Sharing in Christ’s Victory
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
St. Paul writes: The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:56).
God’s Law is written upon the conscience of all people. Everyone knows that it is good and right to worship God and live according to His good and gracious will. Everyone knows that one should honor his father and mother and other governing authorities. Everyone knows that life is God’s gift ‒ holy, precious, and worthy of protection; that sex is God’s gift for husband and wife alone; that private property is to be upheld and protected; that telling the truth and speaking well of others is right and good; and that contentment with the people and things God has given is godliness. Everyone knows the truth and sadly everyone instinctively seeks to opress the truth. Entertainments, excuses, exceptions, and all sorts of self-justifications are made as to why one doesn’t need to fear, love, and trust in God above all things. But all the entertainments, excuses, exceptions, and self-justifications are empty and hollow. They may distract you and cause you to forget the truth for a time, but they can’t change reality. They can’t give you a clean conscience. They can’t stop disasters from falling upon you or anyone else. They don’t stop you or anyone from getting sick. They don’t prevent you or anyone from dying. The reason that death is a reality for you, me, and the world, the reason that COVID-19 is causing fear, the disordering of our lives, and death is sin!
Christ Jesus the Crucified and Risen One has not forsaken you in your sins, nor abandoned you in sickness and death, nor left you to your fears. He was forsaken for your sins and is your Peace with God! He destroyed sickness and death by His dying! He has restored everlasting life by His rising! He has drawn near to you this Resurrection Day, this Lord’s Day to give you His Peace, His forgiveness! See He is present in His Word preached to you, present in Holy Baptism, Holy Absolution, and Holy Communion, giving you rest and restoring your souls. Christ Jesus has removed the sting of death by His death and is granting you everlasting life by His resurrection! Cast away all fear, worry, and doubt for Christ Jesus has conquered sin and death for you! Trust in the Lord Jesus for He is the Resurrection and Life; though you are presently assailed by the evil one, this fallen world, and by all sorts of fears, follies, and fantasies of your own sin, take heart that Christ Jesus has overcome all of these for you and He has mercifully and graciously given you to share in His victory, now by faith and on the Last Day in the fullness of bodily sensation. Rejoice little flock of Christ! Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed, Alleluia! Amen!