Easter Sunday April 4, 2021
Text: Mark 16:1-8 ILCW – B 21:2254
Theme: Overnight Our World Changed.
I. Overnight the world changed! My world changed! Your world changed! Their world changed! Friday and Saturday were awful days for these women, the worst days of their lives.
Have you been at the bedside of a loved one who was dying? It’s not easy to watch them go. Even if it is a so-called “welcome death” that takes one out of misery, it is still hard to say good-bye.
These women had watched far less than a “normal” death. They had witnessed injustice, then torture heaped upon their loved one. And they could do nothing, absolutely nothing about it, except to watch from a distance.
When the tragedy was done and Jesus was dead, Joseph and Nicodemus took His limp body off the cross. A few of the women went along to note where they buried Him. Perhaps they helped roll the stone into place late Friday but could do nothing more. It was too late in the day. The Sabbath was upon them. They went home to wait in restlessness and grief.
Twenty-four hours later, at sunset on Saturday, the Sabbath was over. They went out to buy some spices and oils to anoint the body. Then they went home to anxiously wait for morning’s first light. Sleep that night was filled with many sorrow and regrets. Jesus was dead; their worlds collapsed.
At the crack of dawn, before 6 o’clock Sunday they were already out the door and on their way to the tomb in Joseph’s garden. Can you see them, eyes downcast, plodding on their way with such heavy hearts?
They walked in silence. But a perplexing thought arose in some one’s mind and she voiced it: “How are we going to get in? A stone is covering the opening. We can’t move that.” And there was a second problem that they may or may not have known about. Roman soldiers had been placed at the tomb to keep them out. With each step, more doubt and concern burdened them.
Soon they rounded a bend, crested a hill, and the tomb came into plain view. A stunning sight greeted them. The stone was gone! What wild conclusions sprang into their minds! Grave robbery! Violence to the body! Panic set in. Immediately Mary Magdalene wielded about and ran back to tell the others before finding out what actually took place. She assumed, just assumed without any evidence that someone had violated the body of her Lord. No other explanation was possible. She was gone in a flash; the others couldn’t stop her. But those who remained slowly approached to investigate.
Can’t you see them in their confusion, creeping ever so cautiously towards the entrance, a step at a time, like a wary animal approaching something never encountered before. They got to the opening and peeked in. Hhhh! A young man, dressed in dazzling white sat to the right. Alarmed, their eyes were drawn Him. Thoughts of Jesus’ body did not even enter. In an instant caution gave way to fear. The one on the right spoke. His words were simple, soothing: “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.”
Those words, dear friends, announced news of the most significant change that these women had ever experienced. The Lord Jesus alive?! Not among the dead?! Could this be? Finally, they looked. Gone. They were stunned, astonished, beside themselves with bewilderment. Too much, it was simply too much to take in after the despondent state in which they had been – too much to believe. Even in their wildest dreams they could never have imagined such a thing.
Indeed, no one could! Every single one of the disciples who heard this news of Jesus’ resurrection had to be convinced it was true before they would believe it. And it probably wouldn’t have been different for any one of us had we been there. The fact was Jesus lived, just like He had told them. He truly was alive – body and spirit alive, and He kept proving it to them over the next 40 days until it became clear.
One thing was for sure: Overnight the World Had Changed. Even if they did not fully grasp it at the time, everything was different from then on. And that’s no exaggeration!
II. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is so significant that it is impossible to exaggerate, and you would not want any exaggeration about it. Why not? To answer that, go back to the first questions we raised.
Have you ever been at the bedside of a loved one who was dying? If you haven’t had that experience yet, you will, for death falls to us all since “the wages of sin is death.” There is no escaping it for there is not one of us who has not “sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Ro.3:23). To such people, the wages of sin is death. I will experience it, you will experience sometime in this life, sometime soon. At that time there is nothing that will give you comfort except one thing: a risen Savior who conquered death for you and promises: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (Jn.11:25).
