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March 2016 - Life Over Death

Life Over Death

            This month we experience Lent and Easter – the Suffering and Passion of our Lord, and His Victory over our enemies by His resurrection – in short, the accomplishment of our Salvation!  It is the meeting and conflict of death and Life with of course Life winning in Jesus!

            Shortly before Holy Week, this is previewed with the incredible event of the death and resurrection of Jesus’ friend Lazarus.  When Jesus went to the tomb of Lazarus and commanded that the stone sealing it be removed, some people began to protest that Lazarus had been dead for 4 days now, and there would be undoubtedly quite a stench.

            But Jesus insisted.  And then, He simply commanded: “Lazarus, come forth”.  And incredibly, he did!  Four days stinking dead, and by the sheer power of Jesus’ Word, Lazarus was raised from death back unto life. Life overcame death!

            Fellow saints of God, the Lord came to your spiritual tomb, your spiritually lifeless corpse and spoke His Life giving Word to you, and by the sheer power of His Word of Grace you were literally raised from death to true new Life in Christ!   In the waters of your baptism, the Word of God that created life, the Word of God that restored life (Lazarus), is the same Word of God connected with the waters of that gracious sacrament that raised you up to new life as well.  There you were killed with Christ – the guilt and slavery to your Old Adam was buried with Christ and you were raised up to new life with Christ in the power of His resurrection.  In that gracious water and Word, He created a whole new person in Christ within you, literally raising you up from spiritual death and unto new True life right now and unto eternity.

            With Jesus, and you, there was death and there was life.  You are alive in Christ – raised with Him from death unto true eternal life, right now.  So LIVE IT!

            By the grace of God given to you in Christ through His Means of Grace, live and rejoice daily in that life!  You have been completely forgiven of all your sin.  You are free from the burden of that guilt, therefore you can begin to live a life that is filled with the joy that comes from realizing the love and forgiveness that is yours in Christ!

We do not have to live in despair or gloom amidst a fallen and decaying world of sin and death.  Though death and the grave seem to be ever around us, though trials and afflictions, pain and sorrow can plague us, we still do not have to fear or despair, for we have already been killed and raised to life in Christ! 

            This doesn’t mean that we simply ignore problems, pretend that the afflictions do not exist or are unimportant.  Hardly.  But having been raised unto true life in Christ, we have been given a proper perspective of life that enables us to better endure the trials that come from living in this fallen world.  As Paul again stated in 1 Corinthians:

{19} If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

Because of the risen and living Jesus, we have more than just this life to hope and depend on.  We have in fact eternal, never-ending true Life with our loving Creator right now.  It is a present reality!  Thus we have an eternal perspective on life.  Each day, as we focus upon the unmerited forgiveness of our sins in Jesus’ shed blood and the New Life He floods within us, we are enabled to endure the temporary trials and pain of this world with the hope of Life in Christ that is in us. 

            Indeed, we are even enabled to share this reason for hope with in us to those around us – telling them of the good news of Jesus having died and risen for them as well.  That Life has won over death in Jesus!

Pastor

    

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