20 April 2019

Easter Proclamation of the Resurrection

Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

It is the beginning of the New Creation, the dawning of the eternal Eighth Day, in which there is no longer any night, nor is there death anymore forever.

The Creator of the heavens and the earth, who caused the Light to shine out of darkness at His Word, has brought forth the true Light, Jesus Christ, out of the darkness of death and the grave, to shine upon you in grace, mercy, and Peace.

That true and living Word by whom all things are made — who for you and your salvation became flesh, and bore your sins in His own Body on the Cross, and suffered death in your place — He has risen from the dead.  And now He makes of you a new creation in Himself by the Voice of His Gospel.

As by one man, Adam, all men died, so by this New Adam, Jesus Christ, all men are made alive.  He is brought forth from the dust of the earth in righteousness, and He breathes the living and Life-giving Holy Spirit into your nostrils, into your dry bones, by and with His forgiveness of all your sins.  Thus do you live!

The waters of the Flood have overwhelmed you and covered you, drowned and destroyed you.  Yet, the Lord Himself has entered those same deadly waters along with you, and He has emerged and arisen victorious.  Out of the water He comes, and you are with Him, anointed by the Spirit and blessed by the Father.

Thus do you pass through the waters on dry ground, out of Egypt, out of the bondage of sin and death, out from under Pharaoh’s bitter yoke, through the wilderness, and into the Promised Land of milk and honey with Jesus at last.

The waters that have drowned and destroyed you in Adam, and put the old Adam to death in you, have lifted you up in Christ Jesus, and Christ has risen in you, so that you are now kept dry and secure within the Holy Ark of Christendom.

Here there is the foretaste of the Feast to come.  Here there is Christ, your Manna in the wilderness, the true and living Bread from heaven.  From Him flow streams of living Water, even here and now, in the desert of this sinful world.

He pours out His Spirit generously upon you.  Therefore, you shall not die but live.  For the Lamb has been given in your stead.  His Blood covers and protects you from all evil.  And He is your Meat and Drink indeed.  Even in the fires of trial and temptation, He is yet your cooling shade.  He shelters you round about.  Whether for death or life, you are the Lord’s.  You are hidden with Christ in God.

Let no fear or trembling seize you now, for sin, death, and hell cannot have you.  The devil and his chariots and horsemen are defeated.  They cannot harm you anymore, for they are all undone.  And though you are up to your neck in trouble, know that Christ is with you even there, and that you shall rise and live with Him.

Gracious and merciful is the Lord forever.  He is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  His Word and Spirit have called you to repentance and to faith in His forgiveness of all your sins, and knit you together in the Body and Blood of Christ.  Where He is, there you shall be also, body and soul, forever and ever.

He has died your death, and you are now raised up in His mighty Resurrection.

You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  It is meet and right that you do.  But He is no longer in the tomb.  He has risen.  He lives and abides for you, also in His flesh and with His precious blood, before the Father in heaven.  For He is your great High Priest, who is with you always in the waters of your Baptism.  He is in the Gospel of forgiveness, the Word of Absolution.  He is set before you at His Altar to eat and to drink.  He is in your ears, and in your mouth, and in your heart, and in your body.  For Christ is risen.  He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

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