November 20, 2008 - Thursday in the 2nd Last Week

Today's Reading: Matthew 28:1-20

Daily Lectionary: Daniel 1:1-21; Matthew 28:1-20

He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. (Matthew 28:6)

Jesus Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Here we are, with the church year ticking down and we find ourselves at Easter morning. It seems like an odd time to be reading about Easter; after all, that was almost 40 weeks ago, wasn’t it? As we approach the end of the Church year we are closer to Christ’s birth, and it becomes appropriate for us to look toward our own birth through the waters of Holy Baptism.

In Holy Baptism you were washed clean of your sin. Your old man went down into those waters to drown and from those waters emerged a new man. In Baptism you took part in Jesus' Resurrection – your new man was raised to life, as the old man died and was buried in the tomb with all sin.

In today’s Gospel reading we read about the Lord’s Resurrection and see the Pharisees plotting ways to hide this truth. They decide to try and spread a lie, that the body of Christ has been stolen. This is a lot easier than dealing with the fact that the Man they just crucified proved Himself to be God by rising from the grave!

This lie is still circulated today. Many people try to come up with “rational” ways of explaining the things that Christ did. Just turn on the Discovery Channel and watch the latest edition of “Resurrection After a Long Nap” or even “Jesus’ Hidden Birth Certificate” and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The world is infatuated with hiding the truth of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Church, instead, lives every day by professing Christ’s life and work to be true. Each day when Christians rise in the morning they make the sign of the Holy Cross and remember their Baptism, where they were joined to the Crucifixion and Raised to New Life with Christ. The Church knows the truth, because the Church lives in the truth. You won’t find that confession on the Discovery Channel, but you will find it at the font, the reading of the Word from your Pastor’s lips and at the Altar in the Lord’s Supper, delivered for you.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Jesus Christ is ris’n today, Alleluia! Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia! Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia! Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia! (LSB 457.1)