Sermons

Easter 5C (Jn 16:12–22)

April 24, 2016
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

Easter continues! It’s not just something that happened (Jesus rising from the dead), but it’s something that is for you. It can’t be taken from you. You’ve passed through the waters of Holy Baptism, and so you are united to Jesus’ resurrection. The Spirit filled you with Easter life on that day. He’s the downpayment and guarantee of resurrection on the Last Day. He’s the Lord and Giver of Life after all. Each Sunday we gather to receive and rejoice in Jesus’ resurrection as He comes to us with His Absolution, His Word, His body and blood. Easter isn’t just now either. Easter never ends. Easter is forever! We will rise from the dead to an Easter with Jesus. He was dead but now lives forever and we shall live with Him forever once after we, too, have been raised from the dead. Because Christ lives, never to die again, Easter always fills our hearts with joy, and because Jesus lives—right now He lives!—

NO ONE, NOTHING CAN TAKE AWAY YOUR EASTER JOY NOW AND FOREVER.

(I. This is Christ’s Work.)

Why is this so? That NO ONE, NOTHING CAN TAKE AWAY YOUR EASTER JOY NOW AND FOREVER? Well, it’s simple. That’s Christ’s Work for you. He died and rose. This is what He was preaching in our Gospel text: “You will weep and lament,” He says, “but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.” He will die. His disciples will despair, the chief-priests and officials would rejoice, but then He rose from the dead. His disciples rejoiced. They preached that Jesus died and rose for all—no exceptions. They proclaimed it far and wide. They wrote it down. This isn’t just Jesus’ Work. It’s the Spirit’s work too. “He will glorify me,” Jesus says, “for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” He’s at work in the Word. He shouldn’t be neglected. He’s at work in the Word tied to Water, giving you easter life. He’s at Work in the written Word where we hear “all that Christ commanded us.” We study that Word, and in that study, in those very words, the Spirit brings Christ to you and strengthens your faith. He’s at work in the Word tied to the Bread and Wine giving you Jesus’ body and blood. He’s at work in my Word of Absolution, as Jesus says, “Receive the Spirit; if you forgive, etc.” In all these ways, the Spirit takes what is Christ’s (chiefly His resurrection life) and delivers it right to you. Because Christ and the Spirit are at work, your Easter joy has no end.

(II. This isn’t a passing joy.)

That’s right. This isn’t a passing joy. The world is full of sorrow. The disciples were very sorrowful after Christ was crucified. They mourned their dead friend and supposed Lord and Messiah. They were in hiding. The world rejoiced. Then Jesus rose. Nothing could take their joy from them then. They’d seen Jesus, or rather He saw them. He found them. He preached to them. As He said, “I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice.” So it is today. We no longer see Christ face to face. The world rejoices. Seeks to subvert and destroy the Church. Not just overtly either. The world seeks and entices with joy in all sorts of passing ways. Fancy car. Better TV. Padded bank account. More joy? More stress? We weep and lament over the struggles and pains of this life. The death. The violence. The world simply says, “Eat, drink, and be merry; for tomorrow we die.” But Christ will come, dear Christian. “I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice.” No one can take this joy from you. Joy isn’t happiness, though it can produce happiness. We can have joy in the midst of struggle. Not from ourselves. It’s a fruit of the Spirit, as Paul says. Worked in you by the Spirit in the Word, as I mentioned before. Yes, Christ will come. You will see Him face to face. Then there will be joy forever, as we heard in our epistle from revelation: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 

Yes, Christ’s promise is also for you, dear Christian. “You have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” But NO ONE, NOTHING CAN TAKE AWAY YOUR EASTER JOY FROM YOU NOW OR FOREVER. You may not see Christ now face to face, but you receive Him. In His Word. His Word in Water, His Word on pages, His Word spoken to you, His Word with His body and blood. This is the Spirit’s work too. This glorifies Christ by giving Him to you. No one can take your Baptism from you. So no one can take Easter from you! Christ is raised. Easter continues! You’ve passed through the waters of Holy Baptism, and the Spirit filled you with Jesus’ Easter life on that day. Each Sunday we gather to receive and rejoice in Jesus’ resurrection as He comes to us with His Absolution, His Word, His body and blood. Then one day He will see you, and you will see Him. With your own eyes you will see Him!

What joy to know, when life is past,
The Lord we love is first and last,
The end and the beginning!
He will one day, oh, glorious grace,
Transport us to that happy place
Beyond all tears and sinning!
Amen! Amen!
Come, Lord Jesus!
Crown of gladness!
We are yearning
For the day of Your returning! (LSB  395:6)

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

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