Easter is coming--April 1, and we're not fooling--and if your church is like mine, they'll be rolling out some new songs that powerfully declare the resurrection of Jesus. Every year around this time, some songs start to rise in their prominence as anthems that capture the heart of the Church.
Songs like "Revelation Song," "Forever (We Sing Hallelujah)", "The Stand" and "Death Was Arrested" are just a few that stand out from years past. But what about 2018? What are the triumphant songs of Jesus' powerful love that have risen to the surface?
The following seven songs are refrains that the NRTeam has identified as universal, must-sing songs in this Easter season. Whether your church sings them on April 1 or not, these songs are ones to reflect on and enjoy as you ponder all that Jesus did for you!
"Nailed to the Cross" by Rend Collective
You can't begin to focus on the resurrection of Jesus without first remembering what this triumph cost. On their latest record, Good News, Rend Collective uses their modern-day hymn writing to give us a mid-tempo, syncopated song about the all-encompassing work Jesus paid on the cross. The lyrics are beautiful and profound: "When my doubt and shame hang over me / Like the arrows of the enemy / I will run again to Calvary / That rugged hill of hell's defeat / My fortress and my victory."
"The Cross Has The Final Word" by Cody Carnes
In the same vein, worship leader Cody Carnes released a song about how Jesus' death and resurrection is the most important moment in world history, as well as each of our individual histories. "Evil may put up its strongest fight, but the cross has the final word," he sings, a very poignant declaration in these troubled times. You might have heard this song by Newsboys, who recently recorded it with former lead singer Peter Furler. It's an easy, congregational song to learn, yet deeply profound in its unifying statements.
"My Victory" by We Are Messengers
This song has been around a little longer than the others, thanks to Crowder including the album on the American Prodigal album in 2016, but it's been given new life from its co-writer, Darren Mulligan of We Are Messengers. His band released this song as part of a recent My Utmost for His Highest compilation album about the personal impact of Easter: "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!"
"All Hail King Jesus" by Jeremy Riddle
Worship artist Jeremy Riddle has already fueled some of your church's favorite songs, being a coauthor of "This is Amazing Grace" with Phil Wickham, "Fall Afresh," and, further back, "Sweetly Broken." On his recently released solo project, More, Riddle presents "All Hail King Jesus," a retelling of the Good Friday to Easter story that features poetic verses: "There was a moment when the sky lit up / A flash of light breaking through / When all was lost He crossed eternity / The King of life was on the move." That juxtaposes beautifully with the simple, unifying chorus: "All Hail King Jesus / All Hail the Lord of Heaven and Earth."
"Hope Has A Name" by River Valley Worship
Probably the least known name on this list, River Valley Worship out of Minneapolis has captured a youthful sound and energy that still ministers to multiple generations. On this modern hymn, a piano-driven first verse builds steadily throughout this song into an anthemic worship explosion resounding "Hope has a name / His name is Jesus!" Another retelling of the death and resurrection, the second verse offers a thoughtful, artful narrative: "There is a light, salvation's flame / Christ undefeated, trampled the grave / See now the cross, be lifted high / The light has come, the light has won, behold the Christ."
"Praise the King" by Corey Voss
"There's a reason why the curse of sin is broken / There's a reason why the darkness runs from light / There's a reason why we stand here now forgiven / Jesus is alive!" These verses, which start with "there's a reason" always resound with the big answer: "Jesus is alive." This is a victory song of death being defeated and sin being vanquished, and it's one congregations can easily learn and sing out.
"Reckless Love" by Cory Asbury
The fact that Michael W. Smith, Passion, Israel Houghton, Shane & Shane, Mike Lee and others have already released versions of this song--which itself was only released at the end of January--proves its power already, and it's poised to be the standout worship song of 2018. Cory Asbury, part of the Bethel Music Collective, originally saw this song achieve viral status when people found it on a live video from Bethel's worship service and shared it far and wide. The lyrics, although not as blatantly Easter-centered as the other songs on this list, sing of a God who will stop at nothing to reach us with His love: "There's no wall you won't kick down, lie you won't tear down coming after me... Oh the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God. Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the 99."
Marcus Hathcock is the Executive Editor of NewReleaseToday.com, a husband to Savannah, father of three and a worship leader living in Boise. He has released an EP, Songs For Tomorrow, and occasionally blogs at mheternal.com.
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