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

04 April 2015

Sermon: The Vigil of Easter

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

Title: In the (New) Beginning: God Rested (MP3 Audio)

God Rested Summary: In the beginning, once He “finished his work that he had done,” God “rested on the seventh day.” On the sixth day of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, hanging from the cross, Jesus could say of His work of redemption, “It is finished.” On that following Sabbath, He, too rested “from all his work that he had done.”

The brutal battle is ended, the crushing work of saving mankind over. Jesus is now our Sabbath — our rest — any day of the week, any month, any year. Through time and into eternity, we know that we are at peace with God and free from the demands of the Law.

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 sleep of death our Savior
   Rested in borrowed tomb;
   Disciples’ lives lost pleasure,
   Evermore grew their gloom.
   For Christ the Lord was dead;
   Their house had lost its Head.
   Doom and despair held sway
   That sorr’wing Sabbath Day.

   Forgotten in their anguish,
   God’s words from olden day:
   “My Holy One won’t languish
   In tomb to see decay.”
   Christ’s Sabbath hallowed graves
   Of those He came to save.
   From evil, woe, and harm
   He rests us in His arms.

      ©2003, 2015 Walter P. Snyder

Christ's Rest in the Tomb Text: Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.

So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. Genesis 2:1-3

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: God Rested.

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: Genesis 1:1-2:3*; Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13; Genesis 22:1-18; Exodus 14:10-15:1; Isaiah 55:1-11; Ezekiel 36:24-28*; Deuteronomy 31:19-30*; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Job 19:20-27; Jonah 3:1-10*; Zephaniah 3:12-20*; Daniel 3:1-30*; John 20:1-18 or Mark 16:1-8*

*Not read tonight.

Illustrations: On the Seventh Day God Rested from Die Bibel in Bildern by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld at Wikimedia Commons. Christ in the Tomb from Art of the Church Year by Ed Riojas available through Higher Things Store.

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