Sermons

Easter Sunrise (Jn 20:1–18)

March 26, 2016
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

(Oops!: Old Adam always makes bad choices.)

Old Adam makes bad choices. Old Adam chooses to live as if that statement isn’t true. He lives as if Jesus is still dead in the tomb. He lives for himself. He only helps those who can give him something, even if that’s a good feeling from helping someone rather than just because you love them. He does things because of the experience he can get from it. He may act nice to people, even people he doesn’t like, but he’ll talk bad about anyone behind their backs, whether he likes them or not. That’s our sorry way of life in this world. We don’t yet understand the Scripture: “He must rise from the dead.” We live as if Jesus is still dead. You live as if “God doesn’t matter,” as if Jesus doesn’t matter, and “as if I matter most.” You think it more than you end up actually doing it—I do too.

(Ugh!:) Because of this, you can’t know God perfectly.

That’s right. We can’t know God perfectly, that is, we can’t know Jesus perfectly. Because we don’t yet understand the Scripture: “He must rise from the dead.” We live as if Jesus is still dead. Mary Magdalene, Peter, and John thought they knew Jesus. All His followers did. They’d been with Him for about three years or so. He’d been their teacher. Their friend. They called Him Lord. They called Him King of Israel. They called Him the Christ the Son of the living God. And what a Messiah and Lord He’d turned out to be! Betrayed by one of their own. Despised by the religious leaders. Rejected by the people. Crucified by the governing authorities. Beaten. Flogged. Dead. That was their friend. The Lord God Himself hanging condemned and dead on a cross. They thought they knew Jesus. He was dead—stone cold dead.

We think we know God perfectly after just a little while. Through our own work, feelings, and thoughts we think we know Jesus our God perfectly after one or two times. Jesus asks you as He did Mary, “Whom are you seeking?” A friend? A spiritual guru? A religious leader? A passing memory? A fable?

(Aha!: THE RESURRECTED JESUS MAKES HIMSELF KNOWN TO YOU.)

Left to ourselves we’d come up with all sorts of Jesuses like that. Old Adam makes bad choices and that comes to choosing Jesus as well. He’d pick the wrong Jesus every day and twice on Sundays. We do! But it’s not up to us! It wasn’t up to Mary. She thought her teacher, her “lord” was dead, that His body was taken away. John, who beat Peter to the tomb, simply believed that His body was taken because Mary, John, Peter, and all the disciples and apostles of Jesus didn’t understand, didn’t believe the Scripture, “He must rise from the dead.” So, it’s all up to Jesus!

THE RESURRECTED JESUS MAKES HIMSELF KNOWN TO YOU.

(Whee!: Because of this, you know Him perfectly.)

Jesus makes Himself known. He did to Mary. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” It’s then that Mary knows Him perfectly. He’s not just teacher, though she calls Him that. He’s not just Lord. But He’s the resurrected teacher, the resurrected Lord. God Himself was standing there in front of her. He’d lived for her. He died for her. He rose from the dead for her. He reveals Himself to her. He revealed Himself to Peter and John too, to all the twelve, to five hundred people at one time, even to St. Paul. They all saw Him alive. Now to you. JESUS MAKES HIMSELF KNOWN TO YOU. He does it like He did for Mary. He names you. “I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” He delivers His death and resurrection to you at the Font. The Jesus who is alive at this very moment does that. He calls you to live in that Baptism by receiving His gifts, by being absolved of your sins, hearing His Word, receiving His body and blood for the forgiveness of your sins. The body and blood that was given and shed, that was raised three days later. The living Lord Jesus does this FOR YOU. He does this to open the Way to the Father. In Jesus, who is your Lord and God, you have access to the Father, who is your Lord and your God. “I am ascending to my Father and your Father.” Only a Jesus who is alive can do such a thing.

(Yeah!: Old Adam will die and you will live forever.)

Your Old Adam is done for. Christ’s death took care of the problem. He was the second Adam who put the Old Adam to death. As Adam was created on a Friday, Christ the Second Adam died on a Friday. God then rested on the seventh day from all His saving you by His burial in the tomb. Then He rose, and you will rise from the dead. Your Old Adam won’t. It’s why ends up living for himself. His end is the grave as surely as he was drowned at the Font. As surely as you receive Jesus’ body and blood, the living Jesus lives in you and you in Him, and He’ll raise you up on the last day.

The Jesus of cross, death, and empty tomb wants you to expect and receive forgiveness from Him, salvation from Him. He is your God. Jesus was dead—stone dead. They buried Him. For three days He was dead. But He’s not dead anymore. He’s alive. He’s the one who baptized you. He’s the one who gives His body and blood to you now. He wants you to know God perfectly, that is, He wants you to know Him perfectly. There is no other God besides Jesus. Through His font, in His Word, in His Supper, THE RESURRECTED JESUS MAKES HIMSELF KNOWN TO YOU.

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

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