05 April 2013

He Has Risen, Just as He Said

The Word of God has been fulfilled, and the purpose of His creation has been accomplished, in the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead.  He has obtained Sabbath rest for the people of God, sanctified the graves of His saints, and opened up the eternal Eighth Day of everlasting life (for both the soul and the body of His followers).

So, what’s the problem?

There is not simply doubt and unbelief, but a refusal to believe on the part of many.  Even the disciples of Jesus, who love Him, go looking for Him in all the wrong places.  So do you also look for Jesus at the grave, among the dead, that is to say, in the dying things of this fallen world, in which you will not find Him.

And there is fear, persistent fear, as much or more than anything else, at the Resurrection of the Lord — in which fear you behold the height of sin and the perversity of unbelief.

All of this is the curse and consequence of sin; and it is at work in your heart and life, as well.

You are doubtful, despairing, and afraid, even in the face of the Resurrection, though your sin is forgiven, and death has been defeated.  And you continue to look for help in all the wrong places.

Thanks be to God that He does not leave you at such a loss.  For He has dealt with your sin, and He also saves you from it by the Gospel.

The Cross of Christ has atoned for your sin, and the Resurrection of the Crucified One is the Absolution of your sin.  So also, the Word of the Gospel, which is the preaching of the Cross and Resurrection of Christ Jesus, calls you to repentant faith through His forgiveness of all your sins.

It is the Word of the Gospel that also points you to Jesus and gives Him to you;
not so much that it gives you directions for finding Him, but that He Himself finds you!

He has gone ahead of you, in order to blaze the trail and open the way for you, through death and the grave into heaven and eternal life.  But He has not, therefore, left you alone and lonely, helpless and afraid.  He meets you on the way, and speaks (again and again) His gracious Word to you.

And as the Cross and Resurrection were accomplished and fulfilled, just as He said, so are the Words and promises that He speaks to you, by the Gospel, full of the Spirit, the Truth, and the Life.

Thus, you can be sure and certain of the “Galilee” to which He sends you, where He meets you:

It is the Church of His Gospel–Word and Sacraments, on earth as it is in heaven.

It is the washing of the water with His Word and Holy Spirit in Holy Baptism.

It is the spoken Word of Holy Absolution, by which He forgives you all your sins.

And it is the Body and Blood of Christ Jesus in the Holy Communion, given and poured out for you, that you may eat and drink, and abide in Him, and He abide in you, unto life everlasting.  Lo, that is where He is with you always, and where you lay hold of Him and worship Him.

Do not be afraid!  Here is your Peace and Sabbath Rest.  Taste and see that the Lord is good, and that He has risen indeed!  Alleluia!

In the Name + of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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