Christian artist Don Francisco is best known for his narrative style of songwriting. By this means he gets his message across by concentrating on the narratives of the songs, which are frequently the re-telling of Biblical events. He explained to CCM magazine in 1982, "The songs that tend to have the most power are stories."
The inspiration for this song came from a different one that Francisco was playing in concert at the time, about Jesus' crucifixion. In the liner notes for Don Francisco: The Early Works he explained: "I sat down with the intention of trying to write about the Resurrection, because, let's face it, the Crucifixion is just half the story, and the worst half by far."
Francisco's original intention when writing the song was to tell it from the perspective of the Apostle Thomas. He planned to set it in the room where the disciples were when Jesus appeared to them and spoke to Thomas. However he couldn't make it work, so he tried instead to do it from Peter's perspective. By putting a lot of his deepest feelings into Peter's experience he crafted a consummate telling of the Resurrection story, which ended up as his best known tune.
This was the #1 song when CCM's first chart was published and it holds the record for the longest-running chart single in the history of Christian radio.
This tune won Don Francisco the 1980 Dove Award for Song of the Year. He also took home the prize for Songwriter of the Year at the same ceremony.
Don from Sevierville, TnThis song used to be my dad's favorite song. It was also covered by Dolly Parton in 1989.
Camille from Toronto, OhThe first time I heard this, I was in my 20s, in a Pentecostal church. I was a recent born-again Christian and hadn't been going to this church for long. The church was filled with people of all ages. There was a stage where a large group of kids in their teens and twenties were singing. With this, their grand finale, a soloist came out in front of the group and began to sing. I heard a woman behind me telling her children something like, 'listen to the words of this song'. There was something about the way she said it that made such an impression on me, it was as if she were saying it to me as well as her kids. To hear it in that setting, live, oh my, it was so memorable! So very dramatic! I'm not surprised it's the longest running chart single in Christian radio history.