Gather | Devotion #6: O Praise the Name (Anastasis)
John Hubbard | Worship Leader
There are so many reasons that a song can make an instant connection to a body of believers. From the very start of the first verse, it can grab your attention and take you to a place of affirmation even as you are listening for the first time. O Praise the Name (Anastasis) by Hillsong Worship is a song that wastes no time getting to the point, the Gospel. This song is a journey through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The word “Anastasis” is a Greek word that translates to “resurrection,” not only regarding Jesus, but also the raising up of believers at the end of the age.
Not only is O Praise the Name a journey, but it is also sung from a personal point of view. The first line, “I cast my mind to Calvary,” brings the listener to an actual point of reference. The second line, “where Jesus bled and died for me,” hits you with one of the most vivid scenes found in the Gospel. The songwriters wanted to hone in on the actual moment of Jesus’ death and step into the shoes of those that were closest to Him. The second verse has a line, “His body bound and drenched in tears,” is a unique look at that moment between Jesus’ death and resurrection. A lot of the time it seems that the burial of Jesus suffers from the middle-child syndrome, not as in-your-face as the eldest child who came first, Jesus’ death, and not like the youngest child who everyone likes to give their attention, His resurrection. To spend a moment and think about the people who lost all hope and had to bury Jesus, you cannot help but feel that raw emotional reaction.
The chorus is my favorite part of the song, and I love that every arrangement I have heard has at least three in a row to end the song. Most of the time having three in a row makes you feel like it drags on, but the lyrics catch you:
O praise the Name of the Lord our God
O praise His Name forevermore
For endless days we will sing Your praise
Oh Lord oh Lord our God
Forevermore we will sing His praise, so if you are sick of singing that after the third time I do not want to be the one to tell you what we will be doing in Heaven before the throne of God, forever and ever. To be fair, I am sure that eventually, I will want to switch up the song now and then, but until that time comes, I will continue to praise the Name of the Lord our God.