Reflections: Easter Sunday

March 31, 2024 

Today’s Reading: Mark 16:1-8 

Daily Lectionary:Exodus 14:10-31, Hebrews 7:23-8:13

“You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.” (Mark 16:6)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. If you haven’t noticed, death is the one thing our whole world is running away from. We hide death away in hospitals and nursing homes so no one can see it. We ignore death when it rears its head in public. Many times, we don’t even pay attention when it is our own family that is dying. We’re so afraid of it, that we can’t even look death in the eye when it’s right in front of our faces, unless we dress it up as something it isn’t. We are afraid. We’re afraid because we are powerless against death. And no one has ever beaten it…

Except One.

And that One changed everything. Mary, Mary, and Salome were looking for a dead Jesus. But they don’t find Him in the tomb. Instead they are told that He is not here. He is not in the grave. He is not dead. He is risen. Jesus lives! What does this mean? It means that death has been overcome. Not just for Jesus, but for all people. The grave is not the end. The thing that we’re the most afraid of has been conquered. And that changes everything.

Resurrection is now on the table. Jesus died and then rose for you. Jesus gives you His resurrection. It is yours. All the things we feared about death no longer have any bite to them. We no longer need to ignore death, or ignore those who are dying. We can look death in the eye and not be afraid, because we have a Savior that is stronger than even death itself. Even if death does take us or those we loved, it can’t hold anyone for long. The day is coming when all will rise. The faithful will enter into eternal life with Christ, and the unfaithful will be judged, but death will no longer have a single trophy to mount on its mantlepiece. 

That’s how big the resurrection of Jesus is. Our enemy, death, has been defeated by Christ. That’s why Easter Sunday is so central to the Church. Death can no longer be our end. Even when we die. And that’s why every Sunday is a little Easter. This news is so big, it’s the center of our faith. This is the day Jesus rose. This is the day we receive the promise of His resurrection. All because Jesus lives! He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Jesus lives! And now is death – But the gate of life immortal;  This shall calm my trembling breath –  When I pass its gloomy portal. Faith shall cry, as fails each sense: -Jesus is my confidence! (LSB 490:5)

– Pastor Eli Davis is pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Grants Pass, Oregon.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Kentucky.

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