Oh, it’s hard to watch a loved one go. And what must it be like for the one passing this life? What will it be like when you see your own life fading away? At such times you want no excessive exaggerations; you want no pious platitudes; you want no hollow promises. You want a Savior to trust, one who conquered sin, passed through death, and was raised to life for you. That’s what you’ve got in Christ Jesus. In Him and His resurrection your world changed overnight for He showed His power over everything that holds you back. Even if you have trouble understanding it all and taking it in, like these women did, the truth still remains as the angel proclaimed it: “He is not here. He is risen.” With that He proved His power over death and His power to change things.
You know, He’s the only one in the history of the world that has ever done that. All others, including all other gods or religious leaders remain dead. They are rotting in tombs somewhere. They may claim to live on, but they don’t except in their misleading teachings that will take you away from the only way to heaven – a risen Savior. No founder of any religion ever, ever left his grave behind like Jesus did. Their followers even visit shrines where the remains of their leader are kept and revered. What good is a dead god, a lifeless savior? How sad is that, that people put their trust in powerless men. Dead, buried, gone, separated from the truth.
But the same is not true with the Lord Jesus. You can’t visit His remains in Jerusalem. Why not? Because He is risen!
That fact ought to move our hearts every Easter morning to sing with such joy: “Jesus Christ is risen today. Hallelujah!” For overnight our world changed. It means that if you believe in Him, you will live again, just like our believing family and friends now do.
Oh, you can bet, like Him, I’ll be laid to rest in a grave. No idea where, but I know that’s how I will end this life. But at the word of Christ all who believe will rise again and leave their empty graves behind. He promised, “Because I live, you also will live” (Jn.14:19). No one else can give me that promise…except the only One who has gone through it and conquered it completely.
Believe it, dear friend. Treasure its hope. Find comfort in it in good days and in bad. Confront all life’s challenges with it. Overcome every burden and obstacle with the confidence that you shall rise again as Jesus did.
Through every step of life, may you be brought to Joseph’s garden where our Lord Christ was laid – but lays no more. With eyes of faith, look inside the tomb of Jesus and hear again and again, “It’s empty. He is gone. He is not here; He has risen!” Praise God, it’s true!
Overnight Our World Changed. “Death has been swallowed up in victory….Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1Cor.15:54f). God grant it to you in faith for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Easter Festival Worship – Sunday, April 4, 2021 –
“Do not be afraid!” These are words spoken by angels that have comforted, quieted, renewed, and brought joy to the people of God throughout the centuries of time. “Don’t be afraid!” said the angel to Zechariah when he announced the birth of John. “Don’t be afraid!” said the angel when he appeared to Mary with the good news of the Savior’s birth. “Don’t be afraid!” said the angel when he proclaimed the Savior’s resurrection at the empty tomb.
“Don’t be afraid!” It is a good summary of the Gospel that God wants proclaimed to sinners. With the Savior’s coming, sin, death, and the devil are conquered. With His rising from the dead, salvation is complete. Nothing stands in the way to keep us from God. Believe the good news!
Believers gather on Easter to hear the joyous news: Christ is risen! It is the promise of justification before God and it is the assurance of our resurrection to life. It is the best news!
So we are happy that you have come to celebrate this day with us. We pray that its comfort and joys may be confirmed in you as we worship Him whom death could not hold. “Do not be alarmed! Do not be afraid! He is risen! He is risen indeed!
The Order of Worship
Pastor: Christ is risen!
Congr: He is risen indeed!
Pastor: The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!
Congr: The Lord’s right hand is lifted high!
Pastor: I will not die but live and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
Congr: The stone that the builders rejected has become the capstone;
Pastor: The Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
Congr: This is the day the Lord has made;
Pastor: Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Congr: O Lord, save us; O Lord, grant us success.
Pastor: The Lord is God and He has made His light shine upon us.
Congr: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.
(From Psalm 118 that was sung at the end of the Passover meal)
The Entrance Hymn: “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today” Christian Worship #157
The Confession of Sins and Absolution
Pastor: On this most holy day in which Jesus rose from the dead, let us recall the reason for our Lord’s death, that we might again know the glory of His resurrection. We come before Him, confessing our sins:
All: Out of the depths I cry to You. Lord, hear my voice. Let Your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight. Lord, if You kept a record of sins, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness. Therefore, You are feared. I wait for You, O Lord, my soul waits, and in Your Word I put my hope.
