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Christ is Risen



Easter: The feast of Resurrection, series B
Lutheran Senior Services at Meramec Bluffs  
Ballwin, Missouri

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 

Soli Deo Gloria. Amen.

Invocation In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Acclamation Christ is risen!

[He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!]

1 Today we gather to mark and celebrate the greatest miracle of our Lord.  This Easter Sunday, we remember and give thanks for Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead.  Jesus Christ, crucified on the cross of Calvary, stabbed in the side by a centurion's spear, known to be cold and dead by government officials, religious authorities and devastated disciples is alive!  The stone is rolled away from his tomb.  The grave clothes lay folded all along.  The tomb is empty, because has risen from the dead.  By his resurrection he has forcefully and powerfully displayed the truth that he proclaimed throughout his earthly ministry: He is the eternally-begotten Son of God.  He is our God in the flesh, come in the flesh to save us from our sins.  St. Paul says in Romans 1:

[Romans 1.3-4]

Jesus Christ our Lord . . . was made of the seed of David according to the flesh: And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

2 Christ, true man and true God died the death of the cross for the sins of the world.  Christ, true man and true God rose from the dead for the sake of the world, declared by the Spirit undeniably to be the very Son of God.  By his life; by his death and by his resurrection, Christ declares with power this Easter morning what he declared that first Easter morning: He is indeed our Savior and our Lord.

3 As we celebrate Easter today, even in the midst of our resurrection joy, we still know all too well our particular and peculiar struggles.  From time to time our faith is weakened in the face of trial and temptation.  Our resolve to live steadfast and pious lives seems to rest more on or fortune in this life than on our trust in God.  Sickness, injury, illness and death continuously make their assaults on us, body and soul.  But in the face of our weak faith; in the face of our impious living; even in the face of sickness and certain death, Christ's resurrection is our hope.  Christ's resurrection is the promise of our future life with God.

4 For by his resurrection, Christ strengthens our faith in the face of temptation and trial and tribulation.  By his resurrection, Christ gives us power to remain steadfast in our faith amidst the changing fortunes of our lives.  By his resurrection, Christ gives us hope in the face of failing health and certain death, that on the Last Day, God will raise us up as he raised up Jesus and restore to us the divine perfection once known by Adam and Eve before their fall into sin.  Christ's resurrection is the display of God's power to do all these things.

5 That power—the power to raise the dead—is the power of God to give us new life.  It is the power of God to raise us from the death of sin here and now.  And it is the power of God to raise us body and soul to eternal life on the Last Day.  Here we see the true meaning of Easter: Resurrection.  Christ's resurrection.  My resurrection.  Your resurrection to perfection and glory to live forever in the presence of Almighty God!  When we say, "Christ is risen, he is risen indeed!" we're confessing our faith in more than Jesus' resurrection.  With these words we confess our faith in our own resurrection to life that has no end.

5 Christ's resurrection brings us eternal life, because by his resurrection, Christ has destroyed the power of death.  St. Paul writes:

[Romans 6.9]

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

Death has no more dominion over the risen Christ, for by his sacrificial death upon the cross he destroyed the dominion death held over him.  Death has no more power over Christ, for by his resurrection he has plundered all the power of death so that he will die no more.  By his grace, what is true of Christ is true of us.  Death has no more dominion over us, because by his death Christ has destroyed death's dominion.  Death has no more power over us, because by his death, Christ has plundered the power of death.

6 Risen from the dead, Christ now reigns as the life of the world.  He reigns in heaven at the right hand of God.  He reigns here on earth in the presence of his faithful followers.  In heaven above and on earth below, Christ reigns as your life and mine.  He reigns with the power of the spirit of holiness who raised him from the dead.  He reigns as the Son of God, sealed as such by the testimony of the Spirit of God, revealed to us by the prophets and apostles and evangelists in Holy Scripture.

7 By his resurrection, Christ reveals his holy power.  By his resurrection, he reveals his dominion over life and death.  And by his resurrection, Christ our Lord reveals to us today, that by his grace he gives us his power over our enemies in this life.  By his resurrection he gives us his dominion over death.  And by his resurrection he has opened the way to eternity for us all.

Acclamation Christ is risen.

[He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!  Amen.]

Invocation In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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