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

27 April 2014

Sermon: Easter 2A (Gospel)

Second Sunday of Easter
27 April AD 2014

Title: The Twin’s Twins (MP3 Audio)

Caravaggio's Thomas Summary: We’re not sure why Scripture calls Thomas “Twin.” We can, however, be certain that we are his spiritual twins. All too often, we also find excuses to avoid believing and following God’s Word. Our avoidance may be based on reason or on emotion but it’s an ongoing problem in our relationship with Him.

Jesus calls us to forsake disbelief. He points to Himself through Word and Sacrament, inviting us to cast off our doubts and trust solely in Him. He still gives us His body as proof of His resurrection in the bread of Holy Communion and in the form of His Church.

Through the work of the Holy Spirit, Christ also makes us into another type of twin to Thomas — each of us becomes Thomas’s twin in faith. For just as his rationalist rejection of the Resurrection was overcome, so the Lord’s Word and Spirit undo our resistance to Jesus’ atoning sacrifice and our rejection of the new and eternal life that follows. The Spirit moves each of us to believe with the heart and to confess with the mouth, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus Greets Thomas Text: On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.

Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:19-31

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 The Twin’s Twins.

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 148; Acts 5:29-42; 1 Peter 1:3-9

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