Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

Christ is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!


With these words we join ourselves to the people of God in Christ Jesus

Down through the years

Who have claimed this as the central truth of their lives –

The singular most important

Most powerful

Most life-changing truth the world has ever known


And it’s this truth that Paul is writing about in 1 Corinthians chapter 15


When we are born

We are born into Adam –

Born into a creation marred by the fall –

Marred by sin –

Marked by death


This is why Paul writes in verse 19 that

If we have only hoped in Christ for this life

With its struggles

With its pain

With its losses

With its sicknesses

And death

And wars

And storms

And dangers –

If all we have is this life

Then, indeed, as Paul says: we are of all people most to be pitied


I mean, just look at the world we’re living in


Climates are changing

Vast portions of the globe are experiencing drought and fires

While other are facing storms and floods

Previously unseen


Untold damage is occurring to ecosystems

And whole species are being eradicated

By our refusal to stop polluting –

To stop abusing and misusing –

The air


And water we all depend on for life –

The precious creation we have received as a gift from the hand of our Creator God


People are being gunned down in schools


Inner city streets


Movie theaters

Political meet and greets

With weapons that have no place

And no real purpose

In the hands of ordinary citizens



And the sons of dictators

Threaten the delicate balance of peace in places like North Korea

While violence

Civil wars

Populist movements

And the like threaten to destabilize nations in the Middle East

Asia and



Yes, we are born into a creation marred by the fall –

Marred by sin –

Marked by death


We have all died in Adam

And the old Adam and the old Eve within each of us

Needs to be continually opposed –

Drowned, as it were, in the flood of God’s Baptismal life…


But Christ has been raised from the dead

The first fruits of those who have died


And as we have been tethered to Adam and Eve in sin and death

So, too, we shall be tethered to Christ in resurrection life


We have no hope of making it through the waters

Except that we have been tethered to Christ Jesus

Who has come to conquer and destroy the last and greatest enemy of all –

Death itself!


By his dying, Christ Jesus has destroyed death once and for all


And by his rising, he has restored life –

Our lives

And the lives of all who dwell upon the earth


This is how the Church has said it throughout most of the last 2 millennia:

Dying, you destroyed our death

Rising, you restored our life

Lord, Jesus, come in glory


This short profession of faith in the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus

Follows the same pattern, notice, as Paul in our reading from 1 Corinthians


From death to resurrection

And from resurrection to Christ’s coming again in glory –

Coming at the end –

Having destroyed every ruler and authority and power –

Destroying death itself, last of all –

Coming to reign as the eternal King of all Kings…


So we are born tethered to Adam in sin and death

And, by God’s grace, we will be tethered to Christ in resurrection life

In his eternal reign


But we live here and now


And in this meantime –

In this middle time –

When Christ has died

And is risen –

As we wait for his coming again

We live the life of discipleship


Daily dying with Christ


Daily rising with Christ


Our whole lives marked by this pattern


Luther writes this in the Small Catechism:

The old person in us with all sins and evil desires

Is to be drowned and die

Through daily sorrow for sin

And through repentence,

And on the other hand

Daily a new person is to come forth

And rise up to live before God

In righteousness and purity forever


This is the life of those who have been baptized into Christ Jesus –

Into his death and resurrection –

This is our life

Lived in the tension between the now and the not yet –

Between the continual struggle to drown the old Adam and Eve through repentence

And the joyful life of loving service

Lived in the freedom of God’s saving grace


This is our life as Easter people

Lived in the joy of God’s salvation

In, through, and because of Christ alone

The crucified and risen Lord of all!


Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen, indeed! Alleluia!  Amen