Death and resurrection are the theme of this week; Holy Week. In it we complete life’s journey with Jesus as He willingly submits to the most cruel and humiliating death that earth could devise in order to pay the entire debt of sin for the entire world for all time. The climax of the history of creation comes this Friday; Good Friday, as the obedient and sinless Son of God cries out “It is finished”, and then bows His head and dies. What seems from the outside to be defeat is indeed victory in that all that needed to be done to save the world from sin, death and the devil has been done. These powers and have been disarmed and are now destined for eternal destruction. As Jesus is laid in the tomb all creation waits…waits for confirmation that this sacrifice is judged sufficient by God the Father. The resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday is proof of that, and proves that mankind is now justified before God through faith in the finished work of the Son. The gates of heaven swing wide open to eternally receive all who can believe. One thing that is troubling to us sinful human beings is that death must come before resurrection. Death is not something we want to think about, let alone deal with. But, in Christ Jesus our death is now a done deal, it’s in the past. In baptism we are joined to the death of Christ, which happened nearly 2000 years ago, along with His resurrection. That means our death is already behind us, and that when this mortal body gives out we will pass through the doorway into eternity and live on in our spirit in the presence of our loving God in his everlasting kingdom. Resurrection of the body, and a reuniting with the spirit, will take place at the end of this age. At that point our salvation, glorification and joy will be complete, and never end. Without Good Friday and Easter Christmas would mean nothing. Good Friday and Easter give us access to everything; everything God has in Christ Jesus for all eternity!
Pastor Brian Albrecht has served St. John's since June of 2009