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Jesus’ Resurrection Is FOR YOU!

April 20, 2014

 

resurrection

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The Resurrection of Our Lord (Sunrise)                  Immanuel Lutheran Church

20 April 2014                                                                   Louisville, NE

 

 

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

 

Well, St. Paul does what he’s been given to do.  He preaches.  After all preachers preach, don’t they?  Some better than others!  At least the Corinthian congregation thought so!  So what does St. Paul preach?  It’s of “first importance,” the most important or preeminent.  What in the world could that be?  Get ready for it.  Here it is.  He preaches, “The gospel by which you are saved!”

 

Did you hear that?  I’d better say it again.  He preaches “the gospel by which you are saved.”  Now that’s a preacher!  They’re quite rare these days.  Especially on this day!  We covet preachers of the gospel.  After all, the gospel “is the power of God for salvation to you who believe,” (Romans 1:16) or as Paul puts it today:  “the gospel by which you are saved.”

 

And the content or the guts of the gospel is this:  “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

 

Who did all those verbs?  Died?  Buried?  Resurrected?  Was it you who?  I don’t think so!  Well then who did?  Jesus the Christ did.  He died.  He was buried.  He was raised.  When He’s doing the verbs – the salvation verbs – all is salvationly good – FOR YOU!

 

What was needed for your salvation was done, “according to the Scriptures.”  According to God’s Word.  No better words than the Lord’s.  So Jesus lives, suffers, dies, gets buried and raised, “according to the Scriptures.”

 

Jesus does all this not for Himself!  He does all this FOR YOU His sinners!  For Paul the abnormally born and former primo persecutor of the church, the body of Christ!  For James the half-brother of Jesus who was an unbeliever for a long time.  For Peter who resolutely refused to confess Jesus when push came to shove.  Three times (with false oaths and taking the Lord’s Name in vain) he categorically denied knowing the suffering Jesus let alone being His disciple.

 

The dead and buried Jesus is the risen Jesus!  Your salvation depends on Him doing those three verbs for you.  If He didn’t do all three verbs, then you are still in your sins and you’ll be damned in them, your faith in Him is a joke, and you’re the most pitiful people in the world.

 

BUT HE DID DO THE VERBS!  BECAUSE YOUR SALVATION WAS AT STAKE!

 

So, Lamb of God Jesus takes on the world’s sin in His Body.  Yours too!  And all its damnation!  He rises from the dead leaving all your sin and its curse in the black hole of His tomb.  Then He sends preachers like Paul, Peter, James, the Twelve – and yes, even a Sollberger, Bagnall and a Kuhlman to proclaim and apply Christ’s promise of forgiveness to you His sinners.  The crucified, dead and buried, but now risen Jesus sees to it that His pardon for all sin and every sinner gets preached.

 

Yes, Christ’s Good Friday redemption won for sinners and for you is to be preached and distributed.  That’s what today is all about.  It’s about the preaching of the gospel that “saves you.”

 

So here goes.  In Christ’s stead and by His command I’m here to tell you that you are forgiven.  You are saved.  You have eternal life.  You too will be raised from the grave on the Last Day.  Jesus has borne all your sin, your death and the grave.  You have been buried with Jesus into His Good Friday all-sin-forgiven-death through the water of Holy Baptism.  His promise for you is this:  “He who believes and is baptized will be saved,” (Mark 16:16).  And even more!  More gospel promise:  “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins.”  His Body and Blood with the bread and wine:  the very medicine of immortality!  So that on the Last Day this same Jesus will raise your mortal body in glory and power.

 

“We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed,” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

 

Well, this is what I “preach.”  And by God’s grace “this is what you believe,” thegospel that “saves you,” namely, “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

 

Happy Easter Morning.

 

In the Name of Jesus.

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