“It is finished”.  But who could see it?  Who could see the reconciliation of us sinners with God on Good Friday?  The victory was won!  The payment was made!  But the disciples huddled in fear and the women prepared to anoint a dead body.  Only on the morning of the third day was the victory of Good Friday fully revealed.    Alleluia! Christ is Risen!  He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!


You have been baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection.  You share in His victory over sin and Satan and the grave.  But who can see it?  Disappointment and distress and disease and darkness and destruction and depression and death still surround you.  You live on the verge of disaster!  Life is frail in this sinful world.


The readings of this vigil service remind us of where we have come from and where we are going to.  Ours is a life of hope!  The Living word brings light into the darkness of death.  With Christ we pass over from death in life in the Exodus.  With Christ we are baptized into the Red Sea in which our enemies are drowned and we become His holy people.  With Christ we are placed into the ark of the church while the flood destroys the old order of evil and death.  Corresponding exactly to the rescue of Noah and his family baptism now saves us (1 Peter 3:21). 

EASTER VIGIL – APRIL 20, 2014


“It is finished”.  But who could see it?  Who could see the reconciliation of us sinners with God on Good Friday?  The victory was won!  The payment was made!  But the disciples huddled in fear and the women prepared to anoint a dead body.  Only on the morning of the third day was the victory of Good Friday fully revealed.    Alleluia! Christ is Risen!  He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!


You have been baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection.  You share in His victory over sin and Satan and the grave.  But who can see it?  Disappointment and distress and disease and darkness and destruction and depression and death still surround you.  You live on the verge of disaster!  Life is frail in this sinful world.


The readings of this vigil service remind us of where we have come from and where we are going to.  Ours is a life of hope!  The Living word brings light into the darkness of death.  With Christ we pass over from death in life in the Exodus.  With Christ we are baptized into the Red Sea in which our enemies are drowned and we become His holy people.  With Christ we are placed into the ark of the church while the flood destroys the old order of evil and death.  Corresponding exactly to the rescue of Noah and his family baptism now saves us (1 Peter 3:21). 


This is the night of the fiery furnace where the Son of God goes into the place of death to save and protect His faithful people from the flames of hell.  As Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego emerged unharmed by the flames so Christ rescues us from the flames prepared for the Devil and His angels.  As God was with Daniel and His people in captivity in a pagan, hostile land – so He is with you in hostile times – faithful to His word never to leave you – never to forsake you.


This is the night when death could not hold Him.  The stone is taken away.  His grave clothes have no dead body to cover – for He lives.  As Scripture said, He must rise from the dead.  Our Redeemer lives and gives us the sure and confident hope that though our skin is destroyed, yet in our flesh we shall see God with our own eyes. 


But now we live by faith, not by sight!  This is the time of salvation’s now but not yet.  Troubles are always at hand.  It is through much tribulation that we must enter the kingdom of God.  Sometimes it seems as if the victory hasn’t been won.  But appearances are deceiving.  Alleluia!  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!


There is no reason to weep as did Mary.  They have not taken away your Lord.  He lives and He has called you by name and given you His own name.  Dear Christian, they have not taken Him away but He is taking you away to be with Him where He is.  That’s why He keeps coming to teach you and to feed you and to forgive you!  By His holy and righteous gifts to you He presents you to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle on any such thing, that you might be holy and without blemish.  Your past is forgiven.  Your future is secure in Christ.  Your present is to be lived in Him and for Him who died and rose again for you.  Even now He intercedes for you in heaven.  Even now He comes to banquet you with His love.     


Alleluia!  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!


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