In Nomine Iesu!
In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Prayer in Pulpit before Sermon:
Merciful God, Heavenly Father, we give Thee most hearty thanks that Thou hast raised up Thy Son from the dead, and from His tomb caused the light of eternal life to shine upon the world; and we beseech Thee, at this season of solemn joy, shed abroad in our hearts Thy Holy Spirit, that we may with joyous faith embrace the atonement made for our sins, and be enabled to put away more and more the leaven of malice and wickedness, and to serve Thee in pureness of living and holiness of heart in the fervent hope of life and glory everlasting; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Grace, mercy, and peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior + Jesus Christ. Amen.
Just three days ago, on Good Friday, our Lord and Savior + Jesus Christ suffered and died for our sins, and the sins of the whole world, so that all those who believe on Him might have everlasting life. In the numbering of the days, Good Friday is the sixth day of the week. On the sixth day our Lord God created man and woman. He had created them perfectly. He had created them with His own hands. Man, He created from the dust of earth. Woman, He had created from the rib of the first man, Adam. They were created in His own image. The Lord’s creation was good and perfect. Therefore, on the seventh day, the Sabbath day, our Lord rested from all His labors.
Into the Garden of Eden, the Lord God had placed man and woman—Adam and Eve—and given them to eat of every tree in the Garden, except one tree; the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve was deceived by the serpent and ate from the tree. She also gave some to her husband, Adam, who was with her. Sin came into the world by a woman; by the woman believing the deception and lies of that serpent the devil. Adam also allowed himself to be deceived by both his wife, Eve, and that serpent the devil. That which the Lord God had made good and perfect, man and woman corrupted by their sin and disobedience. Mankind has inherited their original sin throughout all the generations of mankind. So that even we are filled with the inherit corruption that we inherited from our first parents Adam and Eve.
On the sixth day of the week—on Good Friday—our Lord + Jesus suffered for the sin that Adam and Eve had brought into the world. He made suffered for that which had been corrupted. He offered Himself up as the perfect, sinless, spotless, and holy Lamb of sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. By His death He finished atoning for that first sin of Adam and Eve, and all other sins since then, and after then. He atoned for the sins of all mankind for all of time. Those who cling in faith to this work of our Lord + Jesus receive the benefits that He won for us on the tree of the holy cross. All those who cling to Him in faith—who cling to His works and merits—receive the rewards that His suffering and death gives to all those who believe. We are now called holy, that is, sinless and hating sin. We are called saints of the Lord, for He has made us holy through faith in His suffering and death. Through faith we are now once again good and perfect in our Lord’s eyes. He paid the penalty which we owed on account of our sin. This is what our Lord + Jesus did on the sixth day of the week—on Good Friday.
On the seventh day of the week—on the Sabbath, Holy Saturday—our Lord + Jesus rested from all His labors. He rested in the grave. He rested in the tomb. His dead body was anointed with myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. He was wrapped up in strips of linen. He was placed in a new tomb which no one else had been laid. And a stone was rolled in front of the tomb to seal Him in. There He rested on the Sabbath until the first day of the week.
When the Sabbath was past, on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices that they might come and anoint the Lord + Jesus in His tomb. They pondered as they processed to the tomb who would roll away the stone from the door of the tomb, for the stone was very large. When they arrived at the tomb, they beheld an amazing and fearful thing. They saw a young man, an angel of the Lord clothed in white robes and sitting on the right side of the tomb. What they did not see was the Lord + Jesus. His anointed body which had been wrapped in strips of linen, was not there. They were alarmed! Where was the body of the Lord + Jesus? To where had he been removed? Then they heard the first proclamation of our Lord’s resurrection from the dead from the young man clothed in white robes.
He said, “Do not be alarmed. You seek + Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.”
Sin had entered the world by a woman; through the deception of the first woman, Eve. She was the mother of all the living. Sin had spread to all her children. It was only fitting then that a woman would be the first to hear the message of salvation through the Lord + Jesus. The first proclamation of the redemption of mankind came through the angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The mother of our Lord—the Mother of God—was the first to hear that a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord, would be born through her. She would carry the Son of God in her womb. The Holy Ghost would conceive the Lord + Jesus in her virgin womb. She was the first to hear of our Lord’s salvation of mankind; the first to hear that the Lord God would become man to redeem His creation—redeem His lost and sinful creation.
Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome, and other women who had ministered to the Lord + Jesus in Galilee, witnessed the Lord’s death. They saw the place where He was laid. They had hoped to do what they could to give honor to the Lord’s body; to the One Who they believed to be the Messiah, the One sent from the Lord God to save His people. They did not expect to see what they saw that day. They expected to see the body of the Lord + Jesus. They expected to anoint Him with spices. Instead, these women became the first ones to hear of the Lord’s resurrection. A woman was the first to hear about the Lord’s birth, and other women were the first to hear of our Lord’s resurrection. Sin had entered the world through a woman, and in our Lord’s mercy and grace they are the first to hear of our Lord’s triumph over death; to hear of His triumph over our enemies; His triumph over that evil serpent the devil.
All of this happened after the Sabbath, on the first day of the week. On the first day of the week, our Lord God created light by His Word out of nothing. He said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. On account of sin in the world, the world had become filled with darkness; the darkness of sin and death. On the eighth day, the day after our Lord’s Sabbath rest in the tomb, our Lord and Savior restored both light and life to this fallen world. He conquered death, and our enemy Satan who desires our eternal death, by His resurrection from death. He also turned the darkness of sin and death into the light of eternal life. He has filled this world with life and light through His death and resurrection.
The women had come to the tomb while it was still dark, as dawn was breaking. They approached the sepulcher of death in the darkness, thinking they would find the dead body of the Lord. But as dawn filled the earth, and darkness was dispelled by the rising sun, they found that the Lord + Jesus was not dead, but was alive again. He was raised from the dead. He has restored His creation to the place it was when He first created man and woman. He became a part of His creation, in order to restore His creation to the place it was when He first created us.
Therefore, my dear friends, we need not be alarmed, or afraid. We need not tremble and be amazed, nor be afraid to tell anyone of the great news that our Lord and Savior has risen from the dead. See the place where they laid Him. They placed his dead body in the grave. Our dead bodies will also be placed in the grave one day. People will mourn over our dead bodies, as they did over the body of the Lord + Jesus. But our Lord has given us an example to which we may cling to in all hope and faith. For He is the firstfruits of the dead. He Who was dead, is dead no longer. We too, may die, but we will also be raised again from the dead. We will live with our risen Lord and Savior for all eternity in the heavenly realms.
Death has lost its sting. The grave has lost its power. We will no longer see nor taste death, for our Lord has rested in the grave for us. He has opened up our tombs, as He opened His own tomb. He defeated death for us once and for all. Now we live in the promise of an inheritance in the eternal Garden of Eden. We will live with our Lord, and all the saints and angels in Heaven—in the Paradise of the Lord God. There we will join our voices with the heavenly choir for all eternity, and we will rejoice that the Lamb of God has atoned for our sins, and has given to us the crown of eternal life. For, our Lord suffered death on the sixth day, He rested on the seventh day, and not He invites us to join Him in the eternal eighth day which has no end.
On that eternal day, there will be no more darkness. There will be no more death. There will be no more sin. There will be no more tears of sorrow over sin and death. We will rejoice forever, and be glad and sing wearing the spotless white robes of our Lord’s righteousness, upon the new and glorious bodies with which our Lord and Savior has gifted us. That will be an everlasting day of joy. Here, today, we get only a small sample of the joyous celebration that will happen in Heaven forever. We ring the bells, and sing the hymns, and receive our Lord in His Body and Blood. And as jubilant as this Easter Sunday is, it is only a shadow and foretaste of the eternal Liturgy which we will enjoy forever.
Let us therefore, my dear friends, pull out all the stops on this day of celebration of our Lord’s resurrection. Let us break the fast, and feast on this joyous day, for our Lord has defeated death and the grave, and won for us eternal life with Him in Heaven. Thanks be to God! In the Name of our Lord + Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayer in Pulpit after Sermon:
Almighty God, Who by the death of Thy Son hast overcome sin and death, and by His resurrection hast restored innocence and everlasting life, to the end that we, being delivered from the power of the devil should live in Thy kingdom: Grant that with our whole hearts we may confidently believe this, and in such faith ever thank and praise Thee; through the same Thy dear Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria!