|Messiah Lutheran Church||
6201 W Patterson Av
Chicago IL 60634
If you visit a graveyard and take some time reading the names and dates on the various tombstones, it's a sobering reminder that those who are buried there were people just like you, who had their own hopes and dreams, joys and sorrows, while they lived out their days on this earth.
Their death is a reminder that unless Jesus comes in your lifetime, you will also die. As Solomon says to Ecclesiastes 7:2, "It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart".
On Easter Sunrise the women rushed to the tomb of Jesus in order to finish the embalming process they had started before the Sabbath. And there they encountered angels.
These angels asked them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?" And they told them the Good News, "He is not here; He has risen!"
The grave could not contain Jesus. Jesus had defeated the last enemy of death! And because of that you don't have to fear your inevitable death. Hebrews 9:17 warns, that "... man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement." But through Christ's forgiving work on the cross, you can be assured that you will be declared at the final judgement as "Not Guilty," and worthy of eternal life in heaven.
God did not create death. Eden was the expression of God's perfect will, and life in Eden before the Fall did not include death. In Genesis 3, God warned Adam and Eve that their disobedience would bring death. Sinful human beings are responsible for introducing the evils of sin and death into God's good creation.
But Christ has seized death's claim to victory. As 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 says, "Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where O death is you victory? Where O death is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
So physical death becomes the passage through which you must pass to enter the glorious home your Lord has prepared for you. May you be assured that though you may die someday, Christ's Resurrection is proof that death has been conquered and swallowed up in victory! For Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed!.
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