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Lucille Kupke Funeral

October 21, 2012

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Saturday of Pentecost 20B                                                                   

20 October 2012                                                                                                       


+Jesu Juva +


Lucille Marie Kupke Funeral

1 Corinthians 15:17-20, 51-57


Jesus predicted it many times.  He preached over and over again that He would suffer, die, and then on third day rise from the dead.  AND HE DID IT!  And He alone!


 “Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).


This is of first importance.  Eternal life or death important!  Salvation or damnation important.  If Jesus didn’t do an Easter morning then His Good Friday would have been emptied of its power.  St. Paul puts it rather bluntly:  “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”


No resurrection of Jesus = no forgiveness of sins for you or for any sinner.  And where there is no forgiveness of sins for Jesus’ sake, there is no life or no salvation for you – or for anyone.  If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then you are still in your sins, you will die in them, and you will be condemned in them.  God’s wrath is all that will remain on you. Your faith in Jesus, then, is a colossal waste of time and your life is just a pathetic pity.  After all, if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead like He promised, He would be a fraud – a fake – a pretender.


But just the opposite is true!  Jesus did rise from the dead!  That is a fact!  His grave is empty.  And many saw Him after His resurrection.  He did what He preached and promised.  For you, for Lucille, and for the world!


His resurrection gives proof that He is indeed who He says He is!  It also proves that what He did for all sinners on that Friday afternoon called “Good” was indeed for their salvation! 


“I am the Resurrection and the Life,” Jesus proclaimed to Martha.  Not just on the Last Day BUT EVEN NOW!  Indeed He is.  Resurrection and eternal Life stands right before her very eyes.  And that’s Jesus! And then Jesus makes a promise:  “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”


And then the Lord asks the biggest theological question of Martha, you, or me!   And what is that?  “Do you believe this?”  Do you believe that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life?  Do you believe His promise that He is the Firstfruits of those who sleep?  Do you believe His promise that whoever believes in Him will live even though he dies?  Martha did.  So did Lucille!  As you believe so you have!  As you believe you have exactly what Jesus promises!  For faith clings to Jesus and His promises!


And that’s the Jesus who died for you, me, Lucille, and all sinners.  He took all your sin in His Body on the cross and answered for all of it.  Your sin is His.  “He was pierced for our transgressions.  He was crushed for our iniquities.  The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all,” (Isaiah 53:5-6).  “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin,” (2 Corinthians 5:21). 


That’s the Jesus who did precisely what He promised.  He rose from the grave.  Death could not hold Him! The resurrection of Jesus on the third day is the all-controlling fact of world history, Lucille’s life, and your life for you who believe in Him. 


Your life is never the same once Jesus does a Good Friday and an Easter Sunday for you.  You and I are nothing.  He is everything!  He is the Resurrection and the Life.  And His promises for you are always certain and sure. “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”  Lucille believed this promise of the Lord.  And so she could die in peace. 


In the strength of the Lord’s promises, we will go to the cemetery in a few minutes.  There we will tuck Lucille’s created, redeemed, and sanctified by-Christ’s-blood body into her grave, wait patiently for a happy reunion in heaven, and finally for the Lord on the Last Day to appear and bark out to her and to all of us just like Lazarus, “Come out!  Time to wake up sleepy heads!  It is Resurrection Day!”  And then He will give us our resurrected bodies: raised imperishable and immortal, raised in glory, raised in power! 


Death does not have the final word.  Jesus does!  All because He rose from the dead as He promised! “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”  Faith then says like St. Paul:  “Thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” who is the Resurrection and the Life!” 


In the Name of Jesus.       

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