Monday, April 8, 2013
Words of Wisdom, Resurrection victory
Here is an excerpt from an Easter sermon by Rev. David Peterson, pastor of Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church (LC-MS), Fort Wayne, Indiana. It comes from his book, "Thy Kingdom Come," available at http://emmanuelpress.us/ for about $20-$25. It is a book of more than 60 sermons for the Lenten and Easter season, including a few sermons on Minor Festivals that fall in these seasons. It well worth the cost. If you get it, please resist all urges to come up to me and ask, "Why can't YOU preach like that?"
From Easter Sunday, by Rev. Peterson, who taunts death and the grave:
"Now all men have been reconciled to the Father in the death of Jesus Christ. No one who believes in Him, even if he sleep, will ever die. Jesus has risen for our justification. He has declared us righteous and holy and welcomes us to Himself in the Holy Communion. You can scowl, threaten, and attack, but you have lost. You are defeated. You have come to an end. Jesus lives!
"So we bury our dead, O grave, only to mock you, not because they are dead, but because they live, because they are with Jesus, and their bodies sleep while they wait for the resurrection to come. We bury our dead because they have been sanctified and sealed for the resurrection through the risen body and blood of Jesus poured out on them in the Holy Communion. They go into you only that they might follow Jesus out of you and defeat you.
"You think that is victory? It is utter defeat. But you get no pity, bitter tyrant, from us, for Jesus lives. He is our king.
"So I ask again: Where, O grave, where is your victory? Where is your sting? They are gone. Jesus lives. And Jesus, alive out of the grave, is here for us--living, risen, in His holy body and His precious blood, the seal of the new life, the forgiveness of sins, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, given to us to eat and to drink that we would never die and never suffer your lying tyranny.
"Alleluia. Alleluia. Jesus lives."