If there is one band that epitomized good ol’ Christian rock for me, it’s these guys, PETRA. Now I’m a little biased because way back in the day I got to meet keyboardist John Lawry and hang out with him for like, 5 minutes. These guys rule though. The classic Petra lineup with Greg X Volz is cool too, don’t get me wrong. This picture at the left is the lineup that I grew up to though. These guys were such a huge part of my youth. I’ll put these three albums: “Back to the Street,” “This Means War,” and “Beyond Belief” up against any three album combo from that era, Christian music or secular.
They had that late 80s melodic rock thing down pat. They evolved over the years too, eventually trying to emulate the grunge rock sound of the 90s on albums like “God Fixation.” I listened to that too, but it just wasn’t Petra for me.
This song though, this is Petra at their best. We saw them on the “This Means War” tour and I wore my Tshirt from that show down to the threads. Then I did the same with the shirt my mom had gotten for herself. I didn’t care that this wasn’t what my friends were listening to at that time, this was my jam.
This song is not only a great example of Christian rock from the period (something I find lacking in a lot of today’s Christian music), but it highlights the ultimate triumph of Christ and the hope at the center of our faith.
“He came alone into the battle
He knew nobody else could face His foe
He left His throne, He left His glory
He knew nobody else could ever go
He called the bluff, He took the challenge
He came into this world to seek and save
No one could know, noone could fathom
The way to win was only through the grave
They laid Him in His tomb
They thought they’d sealed His doom
But He rose
He came, He saw, He conquered death and hell
He came, He saw, He is alive and well
He was, He is, and only He forgives
He died, He rose, He lives
He came, He saw, He conquered!
The doors were locked, they heard Him knocking
They were afraid they would be taken, too
Familiar voice said, “Come and follow”
Come and see the things the Lord can do
They went to where He lay
The stone was rolled away
He came into this world
He saw humanity
He heard the SOS
He met the enemy
The enemy was conquered
The enemy was conquered!”