Responding to the Resurrection

2020-04-12 – Year A – Easter Sunday – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas
Colossians 3:1-4; Psalm 118:14-17, 22-24; Matthew 28:1-10

The Trap and the Enemy

  • Chapter 8 of the Hobbit. Bilbo falls asleep in the forest, and when he wakes up, he finds himself bound up in the web of a giant spider, and the spider is making its way towards him! He manages to whip out his sword, slash at the threads, and kill the spider.
  • When he looks for his dwarf companions, he discovers that they, too, are bound up in spider webs.
  • It is this image of a web that I want us to think about, because sin is like that web. It is quite easy to get stuck in it, but very difficult to get free. Most flies that get caught in webs don’t make it out alive!
  • When we sin, sometimes we are lured by the attraction of the sin itself. Other times we go back to the sin because we are ashamed and we don’t believe that we deserve anything better. We become trapped by our secrets.
  • Like Bilbo, we have a real enemy coming after us: Satan.
  • Unlike Bilbo, we are unable to free ourselves from the web. We need someone to save us. And the only one who can do it is Jesus.
  • He took our place in the web. He exchanged his life for ours.
    • What we celebrate today is that when Jesus rose from the grave, he conquered both sin and death! He defeated our great enemy on our behalf, and he gave us new life.

Turning

  • For ages Christians have used the language of “turning” to talk about putting our faith in Christ. To receive the new life he offers, we need to turn our backs on all the sources of temptation and set out hearts on Christ. This is what we mean by the word “Repentance.”
  • In a few moments, we will be renewing our Baptismal vows, and a part of this is accepting again what Jesus has done for us.
  • First we renounce the world, the flesh, and the Devil. The three main sources of temptation.
    • Flesh is our sin-nature, our tendency to turn away from God and go our own way.
    • The world is all that glitters and shines. The promises of power, wealth, fame, and popularity. Promises that always come up empty.
    • The Devil is that age old enemy that whispers in our ear and lies to us. Encouraging us to press into the world and into our sin-nature. To follow him instead of following God.
  • On our own, we are powerless against these things, but Jesus gives us power over all of these things, so we turn our backs on them in his strength.
  • What do we turn to? Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
    • Savior because he has rescued us from sin and death.
    • Lord because to accept his salvation is also to put him in charge of our life.

Your Life is Hidden

  • Another way of thinking of this is the image of death and resurrection.
  • Just as Jesus died for us and rose again, so too we die to our old lives of sin and rise to new life in Jesus.
    • Colossians 3:3–4
  • If you have never accepted the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, I urge you to do so as we renew our Baptismal vows together.
  • If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and savior, then I invite you to recommit yourself to him today and celebrate the new life that we have in him.
  • Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life!

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