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Monday, April 1, 2013

April 2013

He is risen! Alleluia! Jesus died the ultimate death on behalf of sinners, thus taking away death as our ultimate fate. He was raised again, St. Paul says, "for our justification" (Romans 4:25). That is, He rose again from the dead to restore humanity's right standing (righteousness) with God. Our sins have been finally forgiven, once for all. Our death has been removed and will be reversed. You and me, we are right with God now and for eternity. This is the very gospel that gives us hope and life. Again, St. Paul says,

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, f you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...(1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

The resurrection of Jesus is the Gospel, the good news that is of first importance in our lives. And not just for us Christians, it is of first importance for the whole world, whether the world realizes it or not.

One of the big implications of the resurrection of Jesus is that this world matters to God. Too often we Christians act like this world doesn't matter all that much and we are just biding our time until heaven. But, in fact, the resurrection of Jesus demonstrates that God does not feel this way at all. In fact, this world, His creation, matters to Him a great deal. The resurrection is the beginning of God's restoration project of this earth. He is restoring things to the way they were before we, in our sinful rebellion, subjected ii to destruction (Romans 8:19-22). While the rebellion of Adam and Eve has brought curses upon God's creation (remember part of Adam's curse was to pull thorns and thistles from the ground, Genesis 3:18), Mary sees Jesus after the resurrection and confuses Him for a gardener, perhaps because Jesus is weeding out the thorns and thistles for good (John 20:15). He is making all things new (Revelation 2l:5).

We who have been baptized have been raised to a new life with Christ (Romans 6:l-12). The curses, though still burdening us, do not rule us. Our sins and the curses of sin are dead to us and we are dead to them. We are alive to Christ! "Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:11). Being with Christ and freed from the curse, we can now join Christ in weeding the garden. Our jobs, our families, our church, our community all become our little comers of the garden where we can work against the perpetual annoyance of sin. United to Christ in His resurrection we are free from sin, counted alive to God, so we can actually live against the curse! We can find joy in this creation and work to help others find that joy. We can actually live as those who know the true Lord of the world and care for it just as He has cared for us! The resurrection of Christ justifies us, it puts us right with God. Also, having been united to Christ, we can joyfully work to make right what has gone so wrong in God's beloved creation. He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!

Pastor Bob

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