easter-crucifix.jpg For the past few weeks of my series Then Sings My Soul: The Hymns of My Youth, I’ve been featuring song from Bill and Gloria Gaither. This being Easter Sunday, I returned to the Gaither section of my youth and pulled up something that’s properly-themed for the occasion. “It is Finished” was written by Bill and Gloria, and has been performed by the Gathers in various configurations for a number of years now. Indeed, it’s one of the “signature” Gaither songs. Even so, some might remember it being sung by James Blackwood of The Blackwood Brothers

Given the theme of Easter Sunday, I thought this would be a fitting selection for its confident celebration of a victory accomplished. The title is of course one of the final phrases spoken by Jesus on the cross. I remember the hopeful assurance that the song is bathed in, and the sense of undeniable joy at the image of Jesus’ words: “It is finished!”

It is Finished

There’s a line that is drawn through the ages
on that line stands an old rugged cross
on that cross a battle is raging
to gain a man’s soul or its loss
on one side march the forces of evil
all the demons, all the devils of hell
on the other, the angels of glory
and they meet on Golgotha’s hill
the earth shakes with the force of the conflict
and the sun refuses to shine
for there hangs God’s son in the balance
and then through the darkness He cries:

It is finished, the battle is over
It is finished, there’ll be no more war
It is finished, the end of the conflict
It is finished, and Jesus is Lord!

Yet in my heart the battle was still raging
Not all prisoners of war had come home
These were battlefields of my own making
I didn’t know that the war had been won
Oh, but then I heard the king of the ages
had fought all the battles for me,
and that victory was mine for the claiming
And now praise his name I am free.

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