On the third day, Jesus rose from the grave. The tomb was opened not for Jesus to come out from it. The tomb was opened for us to see that it was an empty. He is alive. Jesus, the glorified Lord, could get out of the tomb without opening the door of the grave. He can use all His power to walk passed through walls, but He opened it for the disciples and us to see that He is no longer there, He is risen! The Lord is risen… He is risen indeed… Christ who died for the sins of all mankind triumphantly rose from the dead and defeated Satan and the crippling grip of sin that has pulled us away from the grace and love of God, our Father.
Every year we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Every year, we get to be reminded of God’s unconditional and everlasting love for us. But even with this constant reminder, we still lose sight of this gracious act of love from God. We constantly give in to the temptations of this world – our sinful nature has brought us back to fulfilling the urges of the flesh. Add to that the different distractions the world has to offer now. Add to that the everyday challenges we face that distance us from what is important – what is essential.
The Word of God, the Bible, has constantly reminded us of these challenges. Satan and our sinful flesh worked overtime to bring us back to darkness – into our old ways. This is why we need to repent of our sins and receive the forgiveness Christ won for us, and be strengthened by the Holy Spirit through the Word and Sacraments. There is nothing more important than the constant study of the Bible. The Bible always has the exact answer, the perfect counter to every trick, to every temptation the enemy has to derail our saving faith in the risen Lord Jesus.
May the message of the empty tomb encourage us to continue sharing the Good news that Christ has died for our sins and rose from the grave and that His resurrection has ensured us of salvation/eternal life through faith in Him. Let us look back at the sacrifices of Christ, the suffering and pain He endured on the cross, His death, and His triumphant victory over sin on His resurrection as the greatest act of sacrifice. A sacrifice He did for us. This is the greatest story ever told. And just as every great story, it needs to be told.
As Lutheran Christians, assured of life everlasting through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and compelled and moved by His love, let us tell His story to the world. Let us tell His story to the ends of the world. Let our lives be a reflection of His everlasting love to all mankind – a reflection of unconditional love of a father to His children.
A BLESSED RESSURECTION SUNDAY TO ALL!
Rev. Antonio del Rio Reyes, LCP President