With the preaching of angels you learn to know God perfectly. And those words are: “Jesus is not here. Jesus has risen.”
Indeed. The women saw the empty tomb. So did Peter. Perplexing. Marvelous. FOR YOU, that is! In the crucified and risen Jesus you know God perfectly. That Jesus is God FOR YOU. What Jesus did on Good Friday and Easter Sunday is FOR YOUR salvation. As pure gift from Jesus! Truly Jesus justifies the ungodly as St. Paul preaches.
Jesus is risen. This is no idle tale. It is the truth, just as Jesus promised. Jesus was delivered into the hands of sinful men. Crucified. But on the third day raised from the grave never to die again. Remember Jesus’ promise? Jesus preached it over and over again. Good thing Jesus had what many would call a death and resurrection mania! A death and resurrection on the brain!
Jesus’ death and resurrection is the gospel! What is primary! What is ultimate! I preach it to you today. Why do you look for the LIVING in a grave at the cemetery? I said, why do you look for the LIVING? The LIVING! That’s the key word! LIVING! Jesus is risen! Jesus died for your sins according to the Scriptures. Jesus was buried and RAISED on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
Here is the fact: “Christ has been raised from the dead.”
Death is not your friend. Death is not to be welcomed. Death is your enemy.
However, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that your enemy death is defeated in Jesus. Death is put to death in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus rose. And so will you on the Last Day. The unbelieving and unbaptized will be raised in their body for everlasting death. However, those who believe this Gospel and are baptized in His name will be raised in their body for everlasting life. Until then, you live in what Jesus has promised you in your Baptism. There you were baptized “into Christ’s death.” Consequently, since “you have been united with Jesus like this in Jesus’ death, you will certainly also be united with Jesus in his resurrection.” (Romans 6)
What you have now by faith, on the Last Day you will see with your eyes. It is this: “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” when Jesus raises your body from your grave to give you a resurrected body like His never to die again.
Your bodily resurrection to eternal life is for sure. It is certain. Jesus will do it. Jesus promises. Jesus is the first fruit of those that sleep because, “Jesus is not here. Jesus has risen.” Jesus is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Happy Easter in the name of Jesus.
Rev. Jeffrey W. Pautz is pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church, 2611 Lucas St. in Muscatine. Sunday service is at 9 a.m. and Monday at 6 p.m.