Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter Sunday

Today we celebrate the discovery of the risen Christ by the women who came to the tomb at the rising of the sun.  The night is passed, the day is come.  Now is fulfilled the saying that is written, Let there be light: Darkness is ended, and light engulfs the earth.  The sun has risen, but that heavenly body, as great as it is, is but a token of him who is the Sun of Righteousness.  He has risen from the dead.

First the women hear the news, from the angel in the tomb in a long white garment.  Why does he wear this long white garment?  Behold the purity and power of his message: he is risen.  The message, the word of God endureth forever, and it cannot be broken.  For he had said that he would be crucified and on the third day rise from the dead.  He had promised this, and his word cannot be broken.  Even of old, it was written that the Christ shall reign forever.   But how can he reign if he is dead?   How can he keep his promise, if he be not raised?  By the power of his own word he is raised from the dead, for his word cannot lie.  This is why their ears were made: to hear his word, that they might believe.  This is also why your ears were made.

Now, upon hearing the news, the women see him.  They discover the resurrected Lord.  Note this, beloved: the resurrection of our Lord is not about some ethereal flight his soul supposedly made from his dead body into heaven, much as the uninformed idly think about all who die.  This is a bodily resurrection.  He stands before them, they see him, they behold him with their eyes.  This in fact is why their eyes were made: to see him.  This is why your eyes were made, as it is written, “When thou saidst, seek ye my face, my heart said unto thee, thy face, Lord, will I seek,” and again, “whom mine eyes shall behold, and not another.”

So let us celebrate the feast today: Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us:  this is why our hearts were made, above all, that we might thrill in the resurrection of our Lord;  that we might rejoice in him.  So join the women at the tomb, and rejoice with them in their discovery of the risen Christ.

The sermon.

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