Sunday, March 9, 2008

Resurrection Day!

March 23rd is Easter this year! This is that glorious day in the church year in which we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! This is a joyous celebration for so many different reasons! There is no story, there is no philosophy, there is no religious felling, there is no promotion at work that pours out more hope or more excitement than the resurrection of Jesus from the dead! And it is not just because a guy died one day and rose three days later (though that is remarkable in itself), but on top of that, it is what happens as a result of that resurrection that is so marvelous.

When humanity fell into sin because Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree in the garden, the entire planet suffered the consequences. Death was introduced, not just to humans, but to all that was made! In Romans 8:20-21 the apostle Paul says this, "For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage and decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God!" In other words, the world suffers death and decay because of the invasion of sin brought about by humanity. All that God has made suffers as a result of sin and, as Paul goes on to say, "has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time" (Romans 8:22) waiting to be renewed and remade into a creation that no longer faces death but has an abundance of life.

So the creation suffers frustration as it awaits redemption. And, as a part of that creation, we too suffer frustration as we await redemption. Paul goes on, "Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies." (Romans 8:23) You and I, along with this entire planet, suffer because of our sins. And not just spiritually, but physically as well. We face death, pain, illnesses, poverty, rejection, loneliness, etc. because of sin (note, these things are not sins, they are among the results of sin, but not sins in themselves!). With the creation, we inherently know that something is not right, and we await for redemption.

And then Jesus walks out of the grave! Jesus who suffered the worst of the effects of sin on the cross and died poor, rejected, and lonely, walks out of the grave! He walks out of the grave having conquered death. Death tried to hold down Jesus just like it does to the rest of us, but Jesus conquered it and came back to life. And, since Jesus is more powerful than death, he comes back to life to give life to you and me! When we face death and think it cannot be avoided we look to the risen Christ and see that death no longer can defeat us! We have resurrection, not death, as our end (and beginning!). And this is not true just for a few Christians who believe in Jesus, but the whole of creation will receive the benefits of this resurrection. All that is created and is groaning as in pains of childbirth will cease its groaning and begin laughing in the new life it receives! And you and I with the creation! Why? Because Jesus walked out of the grave. Deathless, joyous eternity is ours because of Christ. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, "So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body." Because Jesus walked out of the grave, the whole creation will be redeemed! Glory be to Jesus!

Pastor Bob

Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email