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

05 April 2015

Sermon: Easter Day

The Resurrection of Our Lord
5 April AD 2015
Concluding a Lent – Easter Series on Christ and Creation

Title: In the (New) Beginning: A New Creation (MP3 Audio)

Christus Victor Summary: “In the beginning, God created....” Not long afterwards, as Satan led Adam and Eve to shatter their relationship with the Lord, the entire Creation was fractured.

Our first parents were driven out of the Garden after hearing only the most bare-bones promise that God would use the woman’s Seed to execute judgment upon the Tempter. As centuries and millennia passed, He gradually filled in some of the details, both how He would accomplish this purpose and what it would finally entail.

Isaiah gives the most complete glimpse: Not only would the power of evil be forever broken but God who had created the heavens and the earth would make them anew. This New Creation would be peopled by new creatures — redeemed sinners who trusted in His promises and thus received His blessings.

Paul tells us that already, before the End of Time, we Christians are made a new creation in Christ Jesus. Our sin-sick, festering natures are clothed in Christ’s righteousness. In Christ, we are hidden from divine judgment, for this judgment already fell on the sinless Son of God.

We await the Last Judgment with expectant hope and boundless joy, for we know that what we are now by declaration we will then be in complete nature. The One who was made sin for us made us new by water and the Word and through His Gospel and Sacraments continues renewing us until the fulness of the New Creation dawns and He returns to welcome us into our eternal home.

Hymn: During Lenten midweek services, through Holy Week, the Vigil, and Easter morning, we will be singing With God in the Beginning as Office Hymn or Hymn of the Day. Each time we will sing two stanzas focusing on the Christology of that day’s sermon text from Genesis. The tune I chose is Auf, auf, mein Herz, known among many English-speaking Christians as the Easter hymn Awake, My Heart, with Gladness.

   In Christ, the Second Adam,
   Creation is remade.
   Death cannot hold God’s children;
   His Son destroyed our grave.
   Though mortal cloak shall fray,
   Christ wove a new array:
   This righteous dress is giv’n
   To all He brings to heav’n.

   Unlike the old Creation,
   The New shall never wane.
   Endless, our glad ovation
   We sing the Lamb Once Slain:
   “Amen! Dear Christ be praised —
   You who from death are raised —
   With Father, gracious God,
   And Holy Ghost we laud!”

      ©2003, 2015 Walter P. Snyder

The Resurrection Text: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.

We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

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 In the (New) Beginning: A New Creation.

NB: A few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio with Windows Media 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; Isaiah 25:6-9; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Mark 16:1-8

Illustrations: Christus Victor from Die Bibel in Bildern by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld and the Auferstehung (Resurrection) picture from the Kupferstichpassion (Passion engravings) by Albrecht Dürer, both at Wikimedia Commons.

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