Reflections: April 11, 2021
The Second Sunday of Easter
By Alfonso Espinosa
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On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them. (John 20:19)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. This marvelous Easter text is one of the most important in leading us to worship our Risen LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. At the same time, it is teaching us something about our Risen LORD according to His Person as true God and true man. In our Lutheran Confessions, Solid Declaration, Article VII on The Holy Supper, we learn that there are three ways in which Jesus can be in a given place. One of those is the way He was present as recorded in John 20. Here, space cannot contain Him, so Jesus was able to leave "the closed grave and came through closed doors" [John 20:19]. So locked doors and hard walls can't keep Jesus from really and actually coming to you and being with you. At the same time here in John 20 the disciples were able to know Jesus' real presence. He was actually there with them in His body! In fact, Thomas got to touch Him! (John 20:27). In other words, Jesus can do both at the same time: have nothing touch Him as He passes through locked doors and walls, and yet be touched and touch at the same time! How does He do it? He's God! It is not too difficult for Him.
So, what is really important about this fancy schmancy theological overview? Just this: This is the same way that Jesus comes to you in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar! He does not need bread and wine to contain Him (they can't), and yet when you receive the sacramental bread and the sacramental wine, He really and truly and actually comes to you! In the Holy Sacrament, His Body and His Blood enters your mouth, enters your whole life, and this is one way that He is keeping His promise to be with you always (Matthew 28:20). In our sin, we doubt that Jesus can do this, but in this very Holy Sacrament and in His Word proclaimed, we poor sinners are given and increased in holy faith so that we may walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, grant that we who have celebrated the Lord's resurrection may by Your grace confess in our life and conversation that Jesus is Lord and God; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Second Sunday of Easter)
The Rev. Dr. Alfonso Espinosa is the pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine, CA. He is also the author of two books: Faith That Sees Through the Culture and Faith That Engages the Culture.
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