Death Could Not Keep His Prey

In 1990 I accompanied my great-aunt to South Korea in celebration of a thriving church that had been birthed from my great-uncle’s tent meetings 25 years earlier. We were staying in the home of a dear friend, who also happened to be Dr. Cho’s secretary, and so arranged for one of his interpreters to travel with us as I preached that Palm Sunday.

The following week we visited Dr. Cho’s church. Let me tell you, Easter Sunday is a most remarkable day to experience at the largest church in the world! We were sitting in the balcony section where visiting foreigners could wear headphones and choose from six languages their necessary translation of the ongoing service. But no translation was needed when they began to sing this familiar hymn:

“Low in the grave He lay, Jesus, my Savior; Waiting the coming day, Jesus, my Lord…”

I could not hold back the tears as I listened to more than 25,000 Koreans singing joyfully in their own language: “Up from the grave He arose!”

My spirit still soars whenever I sing the third verse — “Death cannot keep his prey” — echoing the final words of 1 Corinthians 15:

“’Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ …thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”

Leave a Reply