Easter, March 31, 2013
Morning Psalms: 148, 149, 150 | Evening Psalms: 113, 114
Exodus 12:1-14 | John 1:1-18 | Isaiah 51:9-11 | John 20:19-23
Peace be with you (John 20:19): these are Jesus’ first words to His disciples on Easter Day. From beyond the grave, Jesus has returned to bring peace to sinful humanity. What a joy that is! No wonder the disciples were glad (v 21)! Now that Jesus has died for the sin of the world, and bears the wounds that prove it, reconciliation and true peace with God are possible.
But this is not the peace of a comfortable retirement. It is an active and transformative peace; a peace to be shared and to be spread. “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you” (v 21). Thankfully, with the command comes an amazing gift, “Receive the Holy Spirit (v 22).” Now that Jesus has been glorified the gift of the Spirit can be given (John 7:39). The Spirit who gives life supplies the power not only to turn the enemies of God into the friends of God but also to make fearful disciples into bold witnesses.
Easter day is a day of good news for the world. The sin that disrupts and corrupts every aspect of every day has been defeated by the one who overcame evil with good (Rom 12:21). The message of forgiveness of sin is now to be proclaimed and the call to be reconciled to God made known throughout the earth. There is work to be done and a world to be saved.
We have much to celebrate today. Death, destruction, and decay are not the last words. There is life, renewal, and rejoicing that take us beyond death into everlasting life. Jesus Christ has won for us the forgiveness of sin, so we may be reconciled to God the Father and renewed by the Holy Spirit. So let us rejoice and be glad.
“Almighty God, who through the death of Your Son has destroyed sin and death and by His resurrection has restored innocence and everlasting life so we could be saved from the power of the devil, and so our mortal bodies may be raised up from the dead: grant that we may confidently and wholeheartedly believe this message and, finally, share with Your saints in the joyful resurrection of those who have been justified through You. Amen.” (Martin Luther)
The Very Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry
Trinity School for Ministry
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