HE’S ALIVE                                                                                   written in 1977 

The Story

            Don Francisco (born 1946) is the son of a seminary professor; he was raised in Sunday School and sung in his church’s choir. He had a good start in life. But, when he was 14 years old, he started experimenting with philosophy, psychology… and drugs. Walking the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles in the early 1970s, he got an education in the ways of the world. He started singing in nightclubs, doing yoga, and practicing in meditation. Don was looking for something, but he couldn’t find it in any of those places he looked.

He thought he might find the answers to his questions in Eastern philosophy, but he wasn’t satisfied… and he didn’t know where else to turn. That’s when he “heard the Lord speak” to him “in an almost audible voice, saying, ‘I am Jesus, and I am alive in your heart. Read My Word and do it.’”

Those words caused an incredible change in Don’s life. He dedicated Himself to the Lord and to Christian music. Within 2 years, he released his first Christian album, and became connected to “the Jesus Movement” and early Contemporary Christian music.

“He’s Alive” is a song that tells the story of the apostle Peter as he experienced that first Resurrection morning. But, it is also Don Francisco’s story as he heard Jesus say to him, “I am Jesus, and I am alive.”

This song was the longest-running chart single in Christian radio history.

The Song

            Read this song, and – today – put yourself in Peter’s sandals in those hours before and after the resurrection of Jesus.

The gates and doors were barred, all the windows fastened down.
I spent the night in sleeplessness and rose at every sound
Half in hopeless sorrow and half in fear the day
would find the soldiers breakin’ through to drag us all away.

And just before the sunrise, heard something at the wall;
the gate began to rattle and a voice began to call.
Hurried to the window, looked down into the street
expecting swords and torches and the sound of soldier’s feet.

There was no one there but Mary, so I went down to let her in.
John stood there beside me as she told us where she’d been.
She said, “They’ve moved Him in the night and none of us knows where!
The stone’s been rolled away… and now His body isn’t there.”

We both ran toward the garden, then John ran on ahead;
we found the stone and the empty tomb just the way that Mary said.
But the winding sheet they wrapped Him in was just an empty shell…
and how or where they’d taken Him was more than I could tell.

Well, something strange had happened there; just what I did not know.
John believed a miracle, but I just turned to go.
Circumstance and speculation couldn’t lift me very high,
’cause I’d seen them crucify Him… then I saw Him die.

Back inside the house again, the guilt and anguish came;
everything I’d promised Him just added to my shame.
When at last it came to choices, I denied I knew His name;
even if He was alive… it wouldn’t be the same.

Suddenly the air was filled with strange and sweet perfume.
Light that came from everywhere drove shadows from the room.
Jesus stood before me with His arms held open wide;
and I fell down on my knees… and just clung to Him and cried.

He raised me to my feet, and as I looked into His eyes,
love was shining out from Him like sunlight from the skies.
Guilt in my confusion disappeared in sweet release,

and every fear I’d ever had just melted into peace.

He’s alive!  He’s alive!
He’s alive and I’m forgiven, Heaven’s gates are open wide!
He’s alive!  He’s alive!
He’s alive and I’m forgiven, Heaven’s gates are open wide!
He’s alive!  He’s alive!
He’s alive and I’m forgiven, Heaven’s gates are open wide!
He’s alive!  He’s alive!  He’s alive!

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