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Luke
24:36-49

 
As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, "Peace to you!" But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.
 
Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."
(ESV)

Faith Over Feeling
Lucas Cranach and Albrecht Duerer, Artists
6 April 2016
Even though Christ is risen indeed we still feel the burden of death within ourselves. It is the inexorable law of God that in Adam all die (1Co 15:22). We constantly experience the fact that no one gets out of this world alive. Thus we must cling all the more boldly to the Word and promise of God that in Christ shall all be made alive (1Co 15:22).
 
God's promise of life in Christ is not dependent upon us, as though God's promises were established by our believing them. Christ was raised for the Jewish high priest, although Caiaphas did not believe Jesus of Nazareth to have been raised. This is all the more remarkable, because Caiaphas had himself had seen the empty tomb and heard the frightened testimony of the soldiers left to guard the grave. 

We have even more reason than Caiaphas to doubt the resurrection of Christ, not having seen the empty tomb nor met the quaking soldiers. But Christ is no less raised for us than for Caiaphas. We certainly also have more reason to believe the tomb empty for the Word of God declares it empty and that Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

 

Martin Luther

"No one could ever have understood or thought that Christ would be alive on the third day. Within all the world's wisdom there was not an iota of knowledge regarding this. And yet we have the Word which declared Him alive while He was still lying in the grave. And as this Word declared, so it had to happen, even though all the world's senses and reason and everything else contradict it. Thus it also happens to us. The dead repose under the ground, long decomposed or devoured by maggots and all sorts of other vermin, or they are turned to dust, or they lie dispersed everywhere; but in the Word which we believe and profess they are assuredly alive and risen. The world does not have this power and is unable to do this; but the Word has it and is able to do it. Thus it must come about, for it is God's own power and might.
 
"This must strengthen and comfort us, even though our faith is not so firm as it should be and even though we do not feel this as clearly as we would like. Yet we should hold to it, constantly pursue it, and never dismiss it from our heart. Thus we also believe, but feebly, that we through Christ are lords over world and devil; we feel the direct opposite much more. But we console ourselves as much as we can with the fact that we have the Word, which excels all might and wisdom.
 
"Likewise, although I feel my sin and cannot have a heart as confident and cheerful as I would like, still I must permit the Word to have sway and say accordingly: 'I am lord over sin, and I don't want to know of any sin.' 'Indeed,' you will say, 'let your own conscience say that; it feels and experiences something far different.' That is surely true; if things followed the rule of feeling, I would surely be lost. But the Word must be valid over and beyond all of the world's feeling and mine. It must remain true no matter how insignificant it may appear and how feebly it may be believed by me; for we all see and experience the fact that sin condemns us straightway and consigns us to hell, that death consumes us and all the world, and that no one can escape it. And you venture to speak to me of life and of righteousness, of which I cannot behold as much as a small spark! To be sure, that must be but a feeble life. Yes, indeed, but a feeble life by reason of our faith. No matter how feeble it is, as long as the Word and a small spark of faith remain in the heart, it will develop into a fire of life which fills heaven and earth and quenches both death and every other misfortune as though they were only a little drop of water. And the feeble faith shall tear these asunder so that neither death nor sin will be seen or felt any longer. However, to adhere to faith in the face of seeing and feeling calls for an arduous battle." 

Martin Luther, Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15, 1-2
 
Prayer
Abide with us, O Lord, with your grace and goodness, with Your Word and sacraments, with Your strength and blessing. Abide with us when the night of affliction and temptation comes upon us, the night of fear and despair when death shall come. Abide with us and with all the faithful through time and eternity. Amen.
 
For Ellie Scherer, that the Lord of the Church would grant her healing and a full recovery from eye surgery

For the family of Dodie DeYoung, whom the Lord Jesus took to Himself, that they would mourn as those who have have hope in the resurrection of the flesh and the life of the world to come
 
For those facing personal crises in their lives, that the Lord would grant them the peace that surpasses human understanding
 
For all those struggling to forgive those who have sinned against them, that the Lord would give them strength to forgive as they have been forgiven
Art: RUBENS, Peter Paul  The Resurrection of Christ (1611-12)

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