1 Corinthians 15:22
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!
Resurrection Sunday the Great Celebration of life over death, Jesus bursting from the grave to new and vigorous life! He, just like all people descendent from Adam, died; died on the cross. He was buried, but death could not hold Him, death is defeated and in Jesus there is no fear of that final enemy. Still today we search for ways to delay death, try to fight that enemy that comes for all people; many intelligent people are searching for a way to prolong our lives here on earth, to improve the quality of life as we age and even to try and find a way for immortality in this life. Certainly much good has come from this, but this world is not perfect, it is sick with sin and suffering. Our forefather Adam and Eve the mother of the living, turned away from God and went their own way; they left the source of all life, God Almighty, and tried their luck with the serpent and knowledge. And still today all humans are good children of that couple, seeking for more, for immortality, stability and power in this life, going our own way and rejecting God’s love and life itself. We all face death because of our sin and like an addiction we cannot get out by ourselves.
But we are not by ourselves. Jesus is with us. The Holy Spirit was sent to walk alongside you, to advocate and encourage you. In baptism God promises that we are now His children, restored to His family like the prodigal son. In baptism we are together with Jesus, we are joined back to the source of life, so now death has no power over us (1 Corinthians 15:54-55)! Jesus says that those who believe will not perish, even if they die, still they will live (John 11:25)! Glory to God our Father! This is the wonder of Resurrection Sunday, that Jesus rose from the dead, not to die again as Lazarus, the widows child, or any number of people who have come back from being dead. Death no longer has any power of Jesus, He rose from the dead not just for His everlasting life, but for yours. If we are joined with Him in His death to sin, surely we will rise again in a new, everlasting and glorified life like His (Romans 6:1-14; Philippians 3:21).
Jesus rose, and as certain as that is, you who are joined to Him in baptism and Holy Communion have life everlasting. On Good Friday we see our sin and evil destroyed, wonderful thing that this is, without the new life of today we are left suffering in this evil world. But this world is not the end. Those scientists that seek to extend life, even if they are successful will not reach the peace, joy and love that only the Triune God provides. With Jesus we are truly free from sin, from guilt and shame, free from the destruction our desires bring on ourselves, freed from sin, death and the devil. Yes will still suffer temptation and evil in this world, just as Jesus did, but just as it was promised that we would be freed from the power of sin and death, so He has promised, that just as He died and rose, so too you and I will be renewed when He returns at the resurrection of the dead, when sin, death and the devil will be destroyed. Now this wonderful comfort, you are forgiven, you are in Jesus a new creation a new life, this is not just for you, but for all people!
We heard from Acts Peter’s realisation that salvation was not just for the Jews, but for all people in all the world, for us and every different type of person. This offer of forgiveness and new life is for all people. So Jesus told the disciples to preach, to speak of His love to all people, to testify that Jesus is the judge of the living and the dead and that everyone who trusts His forgiveness is forgiven. It does not matter if you are Greek, German, Tigrinya, Australian, rich, poor, the nicest person down the street, a rapist, or even a politician; this message, this Good News, is for all people. For all people have turned away, all have sinned, all people face death, but God rich in mercy, many times more merciful than us, does not wish our destruction, rather that all people turn back to life, to love, to Jesus Christ, the King of kings, Lord of all and saviour of sinners. In sin all die, but in Jesus all will be made alive.
And the peace of God which passes all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, now and forever. Amen.
Pastor Joseph Graham