Saturday, 19 January 2019

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Blogs > Good News: Easter is Just Getting Started

Good News: Easter is Just Getting Started

For the world, Easter has come and gone.  For the world, Easter is at best a single day on the calendar.  But this is not the case for the Church.  For the Church, Easter is just getting started.  For the Church, Easter is an entire season lasting 50 days.   

As a first year student at Concordia Seminary, I, along with all the other new students on campus, received a gift from a representative of Lutheran Hour Ministries.  The gift was a book, a copy of What Luther Says.  The book contains page after page of quotations from Luther’s writings.  As a matter of fact, What Luther Says has over 1500 pages.  The book is organized by topic.  Here is a little of what Luther had to say about Easter and the resurrection of our Lord.

"This article has suffered and still suffers the most opposition and is most difficult to believe. . . .  The reason for this is that no article so contradicts experience as this one does.  For our eyes see that all the world is swept away by death and dies.  Emperors and kings, high and low, young and old, and in a word, all the children of men, one after the other, are laid in the grave and buried.  Wild animals devour one, the sword devours another; this man leaves a leg in Hungary, fire consumes that one; worms eat this man in the earth, fish that man in the water, while birds under the sky eat yet another.  And so on."

Luther goes on to add:  "Hence it is difficult to believe that man who dies and perishes in so many different ways, is to live again; that his members, so widely scattered, reduced to dust and ashes in fire, water, and soil, are to be gathered again; that his soul is again to live in the same body in which it lived before; and that he is to have the same eyes, ears, hands, and feet, except that the body, together with its members, is to have a different manner of existence.  This, I say, is difficult to believe.”

Did you notice what Luther just said?  He confronted death head on.  Death is a cold, hard fact of life.  Luther is quite graphic in his honest appraisal of death.  He is also quite honest about the difficulty of believing in the resurrection. 

Every time we say The Apostle’s Creed we confess our faith in the resurrection of the body.  Our faith stands or falls on whether or not Jesus rose bodily from the dead.

Let’s hear what Luther had to say about this. 

“So you see that everything depends on our retaining a firm hold on this article in particular; for if this one totters and no longer counts, all the others will lose their value and validity. . . .   If, then, the article that is the foundation, cause, and end of all articles of faith is overthrown and taken away, all the rest must fall and go down with it.”

“For were there no resurrection, we would have neither comfort nor hope, and everything else Christ did and suffered would be in vain.”

This month I look forward to confessing with you our shared belief in the resurrection of our Lord.


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