Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.

31 March 2013

Sermon: Easter Day C (OT)

The Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord
31 March AD 2013

Title: New and Improved (MP3 Audio)

Cranach: Resurrection Summary: This old world is tired and wearing out. Its people face age, accident, and illness — all part of being conceived and born sinners in a fallen Creation. We also must confront the consequences of our sins, not merely the guilt we happen to recognize or feel at any one time but the entire dreadful judgement God pronounces on all our shameful thoughts, words, and deeds.

Physically, we may try fighting the effects of time, sickness, or injury — we may even seem to win for a while. However, no program of diet and exercise, no amount of special care, no actions on our part can undo the inevitable. We will fall apart and die. Or, we may die before having much opportunity to deteriorate physically or mentally. Worse is the eternal death that awaits those who rebel against their Creator.

Because of this, God decided to remake everything and to do so literally from the ground up. He promises to create “new heavens and a new earth” and to populate this new Creation with people made new, recreated in His image rather than that of fallen Adam.

Christ’s resurrection is the first tangible sign of this new Creation. He who suffered death for us took up His life again, promising to make new all who trust in His forgiveness. Just as the Father unmade His beloved Son’s death, so does He unmake ours. He who put all sins to death on Jesus’ cross delivers into eternal life all who believe in Him.

God’s creating Word is God’s incarnate Word. The God who took on the body of a man promises to recreate believing mankind in body, mind, and spirit. Our Lord Christ pledges the new Creation based upon the fact of His original Creation and upon His very real life, suffering, death, and resurrection.

Creation Text: “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness.

“I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.

“They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain or bear children for calamity, for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the Lord, and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.

“The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,” says the Lord. Isaiah 65:17-25

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of New and Improved.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 16; 1 Corinthians 15:19-26; Luke 24:1-12

Please visit Aardvark Alley to read The Resurrection of Our Lord, which includes Saint John Chrysostom’s Paschal homily celebrating death being swallowed up by the One whom it swallowed.

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