26 April 2019

He Has Risen, Just as He Said

The Word of the Lord has been fulfilled, and the purpose of His good creation has been perfected, in the Resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead.  He has obtained and established 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 Christians.

So, what’s the problem?

There is not simply doubt and unbelief, but an outright refusal to believe on the part of so many people.  Even the disciples of Jesus, though they love Him, they still go looking for Him in all the wrong places.  And you are no different and no better.  You also look for Jesus in the grave, among the dead, that is to say, in the dying things of this fallen world.  But you will not find Him there.

There is also a persistent fear, as much or more than anything else, in response to the Resurrection of the Lord.  And in that fear is found the height of sin and the utter perversity of unbelief.

Such hardness of heart and debilitating fear belong to the curse and consequences of sin, which are at work in your heart and life, in your body and soul, 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 keep on looking for help in all the wrong places.

Thank the Lord that He does not leave you to wallow in your misguided misery and fatal attempts at self-medication.  Instead, He deals with your sins, and He saves you from them by His Gospel.

The Cross of Christ has atoned for all of your sins, and the Resurrection of the Crucified One is your Righteousness and Life with God.  So, then, by the preaching of His Cross and Resurrection in His Name and stead, He calls you to repentance and to faith in His forgiveness of your sins.

It is likewise the Word and preaching of His Gospel that points you to Christ 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 the Resurrection and eternal Life.  But He has not left you alone and lonely, helpless and afraid.  He meets you on the way, and He speaks (again and again) His gracious Word to you.

And as the Cross and Resurrection were accomplished and fulfilled, just as He said, so the Words and promises that He speaks to you by the Gospel are 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 your Holy Baptism, which remains in effect and saves you, not only here in time, but for eternity hereafter in body and soul.

So, too, 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.  Behold, that is where He is with you always, and where you lay hold of Him and worship Him.

Do not be afraid!  Here is the One who is your Righteousness and Holiness, your perfect 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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