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He Is Not Here! He is Risen! Remember What He Told You!

April 21, 2019

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The Resurrection of Our Lord                                                  Trinity Lutheran Church

21 April 2019                                                                                                       Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

Luke 24:1-12

 

Incredible! Astonishing! What do you expect to see at the grave? The corpse. The dead body.

 

Instead, there is no body! No corpse. The tomb is empty! No doubt the jars of ointments and spices as well as the women’s chins hit the ground.

 

Astonishment turns to panic. Where are the guards? Wasn’t the tomb sealed? What has happened? Grave robbers? A cruel hoax? Has the body been moved to another grave? Who? Where? Why?

 

And then there’s more shock. Angels. Two of them. They appear. Stand right next to the women. With all the glory of heaven itself. This time the question comes from the angels. “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

 

And then the angels preach. It’s what they do best. It’s their expertise. Sent by the Lord Himself they faithfully proclaim:   “He is not here! He is risen! Remember His words. Remember what Jesus Himself preached over and over again in Galilee that He, the Son of Man, must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day.”

 

The first Easter sermon. It preaches the fact. Jesus is risen! Bodily. Physically. Death could not hold Him! He is the first fruits of them that sleep. He is the Resurrection and the Life.

 

The women remembered. They believed. They trusted. They were the faith-ers. Hadn’t seen the resurrected Jesus yet, but they believed His word that the angels preached.

 

What do you do with such good salvific news? You pass it on. And the women do. Immediately they run back to the apostles and the rest. “He is risen! He is risen! He is risen!”

 

The apostles don’t believe. It sounded like nonsense. A bunch of hysterical nonsense.

 

But it wasn’t! It is the truth. The absolute and categorical truth. Over the next forty days Jesus appeared in His resurrected flesh to His disciples. To Mary Magdalene who mistook him for the gardener. On the road to Emmaus with two disciples. To Thomas who touched Jesus scarred hands and side. To Peter and the others in locked room. To seven while they were fishing. To over five hundred eyewitnesses at one time. To James and to all the apostles. To Paul on the road to Damascus. All of them saw the risen Lord Jesus with their own eyes. Some ate with Him. As I said some touched Him. All were willing to die as martyrs rather than deny Him.

 

I’ve been sent by the Lord Jesus to tell you the Easter truth. Remember His words of promise. His words are life. He is the life. Life that conquers death. Life that conquers sin. Life that opens the grave. Life that harrows hell. Jesus’ words are truth filled with the Spirit of Truth and Life.

 

Jesus repeatedly told the disciples that He would die and on the third day rise again. He gave them His Word. Then He died. And He rose on the third day. Just as He said He would! He speaks the truth!

 

He speaks the truth when He says: “I Am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me, even though he dies, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”

 

Jesus speaks the truth when He says: “This is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life and I will raise him up on the last day.”

 

And: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.”

 

One more: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up on the last day.”

 

Jesus who speaks these words is the One who died and who now lives. He is the Lamb who was slain but now reigns. He is the Suffering Servant who is glorified.

 

Trust what He says. Believe what He promises. His words are as certain and true as He is – the crucified and risen Savior. His resurrection testifies that His words are true and that they are to believed by all who would have eternal life and the resurrection from the dead.

 

Jesus has risen from the dead never to die again. Go ahead and be like the women. Tell others this salvational good news. People may dismiss it as nonsense. Tell it anyway. Invite others to meet Jesus for themselves in the water of holy baptism, in the absolution, in the Word preached and in the Lord’s Supper where He delivers the salvation He won for all on the cross.

 

In addition, when you are discouraged, when you have doubts, are fearful, in despair – REMEMBER HIS WORDS. Remember His promise that He is the Resurrection and the Life. Remember His Good Friday death FOR YOU. His empty tomb FOR YOU.

 

Jesus has died. But He has risen victoriously. He leads you through the valley of the shadow of death into the land of the living.

 

You have His Word on that! He gives you His promise. It’s true.

 

Happy Easter!

 

In the Name of Jesus .

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