The young couple should have been eagerly looking forward to the birth of their child, but they were far from joyful. The father was struck by serious illness; false accusations were being levelled at them and their friends; racial tensions were mounting in their community; the message that ‘God is dead’ was being trumpeted in the media.
This was happening in the 1960s.
What kind of future lay ahead of them as parents, they wondered? And more importantly, what kind of world would their unborn baby have to face? For a time, they were overcome by a bleakness, an anxiety about all that lay ahead.
The couple, Bill and Gloria Gaither, were, however, people of faith and they came through that despair to a deeper awareness that the events of Easter – the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – had made possible a radically different way not only of facing death, but also of contending with the painful challenges that life throws at us all.
Their response to this transforming awareness was to write a song which expressed their calmness and the confidence in God which they came to experience - all because of the truth of Easter. Their song highlights the difference it makes when we believe and know that Jesus overcame the power of death: Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know, He holds the future, Life is worth the living, just because He lives.
Whatever the challenges we are having to deal with right now; no matter how overwhelming our problems may feel; the message of Easter is that we can face tomorrow with hope, not in our own strength, but in Christ who has conquered the grave.