Sermons

Easter Day (Mk 16:1–8; Job 19:23–27)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

INI + AMEN.

Their eyes had seen so much. They’d seen Him crucified and die. They’d seen Him dead and buried. They’d seen the very large stone rolled in front of the tomb. Now, it was a new day, a new week, and Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome came to the tomb. Mark chose the testimony of these three women who could see that the sun was rising. But they saw more, and what they saw was astonishing!

They didn’t have to worry about the large stone. They saw that the stone had already been rolled away. They saw “the young man,” the angel “clothed in a white robe.” (Mark highlights the one who spoke.) They heard him! “You seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He’s not here.” They saw the place, and they left to “tell the disciples and Peter.” Then they saw Him. They saw Jesus! Alive! (That’s Matthew, though.)

Their eyes saw so much! They’d shed tears of sadness and tears of gladness all because of what they’d seen. But I’ve got news for you today. Their eyes really aren’t any different than your eyes. Their eyes were created just like your eyes, and your eyes were created for the exact same thing as theirs, the exact same purpose.

YOUR EYES WERE CREATED TO SEE JESUS.

((I. Our eyes were never meant to see what we see.))

Our eyes see all sorts of things they were never meant to see—all the tragedy and sadness in the world. It’s always been that way. (Does that make it better or worse?) Even Job had that in his life. He lost everything: his worldly possessions, his children, even his own health. Maybe you’ve had some sadness, too. But the news on TV, on our phones and computers fills our eyes with more and more tragedy and sadness.

Besides that, maybe your eyes have seen things you’re ashamed of—things that get seared into your mind’s eye. Maybe they look at other people, at other people’s stuff. Maybe you close them to needful things: God’s Word and Gifts. Maybe they don’t see your neighbor in need, at least, not enough to help them.

Our eyes aren’t supposed to see like that. We weren’t created to be green-eyed monsters. Your eyes weren’t created to see evil or look away from the good—to look elsewhere besides God “daily and much”. They weren’t meant to turn a blind eye to those in your daily life. They weren’t created to shed tears of sadness for what’s happened out in the world or in your own world. But ever since Adam and Eve looked away from the Lord and His Word to look at and eat the fruit, that’s been the human experience.

((II. Our eyes were created to see Jesus both now and forever.))

Eyes were created perfect, to be perfect, to see the Perfect One, God Himself. YOUR EYES WERE CREATED TO SEE JESUS. And not for a little bit either. They were created to see Jesus forever, but not just forever. You see (pun intended), your eyes were created to see Jesus both now and forever.

God saw your need, your sin. He knows what your eyes have seen and haven’t seen. He knows each and every tear of sadness. So, He wanted to make your eyes holy, and He did it by having eyes! Jesus, your God, has eyes—“born of the Virgin Mary.” He lived and saw perfectly, and His sights were set on the place of redemption: Calvary. There He shed His blood, and closed His eyes in death to redeem you and your eyes. But not just your eyes—your ears, hands, and mouth, too!

Now, you see Jesus. He’s washed your eyes, that you would see Him. He washed you in Holy Baptism. Now, you see Him in the Word on the pages of your Bible. You see Him—hear Him!—in the “I forgive you all your sins” of the Absolution. You see Him in the bread and wine of the Supper, but it’s not just bread and wine. You hear Him—“This is My body; this is My blood.” You don’t just see Him—Your hands and mouth receive His body and blood: “Take, eat and drink,” He says.

There is now no other place in the entire world where you can find the flesh and blood Jesus, and be united to Him in such a way that “I live in you and you in Me, and I will resurrect you on the Last Day.” In His Word and Gifts we see Jesus, hear Him, touch Him, eat the bread that really is His body, drink the wine that really is His blood.

You’ll see Him forever, too. That’s Job: “After my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.” The two eyes you have right now will see Jesus. That’s Jesus’ promise. Job believed it. Prophesied Jesus’ resurrection: “I know My Redeemer lives.” No glasses or contacts then. And all the tears you’ve shed will be all wiped away. That’s Jesus’ promise, too. That’s what Isaiah prophesied at Easter Sunrise this morning: “The Lord GOD,” Jesus Himself “will wipe away tears from all faces,” then “death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

((Conclusion.))

YOUR EYES WERE CREATED TO SEE JESUS. That’s what happens His Word and Gifts, just like Jesus’ Himself said. There you see Him, receive Him, are united to Him. Jesus would open your eyes to Him now. You could turn and look elsewhere. Jesus lets that happen. Then you wouldn’t see Him…forever.

But all eyes on Him—ears, hands, and mouth, too! You see, you’re eyes are just like Mary Magdalene’s. Oh, the things she saw! Astounding! A Jesus who came back from the dead! One day, that same Jesus will bring you back from the dead, and your eyes that closed in death will open never to close again. Then you will see Him. Face to face you’ll see Him. Forever you’ll see Him. The crucified and raised, body and blood Jesus you’ll see, you’ll hear, you’ll touch. Just like you can now, but only more. Then forever things will be just like they were created to be. YOUR EYES WERE CREATED TO SEE JESUS. So they do, and will!

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

INI + AMEN.

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