Home » District Presidents, District Presidents, Headline

He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

April 14, 2015 No Comment

by Donald Schiemann

President Don Schiemann

President Don Schiemann

We celebrated Easter at church this morning,” the eight-year-old said to his parents. “We talked about Jesus rising from the dead!” “But wait a minute,” the father said, “this is October. Easter doesn’t happen until April next year.” The little boy responded, “But our Sunday school teacher taught us that every Sunday is a little Easter and in our church service we worship Jesus who rose from the dead.”

The Sunday school teacher was right on. The Early Church chose to worship on Sunday because that is when Jesus rose from the dead. Of course, the actual Sunday following Good Friday is recognized as the Festival of Easter and the high point in the church year. It is on that day when we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord.

It is also a time to remember who we are as Christians. The purpose of Christ’s death and resurrection was to defeat sin, death, and Satan. He disarmed these powers and authorities, and made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Through our baptism, we receive the fruits of that victory. The Bible tells us that we were baptized into the death of Christ. We were “buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4).

Easter Sunday is a time to celebrate the new life we have in Christ. It isn’t just a change of attitudes and behaviours; it is actually new life. And it isn’t just for our temporal life. It is for eternity. That’s why, when we think about those dear friends and relatives who have died in faith, our grief is tempered by the assurance that God will raise their mortal remains on the Day of Resurrection. On that day, they, with us, will live with Him for all of eternity.

There is tremendous comfort in the message of Easter. St. Paul writes, “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14). It is because of that hope that the Church lives in eager anticipation of that great day when the risen Lord comes to take His Church to her heavenly home.

The message of Easter is one that can bring life and hope to our lifeless and dying world. Easter is followed by the Festival of the Ascension. At His ascension, the risen Christ instructed His disciples to go out into all the world and declare the good news of the Gospel. Then follows the Festival of Pentecost where the disciples boldly proclaimed the risen Lord to people who came from all over the Roman Empire to celebrate the Jewish Festival of the Harvest. And what a harvest! We are told that 3,000 people were baptized that day. Think of it—3,000 people who in baptism received the assurance of forgiveness of their sins and the hope of eternal life in Christ!

The message of Easter is one that can bring life and hope to our lifeless and dying world.

Easter is a story that most be told and re-told.  It is a message to be celebrated every Sunday!  We worship a Lord who became one of us to redeem us from sin and death. His resurrection is life and hope for us. “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a Man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:20-22).

———————

Rev. Donald Schiemann is President of the Alberta-British Columbia District of Lutheran Church–Canada.