or is there something that is holding you back from freely giving yourself to Jesus?

  4. If you have received the everlasting hope of Jesus, how can you live the rest of your life in confidence, remembering that true hope is not related to our present circumstances?


 

Prayer:  God, thank You for offering Your Son to me so that I don’t need to live this life carrying the burden of my pain and my grief.  Help me live a life of confidence for You, and allow my heart to be filled with the hope that Jesus brings, no matter what comes my way.

Image by Jonas Weckschmied

Hidden 

Features

Biblical Point of View:

The widow at the entrance to the town of Nain.

Musical Explanation:

  • The first time through the verse, pre-chorus, and chorus,

         the vocalist (Mollie Landman) asks a series of questions from

         the widow’s point of view. 

  • As the songs progresses the piano chords intensify to show the changing state of the widow’s position as Jesus approaches. 

  • When Jesus says “don’t cry” you hear harmonies for the first time in the song. These harmonies represent the beauty in Jesus’ words as He tells her not to cry and for her son to “arise”. 

  • The harmonies continue in the song to represent how Jesus is walking through this event with her, helping her to process and helping her heal. As Jesus brings this healing, the widow then sings the bridge where you hear the same progression as before. The widow sings first and then the vocalists split into harmonies to represent how Jesus is meeting her where she is. 

  • This song as well as Two Coins, One, Day, and Beyond the Stars all contain a cello. The cello is only found in songs sung from the perspective of Jesus or a widow. 

  • The intro to Arise is played again in Beyond the stars during verse 2 when Jesus sings “The Spirit is willing always, but the flesh seeks death and betrays, fulfill your will It is done, Father I am your son”. This melody is played here because the power of the Spirit of God raised this boy back to life and the father’s will was done in this situation. However, the flesh is betraying because it does not have eternal prosperities to it and cannot last forever. 

How to sing:

This song is to be sung while reflecting on times when the Lord has taken moments of trouble and transformed them by His power. This song is meant to be sung as a prayer; the prayer of one who is experiencing an immense personal trial/battle, questioning what to do in this time of hardship. As this is reflected on, next envision Christ being introduced into the situation and see Him transforming the situation. As you listen to/sing this song, listen, pray, and sing as one longing for a deeper understanding of God’s restoration and resurrection power. 

Arise