Reflections: Easter Tuesday

April 2, 2024 

Today’s Reading: Luke 24:36-49

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 15:19-16:12, Hebrews 10:1-18

[Jesus] said to them,“Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46-47)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. If you ever find the need to explain what Christianity is to someone who doesn’t know, here’s how I do it: There was a guy two thousand years ago who claimed to be God. To prove it, He said that they would kill Him, and on the third day He would rise from the dead. They killed Him, and on the third day, He rose from the dead. Maybe He’s right about that God thing. 

Well, that guy who rose from the dead said that the Law and the Prophets, and the Psalms, what we call the Old Testament, is all about Him. In what way? That repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations. That guy is Jesus. And what He came for was to forgive our sins. That’s why He died. Because those sins needed to be paid for. And He paid them in full for you, for me, for the world. Because we are forgiven, we are able to confess our sin, openly acknowledge it, and repent.

Do you realize just how hard that is for sinful people to do without faith? Someone might confess something that they don’t think is wrong. Or something that they think everyone else does, so there is no harm in it. But the Old Adam in our hearts cannot bear to confess anything that we can stand accused by others with. Those that have no choice but to confess that they’ve harmed others find that, apart from faith, their sanity is broken. The idol of self is shattered. Despair is all they have.

And yet Christians regularly confess such things. I, a poor miserable sinner. We confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. It is the same sin confessed, but we are not broken by confessing it. Just the opposite. It is taken away, we are forgiven, and we are left with the joy of Christ. Delivering Jesus’ forgiveness to you is the joyous job of your pastor. Go to him. Confess your sins. Hear those words of Jesus from your pastor’s mouth. You are forgiven in full. That is miraculous. And that’s who Jesus is. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

If Christ had not been raised from death Our faith would be in vain, Our preaching but a waste of breath  Our sin and guilt remain  But now the Lord is ris’n indeed;  He rules in earth and heav’n  His Gospel meets a world of need—In Christ we are forgiv’n  (LSB 486:1)

– 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, Ky.

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