Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Festival

1 April 2018
John 20:1-9
Christ is Risen!

O God, for our redemption You gave Your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross and by His glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of the enemy. Grant that all our sin may be drowned by daily repentance and that day by day we may arise to live before You in righteousness and purity forever. 

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The resurrection Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our faith. St. Paul would remind us, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied .But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep”.-1 Corinthians 15:17-20

1. Faith looks at the evidence.
A. Mary had the evidence but drew the wrong conclusion. Thinking someone had taken His body away. 
B. Peter and John had the evidence but were blinded by overwhelming emotion. “For as yet they did not understand the Scripture that he must rise from the dead.” –v.9
C. You have conclusive evidence.
1 The Old Testament prophecies. “For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.”   “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.” 

2 The predictions of Christ Himself. “Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” “ 
3 The testimony of the angel at the open grave. “Why seek the living amongst the dead? He is not here. He is risen! Remember how He told you while He was in Galilee? The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and on the third day be raised again.” 
4 The testimony of Jesus’ enemies. “But if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” 
5 The post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. In our Gospel lesson, Peter and John ran to the tomb. He appeared to the twelve when the doors were shut.  On the road to Emmaus Christ appeared to them.  St. Paul will remind us, “He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.  Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.” 

The evidence of Christ’s resurrection is overwhelming. Faith rejoices in this.

2. Faith rejoices in the consequences.
A. Jesus indeed is the Son of God. “Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 
B. Jesus is with us as our living Lord. “Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” 
C. The Father has accepted the sacrifice of Christ. “Who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” 
D. Christ’s resurrection is the pledge of our resurrection. “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” -1Corithians 15:20

What treasures there are for us in the empty tomb! “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

Biblical Source:
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Psalm 16:10
  Isaiah 53:10-11
 John 2:19;
 Matthew 20:18-19
  Luke 24:6-7
  Acts 5:39
 John 20:11-18
  John 20:19-31
  Luke 24:13-35
  1 Corinthians 15:4-8
 John 2:19
 Matthew 28:20
 Romans 4:25
 1 Corinthians 15:57

Woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, © WELS

Words- 765
Passive Sentences –5%
Readability – 78.6%
Reading Level – 5.0

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