Resurrected Persons
Easter Monday
17 April 2017
How important the resurrection of the flesh is! Christ was raised in the flesh of our flesh. We will be raised in this same way. We have no experience with resurrections, or at least we think we don't. How many resurrected people have we seen? How many empty tombs have we peered into? Of course, at one level the answer is quite simple. We have seen none. We have never looked into an empty tomb. Yet, we Christians have seen right to the bottom of the tomb of death to see it emptied by the life of Christ. I was delighted by a new baptismal font made of a single block of black granite. It stands about three feet high and was two feet square. The walls of the font are about five inches thick. It is fed with fresh water from a natural Artesian spring below the church in which it stands. It is continually filled with water as the pressure of the spring flows the water gently over the sides of the font as a sign of divine generosity. When you look down into the font, it is a black hole. You don't see anything but the empty tomb. Oh, yes, it is a tomb. But it is ever empty. It is an empty tomb. Filled with water. Filled with Christ in connection with His Word.
Baptism puts us into a tomb that God keeps perpetually empty. We are placed there into the death of Christ. We Christians are an exhibit for the empty tomb. We have plunged into the death of Christ. He rose from the dead. We rise with Him. He is the type of death and life. We are the antitype of death and life. We are His shape. When we look in the mirror we see a resurrected person. What we see there will be raised on the Last Day. We Christians have seen resurrected persons every day. Those resurrected persons are us.
When we are raised on the Last Day it is in flesh of our flesh. Our flesh will not be some airy-fairy insubstantiality, but the re-created flesh created first in the Garden. God does not raise phantoms or ghosts, but real flesh and blood people. Jesus especially emphasized this after His resurrection: "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" (Lk 24:39). So on the Last Day we will have flesh and bones; touchable and all, and yet unimpaired by sin and death as it is now. We will be resurrected persons.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

Tyrannius Rufinus
"We received that the only begotten Son of God, through whom in the beginning all existing things were made, whether visible or invisible, in these last days took upon Himself a human body and soul, and was made man, and suffered for our salvation; and the third day He rose again from the dead in that very flesh which had been laid in the sepulcher. In that very same flesh made glorious He ascended into the heavens. From there we look for His coming to judge the living and the dead. We also confess that He gave us the hope that we too should rise in a similar manner, so that we believe that our resurrection will be in the same manner and process, and in the same form, as the resurrection of our Lord Himself from the dead. The bodies which we shall receive will not be phantoms or thin apparitions, as some slanderously affirm that we say, but our own very bodies in which we live and in which we die. For how can we truly believe in the resurrection of the flesh, unless the very nature of flesh remains in it truly and substantially? Without any equivocation, we confess the resurrection of this real and substantial flesh of ours in which we live.
"To give a fuller demonstration of this point, I will add one thing more. It is the compulsion of those who attack me which forces me to exhibit a singular and special mystery of my own church. It is this, that, while all the churches thus hand down the sacrament of the Creed in the form which, after the words 'the remission of sins' adds 'the resurrection of the flesh,' the holy church of Aquileia (as though the Spirit of God had foreseen the attacks against us) puts in a specific pronoun at the place where it delivers the resurrection of the dead. Instead of saying as others do, 'the resurrection of the flesh,' we say 'the resurrection of this flesh.' At this point, as the custom is at the end of the Creed, we touch the forehead of this flesh with the sign of the cross and with the mouth of this flesh, which we have so touched, we confess the resurrection; that so we may stop every entrance through which the poisoned tongue might bring in its lies against us. Can any confession be fuller than this? Can any exposition of the truth be more perfect? Yet I see that this remarkable provision of the Holy Spirit has been of no profit to us. Evil and busy tongues still find room for objecting."

Tyrannius Rufinus, Apology, 1.4-5
Acts 10:34-43

So Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name." (ESV)
O God, in the paschal feast You restore all creation. Continue to send Your heavenly gifts upon Your people that they may walk in perfect freedom and receive eternal life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord. Amen.
For Pastor Charles St-Onge, who serves at LCMS International Mission, that the Lord would be with him in his labors
For all Christian clergy, as they bask in the joy of resurrection light, that they would recover their strength and be renewed in spirit on this Easter Monday
For all those who are suffering grief, that they might look forward to the resurrection of the flesh and the life of the world to come
Art: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias  Resurrection (c. 1515)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2017
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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