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He Is Risen! FOR YOU!

April 16, 2017

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The Resurrection of Our Lord / Sunrise Service           Trinity Lutheran Church

16 April 2017                                                                          Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

John 20:1-18

 

“They did not yet know from the SCRIPTURES that Jesus had to rise from the dead.”

 

Scriptures said it would happen. So did Jesus. Many times. Over and over again. That’s precisely what it meant for Him to be the Christ, the Son of the living God – dying but then rising on the third day!

 

Mary saw the massive stone rolled away. Took a peek inside the empty tomb and she guessed that the body had been stolen. Grave robbers! “They have take the LORD out of the tomb and we don’t know where they have put him.”    And then when Mary sees the resurrected Jesus with her own eyes she mistakes Him for the gardener.

 

Peter and John take a look too. The strips of linen that covered the corpse and the cloth that was wrapped around Jesus’s head were there. So it wasn’t the work of grave robbers. Something else must have happened. But what?

 

“They did not yet know from the SCRIPTURES that Jesus had to rise from the dead.”

The Scriptures are to be heard. Listened to. Believed. As God’s promissory Word. The Scriptures testify to Jesus. So listen to the Scriptures. Listen to Jesus’ Word. “My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me.” So, risen from the dead Shepherd Jesus sees her and says, “Mary.” He calls her by name. He reaches out to her in her sorrow and distress with His Word. His voice is His Word. Then she recognizes Him as she, His little sheep, hears His Word!

 

“Rabonni!” she exclaims. Rabonni means “my Teacher.” That’s the specific term reserved by pious Hebrews for God alone! Hearing His Word she believes. He speaks to her personally and tenderly. The living Word of her living, resurrected Lord has its faith-creating-way with her. FAITH! Faith comes by hearing! AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF CHRIST!

 

This morning you are given to hear the Scriptures! They testify to Jesus. He died FOR YOU. On the cross He absorbed your death, your disease, your sin, your sickness, your suffering into His Good Friday body and He nailed them all to death once and for all on the cross. He rose from the grave on the third day FOR YOU. He now reigns to give you all the salvational benefits and salvific gifts that flow from His cross good Friday-ly done through His Word.

 

What word is that? Well, it is the Matthew 28:19 Word combined with the water of your baptism by which He not only called you by name but actually gave you the very saving Name of the Trinity Himself!   In addition, at your baptism Jesus embraced you with His death and life. St. Paul puts the baptismal gift this way: “For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God,” (Col 3:3). In baptism you are buried with Jesus and He is buried in you!

 

There is more.   To you, the baptized sheep that hear His voice, Jesus buries His crucified, risen and ascended body and blood into you through the bodily eating of bread and wine. At the Lord’s Supper with His promise of forgiveness, Jesus gives you the gifts of the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up on the Last Day,” (Jn 6:54).

 

Well, let me finish this sermon with a flurry. Or how about this? With the good news of the gospel all the more! Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed! In His resurrection Jesus gives you a preview of the Last Day when He will raise you from your grave and give you resurrected bodies like His that will never die. In Jesus, death has been swallowed up in victory! Christ’s! The disorder and darkness of death have been reordered by the light of Christ! “When Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory,” (Col 3:4). Jesus is your life. Jesus is your resurrection. Just as the Scriptures say. Just as Jesus promises. Sheep, listen to Him. Sheep, trust Jesus who pledges: “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). And: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved,” (Mk 16:16).

 

Happy Easter Morning!

 

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