+ Easter Sunday +
April 4, 2010
Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death! (I Cor. 15:24-26)
Alleluia! Christ is risen! C: He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!
1. The first enemy to be defeated is the devil
a. Prophecy fulfilled: the woman’s seed will crush the serpent’s head
b. A lion seeking whom he may devour, roaring his lies and deceptions and accusations
2. The second enemy to be defeated is sin
a. Psalm 32:1-2 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. Holy Baptism
b. Holy Absolution defeats guilt and doubt
Luther wrote in his Easter hymn: No son of man could conquer death, such ruin sin had wrought us. No innocence was found on earth, and therefore death had brought us into bondage from of old and ever grew more strong and bold and held us as its captive. Christ Jesus, God’s own Son, came down, His people to deliver; destroying sin, He took the crown from death’s pale brow forever; stripped of pow’r, no more it reigns; an empty form alone remains; its sting is lost forever. Alleluia! It was a strange and dreadful strife when life and death contended; the victory remained with life; the reign of death was ended. Holy Scripture plainly saith that death is swallowed up by death. Its sting is lost forever. Alleluia!
3. The last enemy to be destroyed is death!
a. All graves will be emptied. Matt. 27:51-53 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 28:6. He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
b. Our bodies shall also rise. “O death, where is your victory? O grave, where is your sting?” Job said, For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.