10 April 2023
By Dr Adi Schlebusch
All of life is religious and religiosity is inescapable to any society. As such, the establishment of religion in any given state is inevitable. It therefore comes as no surprise that the public singing of resurrection hymns which celebrate the universal Lordship of Jesus Christ run counter to the spirit of what the French literary historian Robert Faurisson aptly called the “new secular religion” of the West which has come to fill the post World-War II void left by apostasy from Christianity.
This is exactly what recently played out in the Netherlands in the small town of Ootmarsum, where the Dutch hymn Christus is Opgestanden is still sung by Easter carolers on their way to church and back on Resurrection Sunday.
As variation of the original German hymn Christ ist erstanden which originated in the 13th century, the Dutch version contains the following lyrics in its eighth verse:
Weest Christus' lijden gedachtig,
Hij is ons paaschlam waarachtig,
Geofferd aan het kruis voor onze misdaad;
Dat deden de Joden door hun valschen raad.
The lyrics translate into English as follows:
Remember the suffering of Christ,
He is truly our Passover Lamb,
Sacrificed on the cross for our sin,
that the Jews did by their false council.
Of course it is vitally important that the people of Ootmarsum continue to sing this hymn despite institutional pressure to alter the words, so as to glorify Christ by pushing back against the humanistic totalitarianism which increasingly threatens the continued practice of orthodox, historic Christianity in Western lands. We must pray for their steadfastness.
Christ is risen. He is the only true King of kings and the true Lord of lords and all the nations of the world will one day bow down to Him (Revelation 11:15).