Pastor: Children of God, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption. He has redeemed you from all your sins. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Your sins are forgiven. Go in peace; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
(Psalm 130; Romans 4:25; John 3:16)
The Prayer of the Day
The Ministry of the Word
Isaiah 25:6-9 The Lord has prepared the banquet of salvation. All preparations are now complete; nothing is missing. God has taken away death and all sorrow that would ruin the joy of His people.
The Hymn: “This is the Feast of Victory for Our God” #265
1 Corinthians 15:19-26 Our hope in Christ is not just for this life. If that were the case, what lasting good would He be for us? But Christ and His work are not only for the present time. He was raised from the dead so that He might destroy our greatest enemies, the last being death. First, He lives; then all who believe in Him live for His resurrection is inseparable from the resurrection of His people who trust in Him as their Savior.
The Anthem: “Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia”
Mark 16:1-8 Three women go to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body. The sight of an empty tomb and a holy angel frightens them. But the angel has a wonderful message: “He is risen! He is not here.” Trembling, they run to tell the other disciples.
The Sermon Hymn: “He’s Risen, He’s Risen” Christian Worship #143
The Sermon: “Overnight Our World Changed!” Mark 16:1-8
Our Response to the Word
The Confession of Faith: The Explanation to the Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed
All: I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity and also true man, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord;
He has redeemed me a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death;
All this He did that I should be His own, and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness;
Just as He is risen from death and lives and reigns to all eternity.
This is most certainly true.
The Hymn: “Crown Him with Many Crowns” Christian Worship #341
(The offering plates are not being passed in the service at this time. You will find them at the door as you exit the sanctuary. There you may leave your gift of thanksgiving for the life the Risen Savior has given us this day.)
The Prayer of the Church for Easter:
M: O Lord God, our strength, our song, and our salvation, You fulfilled Your promises by the resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, from the dead.
C: Thanks be to God! You give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
M: In compassion You sent Christ, the Good Shepherd, who laid down His life to rescue the lost.
C: Drive out all doubt and gloom that we may delight in Your glorious triumph.
M: Lift our eyes heavenward to see Him who lives to make intercession for the saints and grant us confidence in the greatness of His power. Keep before us the vision of Your redeemed people standing before Your throne and singing the song of victory:
C: Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive wisdom and power and honor and glory and praise.
M: Make us instruments of Your peace as we bring the good news of hope and new life to those around us. Guide us in the use of all that You have entrusted to us: our time, our talents, and our treasures.
C: Risen Lord, live in us that we may live for You.
M: Merciful Lord Jesus, grant healing to the sick and strengthen the faith of the suffering and the dying. Assure them of Your abiding presence, and comfort them with the hope of eternal life. Hear us, Lord, as we bring You our private petitions.
M: Gracious Father, You have restored to us the joy of Your salvation. With happy hearts, we come before You and say:
C: Alleluia! Thanks be to God! Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer (Hymnal page 20)
The Lord Blesses Us
Congr: (sung) Amen.
The Closing Hymn: “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” Christian Worship #152
Today’s Organist: Jane Rips Today’s Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann
Anthem: Lois Wiese, Jane Rips, Pastor
The Easter Lily
One of the original uses of the white lily was to symbolize holiness and purity. That symbolism still remains, but today we adorn our altars with Easter lilies to symbolize more the beauty, joy, and victory of our Lord’s Resurrection.
Its symbolism rests in this, that out of the seemingly dead winter earth springs the green plant of life. From this early welcome sign of life, comes the beauty of the trumpet shaped flower, almost as if the Lord were sounding the trumpet of His creation to say, “Christ the Lord is risen today! Alleluia!”
