Reflections: April 3, 2021
By Aaron T. Fenker
O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:1, from the Introit for Easter Day)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Jesus' Name is excellent. It's greater than any Name in this age and also in the age to come (Ephesians 1:21). "At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth" (Philippians 2:10). The angels speak that Name to the women that first Easter morning. "I know you seek Jesus the Crucified. He isn't here because He was raised, just has He said" (Matthew 28:5–6). Jesus had added resurrection glory to crucified glory. He's enthroned in power on the Cross, dying for you and the whole world. His Name was there, too: "Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews." But now He is always the Crucified. He bears the scars in His own body. As John sees in Revelation: "I saw in the middle of the throne. . . a Lamb standing, looking as if He'd been slain" (Revelation 5:6).
But before that, He was buried. God was lying dead in a tomb, His lifeless body placed there. God took His rest on the seventh day. This makes your grave holy. Your resurrection from the dead will be holy by His resurrection from the dead.
You will die. It's going to happen. You could be hit by a bus tomorrow, or you could die in your sleep when you're 100. You could die from cancer or in a storm. Your body will be laid to rest. But that's not the end for you, dear Christian, because Christ has baptized you into His death and resurrection, burying you with Him, you will rise again to new life. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Jesus placed His Name upon you. You've been marked by Christ the Crucified in your Baptism.
Jesus died. You will die. Jesus was buried. You will be buried. Jesus rose. You will rise. Tomorrow in the Divine Service you will receive the Body and Blood that was dead, buried, and raised. Jesus keeps you with these in body and soul to life everlasting. Jesus the Crucified lives forever. You will live forever. In Him you already do. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks that through death You have destroyed the power of death and delivered us, who are subject to lifelong bondage through the fear of death, comfort us with Your precious merit and assist us in our last hour by Your grace; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for Holy Saturday)
-Rev. Aaron T. Fenker is the pastor of Bethlehem and Immanuel Lutheran churches in Bremen, KS.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
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