Quasimodo Geniti—Easter 2 (Jn 20:19–31; 1 Jn 5:4–10)

Photo by Jordan McDonald on Unsplash

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

There are three who testify: the Spirit, the Water, and the Blood, and these three are one.

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

The Spirit, the Water, and the Blood are yours. You have them. You have them in the crucified and raised Jesus. You have them in His wounds—His hands and feet and side. From His mouth they’re yours, too.

Let’s hear about, the Spirit, the Water, the Blood: “The Lord Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven.” “One of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.”

You have those three witnesses. The Spirit, the Water, and the Blood are one. You don’t need any other witnesses. You don’t need any other testimony. They’re on the witness stand testifying that Jesus has, in fact, died and risen for you, and “on the evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses shall a charge be established.” The charge, the testimony is “not guilty because of Jesus.”

Spirit, Water, Blood—these are the witnesses, your witnesses. They’re yours in the crucified and raised Jesus. They’re yours in His hands and feet and side. They’re yours from His mouth, too. But not just hands, feet, side, and mouth. They’re yours on your forehead, in your ears, in your mouth.

You’ve been Washed in Calvary’s stream. You’ve had the Spirit-filled Absolution spoken into you. You’ve eaten and drunk from the Fruit of the Tree, the Supper of Jesus’ body and blood. That’s how the testimony of your witnesses is yours. That’s how you get testimony of the Spirit, the Water, and the Blood within you.

The Water from Jesus’ side flooded over you in the Water and Word of Holy Baptism. Now, you’re “born of God.” You’re a baptized child of the Father. That’s who you are in Jesus.

The Spirit is yours, too. Not just as a down payment in your Baptism. But the Spirit rings in your ears through the Spirit-filled Absolution. The resurrected Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit into you again and again, and the new life only the Spirit gives you is also breathed into you again and again in the Absolution. It’s why Jesus first gives the Spirit before He says, “If you forgive, they’re forgiven.”

The blood—that’s yours, too. The body and blood of Jesus are yours to eat and drink in His Supper. There you not only receive the body and blood that was crucified for you, but you also receive the body and blood that was raised for you. There you receive not only the “forgiveness of sins,” but you receive the promise and downpayment and pledge of your own resurrection from the dead. Jesus will send the Spirit to resurrect you on the Last Day, as He promises: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will resurrect him on the Last Day.”

And so you have the Spirit, the Water, and the Blood—over you, within you. You are a child of God. There’s no other testimony that counts for you. No other testimony that you need. You have those three witnesses in the crucified and raised Jesus. You have them in His wounds and empty tomb. You have them from the Font, from the Absolution, from the Supper of His Body and Blood, too.

Because you have that testimony within you, you overcome the world, you overcome sin, you overcome death. It’s yours by faith, by faith in Jesus. Faith does it because faith isn’t something good in itself. Faith is only as good as what it’s trust is in. Your faith is in Jesus. He’s the one who conquered for you. JESUS SWALLOWED UP DEATH INTO VICTORY. JESUS SPLIT DEATH WIDE OPEN.

The Spirit, the Water, and Blood make it yours, and nothing else. We live as if they don’t. We live as if it’s our believing, our acting like Christians, our being good people that does it. It’s why we compare ourselves to others, look down others, judge others. That’s man’s testimony. The testimony of our own hearts, the testimony of our own thoughts is that we need to overcome the world even in some small way, by drumming up our own faith, confidence, strength, response, and discipline to do it.

But “the testimony of God is greater.” You have that testimony. It’s yours because the Spirit, the Water, and the Blood are yours. You have them in the crucified and raised Jesus. You have them in His wounds, in His hands and feet and side. From His mouth they’re yours, too.

The Spirit, the Water, and the Blood are over you, within you. Font, Absolution, Supper all make it so. You could reject those Gifts. Say they’re important, but live as if they’re not. “Faith without works is dead.”

But in and through the Spirit, Water, and Blood you have the testimony that you’re not guilty in Jesus. Jesus is yours. He’s yours in His wounds. He’s yours in His hands, feet, and side. He’s yours at His Supper. He’s yours from His Font. He’s yours in the Absolution.

There are three who testify: the Spirit, the Water, and the Blood, and these three are one. They say the same thing. They’re witnesses, your witnesses. They testify that

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

He is for you.

INI + AMEN.

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