Category Archives: The Resurrection: Easter

Jesus: Our Brother, Our Savior, Our Lord

Yesterday, the Son of Man traded places with the son of the father (bar Abbas) so that we may wear the Father’s robe and live in His kingdom. Tomorrow Jesus does what all the big brothers of Scripture failed to do….  He completes the work God sent Him to do — to seek and to save we who are/were lost — the younger rules over the elder.  And yet Christ is both Adam’s younger brother, both being in the flesh sons of God, and His older brother, being begotten of God before all eternity.  And if you look at the track record of brothers in the Bible, you see the theme of older/younger played out.  Cain killed Abel.  Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah, and chosen by God over Ishmael.  Jacob ruled over Esau, taking his birthright.  Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt.  Yet it was Joseph who saved his brothers from starvation.  And David, Israel’s second and greatest king, was the youngest brother chosen by God over all of his brothers and anointed by Samuel.  Are you starting to see the pattern?

Jesus, the firstborn of the resurrection, came in the flesh to live among us.  God often told His children, “If you obey me and do all the things I have commanded, I will be your  God and you will be my people.  I will come to you and make my dwelling place among you.”  Well, we chased him away through our sin, our idol worship, and self-indulgence.  So He sent His Son, His one and only Begotten Son, to make us His people once again.  He sent our Big Brother after us to drag us out of the bars, brothels, wars, movie theaters, sports arenas, fast boats, fast cars, fast planes, internet, hotels, motels, highways, homes, gutters, jails, pits, darkness, blindness.  He sent Jesus to get us and bring us home.  And Jesus gave up His birthright as the first born from before creation, not counting equality with God something to be grasped, in order to bring us home.  He traded His life for ours, so that we may wear the white robe of righteousness, the robe of children of God, and stand with Him in His kingdom.  And because of the work of Christ, Jesus calls us friends.  He can call us that because He has entrusted to us as part of our inheritance, the work that God gave Him to do.  And so now, because Jesus has overcome death, because He has given us life, we are able to carry out the work of Christ on earth as His hands and feet.

The Gospels do not spend much time at the empty tomb.  In fact, the angels tell the disciples and the women who seek Christ at the tomb, you will not find Him here.  But Jesus always told His disciples to find Him at the Cross, for that is where we truly and finally meet Him.  The empty tomb remains our hope for eternal life, and our symbol of new life.  But it is a life that requires us to be as Jesus, and go after our little brothers and sisters and bring them home.  And we do that by taking up the Cross and bringing Christ to them.

Have a blessed, joyous, happy Easter.  He is Risen!

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The Resurrection of Our Lord — Sunday School Lesson, May 1, 2011

The Marys, Peter and John the beloved disciple.  All go to the empty tomb the morning after the Sabbath.  The first day of the week.  A new week.  The angels tell them, “Jesus is not here;  you will not find Him in a tomb.”  The tomb is empty.  There is nothing there but messengers.  Heavenly messengers relaying a message from the risen Christ.  They go away despondent, not understanding that our God is the God of the living.  Christ cannot be found in the tombs of the dead.  He leads us from death to life.  New life for all who follow Him.

The disciples go about their lives.  They are met on the road to Emmaus and do not recognize Him.  Christ, however, opens their eyes and makes Himself known to them in the Word and in the Sacrament, the breaking of the bread.  He reveals Himself to the 10 and then to the 11 apostles.  Behind closed doors.  In a locked room.  Christ makes Himself known to them, and He makes Himself known to us.  He is risen.  Christ is alive.  He makes us alive too.

Click here to listen to Deaconess Pam Nielsen of Concordia Publishing House discuss this week’s Sunday School Lesson on Issues, Etc.