Going Deeper 4-18-19

The second reading for Easter Sunday...
1 Corinthians 15:19-26   If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.  But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.  For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.  But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.  Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power.  For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

It is interesting to note that up until this late point in his first letter to the church in Corinth Paul mentions the resurrection of Jesus only once (6:14.)  His focus has primarily been on the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross.  The fact of the matter is: Easter is meaningless without Good Friday.  Of course, the opposite is also true: Good Friday without Easter would be an unfinished story.

Everybody loves Easter... and rightfully so.  It is a glorious and victorious celebration of life.  Death has lost its grip on us.  The gift of eternal life has been granted.  Just as Jesus was raised from the dead, "so all will be made alive in Christ."  This is the Gospel, the "good news."

Yet in truth, too much emphasis has been on Easter.  It's one of the two most popular holidays for folks to go to church.  But it ought to not be separated from Good Friday.  The highest point-- the climax of the story, is found when Jesus cried out "It is finished!" and the curtain separating the Holy of Holies in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, demonstrating that God had reconciled the world to Himself through Jesus, not counting their sins against them.  

At what appears to be the lowest and darkest moment, Jesus is truly at His greatest.  Remember... the nails did not hold Him to the cross.  His love for you and for all of God's children held Him there!

I again urge you to gather to participate in the whole story:  Good Friday and Easter!  Our "tenebrae" service tomorrow begins t 8:00 p.m.  Sunday's services are at the regular 8:00 and 10:30 am times.

With You in the Story,
Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."