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Monday, April 17, 2017

04162017 Easter Sunday - “By the Power and for the Glory of God that Jesus Christ rose from the dead for all of mankind!!”

April 16, 2017
“By the Power and for the Glory of God that Jesus Christ rose from the dead for all of mankind!!”
P – He is Risen!  C – He is Risen Indeed!  Alleluia!
Today we gather proclaiming, “He is Risen”.  We gather not in a valley, but on the mountain top, to celebrate the fulfillment of God’s Promise that was 4000 years in the making, from Creation and the promise made to Adam and Eve all the way to the Cross of Calvary!  For it is “By the Power and for the Glory of God that Jesus Christ rose from the dead for all of mankind!”  We gather here to celebrate the victory of Jesus Christ as we just proclaimed that “He is Risen!”  Jesus Christ rose from the dead for all of mankind throughout our country and world, but especially including each of us gathered here at Emmanuel who Celebrate Jesus Christ victory over the grave this Easter morning!
We celebrate His and our eternal life and the abundance of it, because, Jesus Christ has risen from the dead!  And this is the ultimate bookend to the Prayer we have been considering during the Lenten season.  Jesus Christ taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer by their own request.  Jesus by teaching them and their passing the prayer down to successive generations, has impacted mankind for the last two thousand years including each and every one of us gathered here this morning.  And our celebration today comes “By the Power and for the Glory of God that Jesus Christ rose from the dead for all of mankind!!”  We gather this morning in order to give God the Glory for His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ!
If this could be boiled down to one phrase, it would be this!  “Jesus Christ died for our sin and set us free!”  No matter what man does, how man treats one another, chooses to stay seated when God wants us to stand up and fight for what is right.  “Jesus Christ died for our sin and set us free!”  This is what Jesus willingly went to the Cross of Calvary in order to offer us eternal life.  And the truth is, when we pray the final petition of the Lord’s Prayer and end with the final word, “AMEN”, the truth remains, Jesus Christ is Risen from the dead and “Jesus Christ died for our sin and set us free!
This is why we gather on Easter, why we come to worship God and His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ.  This is why we confess our short comings and God freely forgives us our sin that we hear through the declaration of grace from Jesus Christ!  This is why we say, teach and believe the Prayer that Jesus Christ taught His disciples and that we promise to teach when we baptize in the Name of the Trinity.  This is why we proclaim when we gather for worship that we believe that Jesus Christ offers us eternal life out of His great love for us and “By the Power and for the Glory of God that Jesus Christ rose from the dead for all of mankind!
In the movie Risen, which was our Film of Faith last month, the greatest impact in the movie was felt by Clavius, when he entered the room where the disciples had gathered in the week after Jesus Resurrection.  Clavius clearly was searching not only as his job as appointed by Pilate, but Clavius soul was searching for answers as well.  With sword drawn, Clavius saw Jesus Christ and knew clearly in his heart the truth of the message we hear this morning.  “Jesus Christ died for our sin and set us free!”  And dropping the sword as he stumbled into the room in utter disbelief of what He saw before him with his very eyes.  Clavius saw Jesus Christ, the Man he saw hanging dead on the Cross on Friday, was right there in front of him.  Clavius heart of stone was melted and instantly became transformed.

This is the same invitation and opportunity, Jesus Christ makes to us today.  Jesus wants our hearts of stone, our hearts of bitterness and hatred.  Our hearts of control, our hearts that are not for Him, His mission or His ministry to be melted away and replaced with a heart of love, a heart of forgiveness, a heart of compassion and the heartfelt desire, dare I say a heart ready to stand and surely say and proclaim the Gospel and what needs said.  For today when we proclaim, “He is Risen”, we proclaim it because of the truth we need to not only hear, heed, but hold dearly like He will hold each of us when we enter into His Kingdom.  We proclaim today boldly this truth, “He is Risen” “By the Power and for the Glory of God that Jesus Christ rose from the dead for all of mankind!!” AMEN!

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