After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:6)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Many people argue that there must not be a God because they’ve never seen Him. But Paul tells us that after Jesus rose from the dead, He was seen by the apostles and 500 other people. If the Corinthians ever thought that Paul was crazy for preaching that Jesus had risen from the dead, there were other people they could ask! And eyewitnesses who saw Jesus have written it down in the Scriptures.
That’s the problem with folks who say they’ve never seen God. They’re looking in the wrong place! Instead of looking “up there” somewhere, we are directed to this world, this earth, and to a particular time and place. To a manger in Bethlehem, to a river called the Jordan, to a Roman governor’s palace, to a cross on a hill and an empty tomb. When the Son of God comes to us, He comes in the flesh, so that we can see and know Him, and also know that in those certain places where He is, He is doing the work of saving sinners.
What about now? We can’t see Jesus with our eyes. But He has told us where He is going to be for us. At the font with water and the Word. In the ministry of the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. Alongside the pastor as he absolves sinners. On the altar and in you by His Body and Blood! No need to look for God “up there” somewhere. He’s right where He promised to be: in His Church by His means of grace.
The great joy in all this is that these gifts don’t give us a dead Jesus, but the One who conquered death and is alive and will come again. The Church, where the means of grace are given, is the place where God can be seen. You, too, are witnesses of the risen Christ, in His holy gifts. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
The gifts Christ freely gives He gives to you and me To be His Church, His bride, His chosen, saved and free! Saints blest with these rich gifts Are children who proclaim That they were won by Christ And cling to His strong name. (The Gifts Christ Freely Gives, LSB 602:1)