Maricopa Lutheran ChurchGATHERED by the Holy Spirit;
FED with the Word;
SENT to make Christ known.

Worship: Desert Wind School
35565 W. Honeycutt Rd.
Maricopa, AZ 85138

Mailing Address: 20987 N John Wayne Pkwy B104-180, Maricopa, AZ 85139

Worship at 9 am

10:15 am Sunday School
   for 3-5th Graders
10:15 am Adult and Teen
   Bible Study


Pastor Glenn Zimbelman

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
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He is Risen! - April 16, 2017

Pastor Glenn Zimbelmann
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Blessed Easter to each and every one of you.  As we do each Easter we need to begin by working on our response.  Some reply to Christ has Risen by saying he has Risen Indeed.  Others add the word Alleluia to the end of that phrase.  So let’s practice, when I say Christ has Risen, you say He has Risen indeed. Alleluia.  Christ has Risen.  He has risen Indeed.  Alleluia.

Philippians 2:6-11 really lays it out what Christ has done for us.  There are many ways we can respond to Easter.  But that response is more than a simple saying, for Easter is about transformation.  The response of our hearts to the Risen Lord matters greatly.  So what has Christ done for us? Be reminded again of the verses from the Message Bible, Philippians 2:5-8

5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. 

So God becomes Human for us.  Imagine being God and giving up all that would be God to become a finite human being.  That alone is an amazing thing.  But what does Jesus do with his humanity.  We read further.

It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

So this is where Good Friday ends.  The worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.  So Jesus is dead.   His life has ended.   What is our response then to Easter morning?  Let’s take a look at our Gospel Lesson.  We pick up the story after the women have entered the empty tomb?  We read in verse 24:5

“But the men said to them, Why do you look for the living among the dead”

They are then reminded that Jesus predicted his death and resurrection.  He does this three times in Luke.  

We read further in 24:8

“Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to the rest.

 So the women’s response is twofold.  They first are looking for the living among the dead.  How do you believe in the unbelievable?  You often don’t.  You dwell on what you know.  Dead people stay dead.   So my friends, Christ is Alive.  He has Risen.  He has Risen indeed Alleluia..  Are we ready to claim this Risen Christ and in doing so, are we ready to live the way God intends?  Are we willing to have life in Christ?  Are we willing to claim Jesus has Risen for Us?

Secondly, the women remembers what Jesus had told them.  Jesus predicted his death and Jesus predicted his Resurrection.   They trust the words of Jesus as being true.   One of the reasons we don’t claim the life God wants for us, is we simply don’t trust it.  Far too many of us are like this:

Picture of a Child on the pool side.

The father wants the child to jump into the water.  There is much joy of jumping into a parent’s arms and splashing and playing and enjoying life.  Yet too often we would rather keep Jesus in the pool, and us on the edge.  We see Jesus, we get Jesus, but are we willing to jump in and trust Jesus?

So imagine this Easter you are willing to make that jump.  Why would you do that?  Well, all I can say is this.  Christ has Risen.  He has Risen indeed.  Alleuluia.

We read on in verse 24:11 the women tell the men what they saw and heard.

“But these words seems to them an idle tale and they did not believe them”

Once again men don’t listen to women. All you women are nodding your heads.  An idle tale.  You see they forget the words of Jesus.  They can’t imagine that Jesus would rise from the dead.  It is simply too much to comprehend.  Peter is at least intrigued.  He will go and visit the empty tomb and be amazed at what had happened.  

But truth be told, too often we treat Easter as an idle tale. Oh we believe Jesus has Risen from the Dead.  But it is an intellectual experience.  We say it from our heads, without believing it in our hearts.  So how do we move from head to heart?  It really is quite simple.

I give you this morning the 3 L’s of the cross.  These 3 L’s have been used by many throughout Christianity.  Let’s consider Jesus.  He could have been the first L which is a Liar.  He could have been a fake.  But how do you fake walking on water?  He could have been a second L, a Lunatic.  This means he thought he was Jesus.  He was a bit mad.  But there were other fake Messiahs.  People are not going to risk life and limb in the book of Acts for a crazy guy.  The last option is to claim Jesus for what he is.  The Last L is that Jesus is Lord.  When we confess and claim Jesus as Lord, than Easter becomes real. 

This is how the Phillipians text ends in verses 9-11

9-11 Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

All created things will do what.?They will bow in worship, call out in praise and confess that he is Master of all.  Essentially Jesus is Lord of our lives.  So if you want to be Easter people, if you want to claim Jesus as Lord, do so in both word and action.   Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.  Christ has Risen.  He has Risen Indeed.  Alleluia.

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