Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday

If only, then, and my utterances were recorded; if only in a book, and they were inscribed. On a pen of iron and lead, for always, in stone, engraved. And I, myself know my Kinsman-Redeemer lives; and afterward on the earth He will arise. And after my skin is cut off, yet from my flesh I will see God; Whom I myself will look upon Him. And my eyes will see, and not another's. My heart yearns in my bosom.

He is Risen! If there ever was someone who needed some raising up, it was Job. He lost just about everything. He lost all his animals. He lost most of his servants. He lost all of his children. He even lost his health. Job was dying. Even his friends heaped blame on him. Job would have been a limbo champion, since no one could go as low as he had sunk. He lost almost everything, except for his nagging wife who wished he would just curse God and die already. Job was low, low, low.

What Job didn't realize is that he wasn't as low as low could go. Neither are you, no matter how bad off you are. Things can always get worse, this side of heaven. I know there are times in your life when you've been depressed, and thought that you were at rock bottom. You weren't. For even if they took your goods, your fame, your children, your spouse, and even your life, there's one thing that remains. The Kingdom of God, and all its riches! That's yours no matter what happens here!

But there was One Who went lower than you've ever been. One Man sunk even lower than Job ever did. He was the Kinsman-Redeemer Job prophesied about. Jesus suffered like Job in that His friends abandoned Him in His hour of need, his family didn't defend Him, and he lost everything, even His clothes, as He was tried, convicted & sentenced to die for crimes He didn't commit. But He sunk even lower than that. Jesus was forsaken by His Heavenly Father. Instead of heaven, He suffered hell...

Separated from God the Father's love, (for that's what Hell is, really), Jesus breathed His last and died. He was shut up in a sealed tomb, presumably to rot there. But God the Father would not let His holy One see decay. Job foresaw this. He knew that His Redeemer wouldn't stay dead in that tomb. He prophesied that His Redeemer would live, and that Jesus would rise to stand again on the dust of the earth. And Jesus fulfilled this scripture from Job's mouth, rising to life again that 1st Easter Day!

Now, you might think, "Big deal, so God raised Himself to life again. Good for Him! But what's in it for me?" It is a Big Deal not just for Him, but for Job, and for you as well! Job realized this. He knew that because His Redeemer would one day rise, so too would He! Although Job knew he would one day die and decay, that didn't bother him. Because He also knew that after all of that, in His flesh He would see God, face to face. He knew that His own eyeballs would gaze upon God his Redeemer.

The same is true for you! Although you may die one day and be buried 6 feet under to decay, that's not the end of your story. On the Last Day, your Savior Jesus will return to this earth, and raise you and all the dead, and give to you and all believers life eternal! He will remake your now vile body into a glorious body on that day! Your former body of age, illness, weakness & decay will be perfected. I hear that there's a chance I will even be "good-looking" come Judgment Day!

Job's heart yearned in his bosom over that thought! He couldn't wait till his vile body of illness was replaced with a new body of flesh that would never decay. Your heart, by faith, yearns for the same blessing one day. But in the meantime, you body of sinful flesh comes to be where you know God is, in His word proclaimed which forgives you all your sins, and in the sacraments of baptism and holy communion, which connect you to Jesus Who died and rose for your salvation and justification.

This thought was so very important to Job that he wished it could be inscribed permanently, so that this Word of God's promise would last forever. God wanted that to, so He included it in Holy Scripture. Others have felt the same way, one setting Job's words to music so they could be sung in the hymn:

"I know that my Redeemer lives! What comfort this sweet sentence gives. He lives, He lives, Who once was dead. He lives my ever-living Head! He lives and grants me daily breath; He lives, and I shall conquer death; He lives my mansion to prepare; He lives to bring me safely there. He lives triumphant from the grave, He lives eternally to save...Oh, the sweet joy this sentence gives: I know that my Redeemer lives!" Amen.

Hymns for today from LSB:
#457 Jesus Christ is Risen Today

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly king, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured; Alleluia!
Now above the sky he’s king, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
Praise eternal as his love; Alleluia!
Praise him, all you heavenly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Alleluia!

#475 Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Sing

"Good Christian men, rejoice and sing!
Now is the triumph of our King!
To all the world glad news we bring: Alleluia!"

"The Lord of Life is risen for aye;
Bring flowers of song to strew His way.
Let all mankind rejoice and say: Alleluia!"

"Praise we in songs of victory
That Love, that Life which cannot die,
And sing with hearts uplifted high: Alleluia!"

"Thy name we bless, O risen Lord,
And sing today with one accord
The Life laid down, the Life restored: Alleluia!"

#458 Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands

#489 Hail Thee Festival Day


Hail thee, festival day!
Blessed day to be hallowed forever;
Day when our Lord was raised,
Breaking the kingdom of death.

Lo, the fair beauty of the earth,
From the death of the winter arising!
Every good gift of the year
Now with its Master returns.


Rise from the grave now, O Lord,
The author of life and creation.
Treading the pathway of death,
New life You give to us all.

God the Almighty Lord,
The Ruler of earth and the heavens,
Guard us from harm without;
Cleanse us from evil within.

Jesus the health of the world,
Enlighten our minds, great Redeemer,
Son of the Father supreme,
Only begotten of God.

Spirit of life and of power,
Now flow in us, fount of our being,
Light that enlightens us all,
Life that in all may abide.

Praise to the giver of good!
O lover and author of concord,
Pour out your balm on our days;
Order our ways in your peace.

#463 Christ the Lord is Risen Today; Alleluia

Christ the Lord is risen today; Alleluia!
Christian, hasten on your way; Alleluia!
Offer praise with love replete, Alleluia!
At the paschal victim’s feet. Alleluia!

For the sheep the Lamb has bled, Alleluia!
Sinless in the sinner’s stead. Alleluia!
Christ the Lord is risen on high; Alleluia!
Now he lives, no more to die. Alleluia!

Hail, the victim undefiled, Alleluia!
God and sinners reconciled, Alleluia!
When contending death and life, Alleluia!
Met in strange and awesome strife. Alleluia!

Christians, on this holy day, Alleluia!
All your grateful homage pay; Alleluia!
Christ the Lord is risen on high; Alleluia!
Now he lives, no more to die. Alleluia!

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