Friday, December 27, 2013

Day 27 (20): In Christ All Be Made Alive - Scene 1 (46)


There is no recording on Wikisource, but here is a video of the Royal Choral Society performing on Good Friday of 2012 (they have performed it since 1878!):

Scene 1b - "The promise of bodily resurrection and redemption from Adam's fall" 

46. Chorus

Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:21, 22)


1 Corinthians 15

Death came through Adam (Romans 5:12-21) making us all sinners, but life came through the "last Adam," Jesus Christ, and His resurrection (15:22). Because Christ rose from the dead, we know that He is God, we have forgiveness of our sins, He represents us to God, He has defeated death, and we will be raised with transformed bodies.  In the end, He will defeat all evil on earth and death itself. 

Paul speaks of the resurrection of the dead (15:12ff) because most of the Corinthian believers were from a Greek background and Greeks did not believe that a person's body was resurrected after death. The soul was released from the body at death and entered an eternal state. Paul needed to teach the believers who were having a difficult time in this pagan culture believing that the body and soul will be united after resurrection.

Here is a chart I made for Romans 5 that is helpful in seeing the contrast between Adam and Christ:


I have been playing this chorus over and over and over again, and it is SO powerful. 

According to Calvin Stapert in Handel's Messiah: Comfort for God's People, there are many contrasts between the "death" parts and the "resurrection" parts in this movement that can be easily overlooked - a cappella/instruments, slow/fast, long notes/short notes, minor key/major key, dissonant/consonant (Location 1477, Kindle Edition). It is pretty amazing! This is the only movement where the choir is a cappella and so unusual in that almost all Baroque choral music had some kind of accompaniment! It really enriches your experience to listen for these contrasts! Try it.

This is a PERFECT movement to play in quiet reflection in the interim period between Christmas and the New Year. There is usually a great contrast between Christmas and the days after too - loud/quiet, fast/slow, busy/laid-back, big groups/time alone, stressful/relaxed.

I know that my life is pretty quiet during this time, and I hope yours is too.


I pray you can carve out time to be truly reflective through this song. Jennens wrote Part III to be "A Hymn of Thanksgiving for the final overthrow of Death." Think about all the things you are thankful for today because of being made alive in Christ!

O loving wisdom of our God! 
When all was sin and shame,
A second Adam to the fight,
And to the rescue came.
(Poem by John Henry Newman, 1801-1890.
The hymn can be heard HERE

Hallelujah!!!! :) 
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