THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER – APRIL 30, 2017
TEXT: LUKE 24:1-35; ACTS 2:14a, 36-41; 1 PETER 1:17-25
MATTERS OF THE HEART
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Christ has risen from the dead. God the Father has crowned him with glory and honor! Grace and peace be multiplied to you in His name, Amen.


In Jerusalem the word was out – the word “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth…a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people…delivered…up…condemned to death…crucified. Now it was the third day. Women, early at the tomb, reported a vision of angels who said he was alive. That very day Cleopas spoke with another about all these things. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


In Jerusalem the word was out – the word of an open tomb and a risen Christ. But these two were headed away from the city and from the other disciples. Their sad report included their hopeless perspective. We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Their eyes were kept from recognizing Him and they ended their account by saying Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.


And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.


What an incredible seven-mile sermon! Not seven principles to improve your lot in life – just Jesus preaching Jesus! What a homiletics class that was! Not a seven-point plan to prepare a perfect sermon – just the risen Christ preaching the crucified and risen Christ and repentance and forgiveness of sins in His name! Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER – APRIL 30, 2017
TEXT: LUKE 24:1-35; ACTS 2:14a, 36-41; 1 PETER 1:17-25
MATTERS OF THE HEART
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Christ has risen from the dead. God the Father has crowned him with glory and honor! Grace and peace be multiplied to you in His name, Amen.


In Jerusalem the word was out – the word “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth…a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people…delivered…up…condemned to death…crucified. Now it was the third day. Women, early at the tomb, reported a vision of angels who said he was alive. That very day Cleopas spoke with another about all these things. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


In Jerusalem the word was out – the word of an open tomb and a risen Christ. But these two were headed away from the city and from the other disciples. Their sad report included their hopeless perspective. We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Their eyes were kept from recognizing Him and they ended their account by saying Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.


And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.


What an incredible seven-mile sermon! Not seven principles to improve your lot in life – just Jesus preaching Jesus! What a homiletics class that was! Not a seven-point plan to prepare a perfect sermon – just the risen Christ preaching the crucified and risen Christ and repentance and forgiveness of sins in His name! Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


On His resurrection day, the risen Christ preached Himself – beginning from Moses. Moses revealed the first Adam – fallen in sin. Now there is the Second Adam – redeeming from sin – forgiving sin. Moses wrote of Noah who found favor with God. Eight were brought safely through water by God’s saving hand. Now – risen on the eighth day - Christ will command a rescue in water that corresponds exactly to the rescue of those eight. Indeed – Baptism now saves you. Jesus preaches Jesus from Moses, who revealed Isaac bound and ready for sacrifice! Isaac was spared. God the Father did not spare His only Son but offered up the perfect Lamb – sacrificed for the sin of the world - raised for our justification. Promises of the land - promises of the blood - all the promises of God in Moses are yes in Christ Jesus!


On His resurrection day, the risen Christ preached Himself - from all the prophets. As Hosea was faithful to straying Gomer – so Christ is faithful to His erring Bride. As Jonah was in the belly of the fish so Jesus was in the heart of the earth. As Zephaniah prophesied restoration in the Day of the Lord and conversion of the nations – so Jesus rose to restore people from all nations and to quiet you with His love. Jesus preached Jesus from all the prophets. He is David’s greater Son! He is the one greater than Solomon! The Prince of Peace and suffering servant of Isaiah brings peace through His suffering and resurrection. The New covenant of Jeremiah written on hearts (31:31-34) – by which God forgives iniquity and remembers sin no more - is given in the New Testament of Jesus’ blood!


What an incredible seven-mile sermon –from Moses and all the prophets! From the lips of Jesus it could have gone on for 70 miles or 70 times seven miles. In fact the living Christ is still preaching Himself and the New Testament in His blood. On His resurrection Day He preached it to those slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Jesus first draws out their confession revealing their misplaced hopes. Then He instructs them of God’s redeeming plan. Their hope for redemption in Jesus was correct. Their thoughts about how their redemption would be won were incorrect. Through Jesus’ proclamation of Himself – they were led to believe in Jesus. Through Jesus proclamation of His sacrifice and resurrection their hearts were no longer slow to believe. Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures? They said this to each other after they invited Him to stay. Jesus quickly came in with them and took over to host the meal to which He was invited…He took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.


