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The Resurrection of Our Lord

April 21, 2019 Speaker: Murray Keith Series: Easter

Passage: 1 Corinthians 15:19–15:26

†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: 1 Corinthians 15:19-26
Date: April 21st, 2019; Easter Sunday
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • This morning is so different from when we were last gathered here on Friday.
  • On Good Friday we left here with the sins of the world having been poured out on Jesus.
  • On Good Friday it was “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” - and we left here with a dead Jesus, wrapped in burial cloths, laid in a sealed tomb.
  • This morning, however, things are very different.
  • Jesus Christ is risen today!  
  • As we heard earlier in St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
  • And this fact changes everything!
  • On Easter Sunday we see that our sins that once separated us from God have been removed as far as the East is from the West by Jesus’ death on the cross!
  • On Easter Sunday we see an open and empty tomb!
  • And so we shout with joy: Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
  • But, in order for the risen Christ to have deeper meaning for us, we are going to talk a bit about something that isn’t too chocolate bunny-y or easter eggy.
  • We are going to talk a bit about death.
  • “Two things are certain,” as the saying goes, “death and taxes.”
  • This is true, at least of death.
  • The mortality rate in this sinful and fallen world is 100%.  
  • The wages of sin is death - and we are all going to collect those wages.
  • While it’s more pleasant to talk about lilies and chocolate bunnies and easter egg hunts - it’s important to know that Easter is really much more about death and life.
  • “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians.
  • Some of us carry death with us wherever we go.
  • The death of a loved one and the sorrow and the grief it has brought into our life weighs on us - and it’s heavy. 
  • Life will never be the same without that person - and there’s no getting around that.
  • Some of us carry death wherever we go in a different way.
  • Broken relationships. Broken hearts. Broken dreams.
  • Bitterness. Resentment. Jealousy. Hatred.
  • Fear for the future. Anxiety over our kids and grandkids. Worry over the rent or mortgage. Fretting over our job and pension.
  • Suffering with aches and pains.  Fighting disease.  Losing our mobility, our sight, our independence.
  • These are all symptoms of death in our broken, sinful, and dying world – all symptoms of death in our life.
  • But, my brothers and sisters in Christ - in the face of sin and death we shout: Jesus Christ is risen today! 
  • We hear and believe the Good News that through Jesus has come the resurrection of the dead and in Christ we shall be made alive!
  • In the face of sin and death we shout: He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
  • “Don’t be afraid” Jesus said to the women at the tomb that first Easter morning.
  • Jesus says the same to you this morning.  Don’t be afraid.
  • Bring your brokenness and fear to the One who was broken on the cross for you.
  • Bring your sin and death to the One who lives - even though he died.
  • Jesus, who in fact has been raised rom the dead, is the way and the truth and the life.
  • “Don’t be afraid” - Jesus lives!  And because he lives you shall also!
  • So celebrate!  Live life!  Rejoice in this great good news!  Death is dead!
  • Maybe there will be an empty chair around the Easter dinner table this year. 
  • Maybe that chair has been empty for a long while. 
  • As we remember our loved one, we give thanks to God for that person and the time we had with them.
  • And above all on this Easter Sunday, we give thanks to God for the eternal life that Jesus has given to our loved ones by grace through faith – a life that we will all share together.
  • You are a Christian. Baptized into the body of Christ. Washed clean of your sins for the sake of Jesus.
  • You need not fear death and hell because Jesus has defeated them for you.
  • By grace through faith you join in this victory.
  • This day is all about life.  Life today and tomorrow.  Life forever.
  • Resurrection has already begun.  
  • We who are joined to Christ in Baptism are next.  
  • We who receive forgiveness and life through Christ’s true body and blood in the Lord’s Supper will soon follow.  
  • We who have received God’s gift of faith go through death and burial to eternal life just as Jesus did.
  • In fact, Christ has been raised from the dead.
  • In fact, in Christ, you will be raised from the dead.
  • This is no idle tale.  
  • He is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!
  • “Christ is risen, and you o death are annihilated. Christ is risen, and the evil ones are cast down. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life is liberated. Christ is risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead; for Christ, having risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.”  (from the Easter homily of Saint John Chrysostom)
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.

More in Easter

June 2, 2019

Seventh Sunday of Easter

May 26, 2019

Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 19, 2019

Fifth Sunday of Easter