He was raised for our Justification.
April 23, 2017
THE SUNDAY AFTER EASTER
EASTER IS OUR VICTORY
Faith makes Jesus’ victory our victory. God creates in us the faith He requires. The text teaches these points. St. John wrote:
Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that over-comes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ victory. Each Sunday we celebrate Jesus’ Easter victory. Each Sunday is a little Easter. A catalogue of themes for Easter hymns emphasizes triumph.
“Hallelujah! Jesus lives…Victor over death shall stand.” “Jesus Lives! The Victory’s Won.” And a personal favorite, “The strife is o’er, the battle done; Now is the Victor’s triumph won:. Now be the song of praise begun. Alleluia!”
We believe in and serve the victorious God. The Church of Christ doesn’t look victorious. Christ Jesus didn’t look victorious.
It seemed as if His enemies had the last word. Today, it seems as if His enemies are winning. His Church seems weak and powerless.
We need to see through the smoke of battle and understand Jesus’ victory. We need to understand the real enemies He battled. We need to understand how He gained and continues to gain the victor. It should not surprise us that the world is not enamored with people who worship the Man who got Himself crucified. He died. And for us as we celebrate His death, if our hopes and dreams are hinged on upward mobility, or comfort in this world we will not see victory in His death. Modern people will not flock to hear about a Savior who promises much tribulation before we enjoy His victory.
Jesus is God. He came into this world with the ultimate goal in mind. Many challenges in life we can handle. The enemies He battled for us, we could not. The battle smoke cleared on Easter morning. Casualties lying defeated were colossal, the eternal foes of humanity, enemies that want us in hell forever.
Jesus battled sin and evil. He conquered the sin that contin-ually defeats us. Jesus battled Satan. Satan is behind all our evil and suffering. Satan has been the enemy of humanity since the beginning of time. No human being has been victorious over this unearthly foe, no human being except the Human being that is God. Jesus crushed Satan’s head under his nailed pierced foot. Jesus fought our last enemy, death. His weapon was the cross and His own death. Dying for us, He stuffed a big sock in deaths ugly mouth. It is closed forever. Jesus took on our worst fear, hell. He suffered it for us. He suffered its punishment in our place. He lived and died and rose triumphant on our behalf. That strife is over. That battle is won.
These enemies, He conquered by death. St. John proclaims: This is the one who came by water and blood--Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. His blood stained the battlefield. His blood defeated our enemies. His blood is our hope and salvation. And water makes Jesus’ victory our victory. It is the water of Baptism.