Death was Arrested

Death was Arrested

This year I am challenging myself to get to know the songs we sing on a little deeper level. I love the way music can help us approach the throne of God, each of us in a different way.  

As I was listening through some of Sunday’s set list I came across a YouTube video that talked about the writing of Death was Arrested. The song is full of Biblical truths, so relating to the content has not been a challenge for me, but the title line, “When death was arrested my life began” always piqued my interest. How did they come up with that? 

One of the four songwriters, Brandon Coker, was walking along the road in St. Marys, GA., when he spotted a graveyard. In it, one stone was in a secluded corner, so he investigated (I love this guy’s moxie!). He found the headstone of Samuel Burr, which read: 

“Here rests what was mortal of Samuel Burr, age 42. In search of health far from his endeared home, Death arrested his progress on April the 2nd, 1831. Quietly he fell asleep in the Christian hope of immortality and glory forever. Oh, the vanity of man in his best estate. Traveler pause and drop a tear at a grave of one so worthy and so deeply lamented and learn wisdom for eternity.”

This inscription stuck with Brandon Coker for a number of years before pouring it into an anthem of truth. Line by line, the song can be (and has been) dissected and lined up with scripture. The verse tagged at the end of the song pretty much sums up the whole piece.

“O Death, where is your victory? O, death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

Until we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior we are dead in our sin. The moment Christ died, however, he freed us from our cell on Death Row. Until we proclaim Him as Lord, we are sentenced to death, as it says earlier on in Corinthians. 

For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:21-22

We have a gift waiting, all we gave to do is accept it. Jesus, a Holy and perfect sacrifice, was so willing to save us – why are we so hesitant to accept salvation?