Lilies Placed to the Glory of God in thanksgiving and in loving memory of family and friends by:
– Jane & Jim Rips in memory of Grandparents and Jim’s Parents
– Dee Bruck in memory of Chris, my husband of nearly 40 years
– Sharon Burk in memory of Kenneth and Stella Natvig, my parents
– Purr & Jim Inniger in memory of Jim’s mother and Purr’s father
– Linda Yount in memory of Ted & Zurla Bohn and Larry Yount
– Emily Mabra in memory of Charlene Mabra, my mother
Savannah Mabra in memory of Grandmother Miles and Mother Charlene Mabra
– Elizabeth & Pastor Lehmann in memory of Arnold & Esther Lehmann and J.E. Hobson
Calendar & Announcements for Zion Lutheran Church
|Today, April 4||Tues., April 6||Wed., April 7||Thurs., April 8||Next Sun.- April 11|
Easter Festival Service on-line
Sorry, Easter Fellowship
Our Lord’s Resurrection
|11 am Midweek Bible Study
Divine Worship Service on-line
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
What does Jesus’ resurrection mean for us? It means that just as He lives, we also will live. Through faith in Jesus we have the victory. Because of His death and resurrection, we have a place in God’s heavenly banquet where there will be no more sorrow, suffering or death.
The Epistle Lesson (1 Corinthians 1519-26) (answers are found further below)
- What does Paul mean when he calls Jesus the “first fruits”?
- What does Paul mean when he says that death came through a man? That the resurrection of death comes also through a man?
Prayer/Sick List Those We Remember In Our Prayers Dea Windsor; Clyde Johnson; Dave Ballou; Greg Miller; Lou Schulz; Bill Buchanan; Norine Richardson; Barbara Long; Jodi Milam; William Moon; Patsy Mickelson, Jane Rip’s mother, rehabbing from a fall; Lance Milam, in recovery; Jodi Milam, recovering from knee replacement surgery.
Tuesday, April 13 – Monthly Church Council Meeting
Sunday, April 18 – 1st Quarter Voters & Women Working For Christ Meetings after worship
Saturday, April 24 – LWMS Spring Rally here at Zion
The Week in Review
Sunday’s Worship Attendance: 26; Bible Class: 15, Midweek Bible Class: 5; Sunday’s Offering: $1,643.
Copies of the Devotions written by pastor this past week will be found in the narthex.
Next Sunday’s Lessons:
Easter 2: Acts 3:12-20; 1 John 5:1-6; John 20:19-31 – Series B
Answers to Today’s Epistle Lesson Brief Study:
- In the Old Testament, the Israelite believers were commanded to offer to God the first fruits of the harvest, (the first grain, the first grapes). In the same way, Jesus is the first to be raised (“harvested”) from the dead. His resurrection is a sign of things to come. On the last day all will be raised. Believers will be given glorified bodies and taken to be with God in glory.
- By the sin of one man, Adam, death entered the world. We, who continue to sin as Adam did, deserve God’s punishment in hell. Jesus, true God and true man, suffered the punishment of sin and death. With his resurrection we are guaranteed that we will live forever with Him.
The Resurrection of Our Lord – Series B
Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 25:6-9 God Prepares a Banquet for All
6On this mountain the Lord of Armies will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food, a banquet of aged wines, with the best cuts of meat, and the finest wines.
7On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that covers all peoples, the burial cloth stretched over all nations.
8He has swallowed up death forever! The Lord God will wipe away the tears from every face. He will take away the shame of his people throughout the earth. For the Lord has spoken.
9On that day it will be said, “Look, here is our God! We waited for him, and he saved us! This is the Lord! We waited for him. Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”
Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinth. 15:19-26 Christ’s Resurrection, Our Guarantee
19If our hope in Christ applies only to this life, we are the most pitiful people of all.
20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came by a man, the resurrection of the dead also is going to come by a man. 22For as in Adam they all die, so also in Christ they all will be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ as the firstfruits and then Christ’s people, at his coming. 24Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has done away with every other ruler and every other authority and power. 25For he must reign “until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” 26Death is the last enemy to be done away with.
Gospel Lesson: Mark 16:1-8 – The Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead
1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so they could go and anoint Jesus. 2Very early on the first day of the week, at sunrise, they went to the tomb. 3They were saying to each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb for us?” 4When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.
5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6He said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
8They went out and hurried away from the tomb, trembling and perplexed. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) copyright © 2019 The Wartburg Project.