April 24, 2013 - Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Daily Lectionary: Leviticus 16:1-24; Luke 10:1-22

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. What does this mean? On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true. (The Small Catechism: The Third Article)

Alleluia! Christ is risen! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Bible doesn't teach and Christians don't believe that when we die, we're done with our bodies. God made your body. You might not always like it, but it's the body the Lord has made you and it can't be other than a perfect gift. True, it's been messed up by sin. Sickness. Physical limitations. Finally, death. That's what sin has done to our bodies.

But on Easter, Jesus came out of the tomb — not just His soul or a ghost-like spirit but Jesus, in the flesh, with nail holes and everything. When He rose, that proved our sins were taken away because the wages of sin is death. Therefore, if He is alive, the sins must be gone.

When God created everything, He breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being. In the midst of death, the Spirit breathes into us again in Baptism to make us alive in Christ. And on the Last Day, the Spirit will one more time breathe into you the breath of life and you—in your body—will rise from the dead.

Somewhere along the way, we've gotten the notion that what we're waiting for is to get out of these bodies. (That's what Eastern religions teach and a lot of “Christian” denominations talk like that, too.) But what is physical, what is “body” can't be bad! After all, God the Son Himself has a body. And in that body He died and rose and still reigns over all things. If a body is good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for us. The problem is our bodies have been ruined by sin. But on the Last Day, the Lord will put all things right and make all things new. That's what your Baptism promises: that the same thing that happened to Jesus will happen to you, namely, that you will rise from the dead and live forever. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

I am content! At length I shall be free, Awakened from the dead, Arising glorious evermore to be With You, my living head. The chains that hold my body, sever; Then shall my soul rejoice forever. I am content! I am content! (I am Content! My Jesus Ever Lives, LSB 468:4)

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