Sermons

Easter Day (Lk 24:1–12)

March 27, 2016
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

“He is not here but has risen.” The angel’s preaching fills us with great joy! It breaks all expectations. It’s breaks all boundaries. It banishes fear and sadness. It turns mourning into dancing, darkness into light, death into life, sadness into joy. All Lenten repentance is gone. All Good Friday solemness is banished. The heart of the Christian message is seen today: Christ is risen from the dead! It’s one of the pillars of our faith. No resurrection. No Christianity. Throughout Lent we took the time to learn what to expect and receive from God in Jesus Christ, how we can know God perfectly in Jesus. We will ponder this one more time this Easter Morning. Let’s get to it!

(2. The women expected a dead body.)

The women certainly had an expectation that first Easter Morning. They expected a dead body. What else could you expect? Dead people stay dead. The death certificate had been given: “When [Pilate] learned from the centurion that Jesus was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph.” There’s no coming back from that! We all know that. The women were prepared for it: “The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments…on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.” They took time and money to get ready to finish Jesus’ burial. As much as He loved them to the end, they loved Him to the end, even past the end. They would care for His His dead body. It’s what they expected to find, even in spite of what Jesus had told them. The angel told them: “Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”

Their expectations weren’t met of course! Thanks be to God! “Christ again is free; In glorious victory He who is strong to save Has triumphed o’er the grave.” Death couldn’t hold Him. The tomb couldn’t contain Him! “The death He died, He died to sin once for all, but the life He lives, He lives to God.” “Christ is raised from the dead and is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep in Him.” There’s no reason “to seek the living among the dead.” “He was dead, but now is living!” “Death and life have contended In that combat stupendous: The Prince of life, who died, Reigns immortal” “Never to die again!”

(1. We expect a dead body too!)

We would’ve expected a dead body too. Dead people stay dead, after all. We would’ve been sad, had our spices prepared, ready to see and touch our beloved friend and teacher for the last time. In fact, that’s how we live now! If we truly believed that Jesus died and rose for us, if we truly believed that Christ is alive right now, at this very moment, that He’s more than just teacher and friend, that He’s God Himself, our Savior from sin, death, and the devil—if we truly believed all that, would we live like we do? Would we live “as if God did not matter,” as if Jesus did not matter, and “as if I mattered most”? Would we treat others like we do? We all live as if the only two things that are for sure in life are death and taxes. Death is it! So we live for ourselves because more often then not we seek out our pleasure, our wants, our desires. In fact, we may only help others because of how it makes us feel rather than out of true love for them! “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die!” We live as if death is inevitable. That’s our expectation. Dead people stay dead.

Our expectation should be a living body. Resurrection from the dead is just as inevitable. That’s what you’re given to expect from Jesus. Resurrection. What is dust will be dust no more. What are just bones won’t be just bones forever. Flesh will be restored. Life given back. Body and soul will be united again. It’s inevitable. Why? Jesus has died. His death paid for all your sins. Every last one. Every moment of living for yourself, every moment lived as if Jesus isn’t living right now at this very moment—all of it covered by His blood and death. Yes, death is conquered. As Luther put it in His Easter Hymn: “Holy Scripture plainly saith That death is swallowed up by death, Its sting is lost forever. Alleluia!” It’s inevitable, even for you. Not just because Christ died for you, but because Christ was raised for you! “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” Jesus is alive. His dead body lived again. Your Savior Jesus lives. He unites Himself to you, gives you His resurrection. He inundates you, floods you, drenches you with His resurrection. His living flesh and blood are yours and He will raise you up on the Last Day. It’s inevitable. It must be so. It’s no wonder then that the chalice and paten are front and center! The very things from which we receive such life and salvation are placed prominently before our eyes.

What are you given to receive and expect from Jesus? SALVATION, but not just salvation. You’re given to expect and receive RESURRECTION from Him. He’s given it to you. Still gives it to you. What can you expect from Jesus?

YOU CAN EXPECT AN EMPTY TOMB FROM JESUS.

Not just His but yours, dear Christian! You’re grave will be empty one day, just as Jesus’ was empty that first Easter. You will live again. You have to! Jesus did. He’s given it to you. One day you’ll know it! You’ll see it! “We know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” You shall see Him “face to face.” “After [your] skin is destroyed, in [your] flesh [you] shall see God, Whom [you] shall see for [yourself], And [your] eyes shall behold, and not another.”

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

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