And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:10-11).
So many of the songs in my heart have been there for much of my life; not so with Glorious Day, wait, sort of it has been. I first heard Glorious Day being performed by Casting Crowns this year, a few months ago. However the great song is based on the lyrics of J. Wilbur Chapman’s One Day (also known as Living He Loved Me). One Day was sang every Easter at Highland Park Baptist Church and the church I attended in my late teens, Trinity Baptist Church in Chattanooga. I also heard One Day sang occasionally after that though not so much in recent years. The authors of Glorious Day, Mark Hall and Michael Bleeker, Jr., added to the One Day lyrics and wrote music which makes Glorious Day a timely and powerful song.
Glorious Day marvelously recounts the three most holy days in human history, the day Christ was born, the day Christ was crucified for our sins, and day Christ conquered death for humanity. Yet Glorious Day does not leave us there though that message is most loving. The song completes the Gospel message in that Christ has promised “one day” to come back for His church.
Let’s look at some scripture about these four great days. First, Christ’s birth was foretold centuries before in Isaiah 7:14: Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. This prophecy was recounted to Mary by the angel of the Lord when he told her she was to be the virgin mother of Jesus. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us (Matt 1:21-23). And then, that great day was fulfilled with birth of our Emmanuel, Jesus Christ. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:6-8).
The sacrificial death of Christ was predicted in the Old Testament as early as Genesis. Verse 3:15 tells satan that a seed of Adam will deliver them from the curse. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Christ’s torment and death were described 900 years beforehand by King David in Psalm 22. Isaiah prophesied about Christ’s suffering and death in 52:14 (As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men) and Isaiah 53. The crucifixion of Christ is told in detail in John 19. Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did (John 19:23-24). And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left (Luke 23:33). That was the saddest day in history and yet for mankind it was a glorious day as Christ laid down his life for us. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Christ redeemed whosoever believes on him on the cross but that was not the end of His work. Christ still had to conquer death, not just for Him but for us. On the third day, Christ arose! He foretold of his bodily resurrection. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matt 12:39-40). And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again (Matt 20:17-19). Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days (John 2:18-20)? On the third Christ arose! And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you (Mark 16:6-7).
So we have Biblical references on three glorious days: the birth of Christ, the death of Christ, and the bodily resurrection of Christ. Another great day awaits, the resurrection of the believer. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die (John 11:25-26a). For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord (1 Thes 4:14-17). That will be a most glorious day for believers in Christ! Will you be included? Be ready, no one knows when He will come. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh (Matt 24:42-44).
One day when Heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin.
Dwelt among men, my example is He.
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed.
Chorus:Living, He loved me.
Dying, He saved me.
Buried, He carried my sins far away.
Rising, He justified freely forever.
One day He’s coming,
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day.
One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain.
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree.
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected,
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He.
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me.
One day the grave could conceal Him no longer.
One day the stone rolled away from the door.
Then He arose, over death He had conquered.
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore.
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again.
One day the trumpet will sound for His coming.
One day the skies with His glories will shine.
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing.
My Savior, Jesus, is mine.
Glorious Day (Living HE Loved Me) lyrics and music © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.