Dear Christians, their eyes were opened to see the one whose preaching had already opened their hearts to believe. Then He withdrew His visible presence. The risen Christ was not toying with them but revealing how it would now be – how He would continue to come to His Church. In like manner He comes to you on this day – bodily present – but hidden in His Word and the breaking of bread. Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity. These two disciples had been headed away from the city and the other disciples on Easter Day. Now they headed back. And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.


The risen Lord continued His preaching through Simon Peter just 50 days later – “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ this Jesus whom you crucified.” Peter testified how God had raised Him up (Acts 2:26, 31, 32). Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” The Messiah – whom they awaited for centuries – the fulfillment of all that Moses and the prophets promised – they had crucified. So great their sin! Theirs was a unity of despair. “Brothers, what shall we do?”


So is the unity of all humans apart from the crucified and risen Christ whom God has crowned with all glory and honor. Such unity - in sin and in the peril of everlasting death - sinful hearts are slow to recognize. Yet God proclaims it. All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever. Death comes to infants and to college students and in mid-life and to seniors all. Futility and emptiness and weariness come to young and old. Born of dust and born in sin we are returning to dust.


The word of the Lord that remains forever leads you to know this. It leads you to examine your heart for obedience to the truth and for sincere and brotherly love for one another. That word leads you to examine your heart for misplaced hopes – and for faulting God when disappointment comes. That word leads you to know that Him whom you call upon as Father judges impartially according to each one’s deeds. And, if such is the judgment, then who can stand? That leaves you without hope! So great our sin apart from Christ! Our unity without His forgiving presence is either one of dull ignorance or one of prideful deception or one of painful despair. When sinners see clearly - like the house of Israel – we cry out - What shall we do?


The risen Christ called them to Himself making His appeal through His sent one – Peter. “Repent and be baptized everyone one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord calls to himself.” Their unity of despair was transformed to a unity of forgiveness received. Three thousand souls – were added that day. Their very fellowship and worship and prayers were centered on the apostolic preaching of Christ and on the breaking of bread (the Sacrament) that He continues to host and to serve to His people (Acts 2:42).


What shall we do? We shall not let our examination stop with ourselves, our misplaced hopes, our crooked, out-of-line thoughts in this crooked generation, at times our sad and disappointed conversations, our deeds our lack thereof – judged impartially.


What shall we do? We shall say as did the Emmaus’ disciples, stay with us Jesus for it is toward evening and the day is far spent. Break bread with us Jesus for if you give us your holy body and your holy blood surely you will give us all that you have purchased with the sacrifice of your body and the shedding of your precious blood – like that of a Lamb without blemish or spot. Let us feast on your body and drink your sacred blood in wine that we may rejoice in your love and receive in faith your forgiveness.


What shall we do? Brothers and sisters in Christ, we shall rejoice that the risen Christ unites Himself with us and us with one another. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity. With high delight let us unite. He is risen – and yours shall be like victory – even over death and grave.


Beloved – the word is out! Yours is the God of the Emmaus’ road. “Was it not necessary for him to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Yes it was and so He has! Your faith and hope are in God. You shall rejoice in His love forever – giving you full consolation – perpetual gladness and eternal joys. In that perfect unity wherein everyone is first family – there are no fearful hearts – no hearts cut by the law - no hearts doubting the Lamb who was slain who has begun His reign – no foolish hearts – no hearts slow to believe for what is now received in faith is then seen face to face. There are only pure hearts such as God has given and is giving to you. You have been born again through the living and abiding word of God.


And this word is the good news that is preached to you.


Christ has risen from the dead. God the Father has crowned him with glory and honor! In His Name, Amen.

Luther Memorial Chapel & University Student Center | 3833 N Maryland Ave | Shorewood, WI  53211
(414) 332-5732 |lmcusc@lmcusc.org

Divine Service: Sundays - 9:00a Mondays - 7:00p Bible Study & Sunday School: Sundays - 10:45a