Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia, Alleluia! Let all the world rejoice and praise his Holy name: the name of Jesus in whom all mankind is saved! That’s right the Word that bear witness to as being made flesh, the God-man who we despised and rejected for bearing our sins, is Risen in the flesh. The same flesh we find so cute and cuddly, swaddled comfortably in a manger at Christmas, the same body we receive as a covenant of eternal forgiveness at Mauday Thursday, the same man we beat, bruise and afflict with all of our sins on Good Friday, this very same Jesus is Risen from death and the grave, into glory everlasting.
So what does that really mean for you? Easter has become such a staple holiday in America that its correlation with the emergence of Spring and the return of warmer weather is primary in many minds. Surly, at the end of the long icy silence of winter, we all rejoice and give thanks when the days expand, and the song of birds fills the air again. But what reign’s supreme in the midst of all this new life given to creation, is the new life given to you by God’s own Son. As St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17; “[I]f anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.”
But what does this new life really mean when it would seem that we are constantly surrounded by the same old world? It means the light of His forgiveness now shines in the darkness of an often unforgiving world (Jn 1:5). Because Jesus is raised in the body that bears the marks of all the sin we have lain upon him, we know that our sin then, will always be upon him. We have this assurance just as much as Thomas did when his hands touched the Risen Lord’s holy wounds and hear the call to receive his gift of life over and over again, just as Peter did (Jn 20-21). Therefore, wherever we confront Jesus in hearing his Words and receiving his sacraments, we are encountering an end to that old life of sin and death, and the beginning of the new!
This new life then frees you from the bondage that sin, death and the devil held over you. This freedom does not remove you from the world that continues to be plagued by sin, but allows you to engage in it more fully, confident that you are God’s own child. As a child of God you—like your brother Christ—live not for yourself, but for those around you who are in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness. And wherever two or more are gathered together in his name, there he is with you also (Matt 18:20).
We know that wherever Christ is, the light of his mercy shines; and wherever there is light there is no darkness at all. Thanks and praise, honor and blessing be to Him and the Father, with the Holy Spirit evermore. Amen.
Fides Ex Auditu,
Vicar Joe Pinzl