April 11, 2020
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Romans 6:5, NRSV)
It is Holy Saturday. Yesterday we observed the crucifixion of our Lord. Tomorrow morning is Easter Sunday, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Today, as we immerse ourselves in the story of this most holy week, Jesus would have been in the tomb. And from Friday evening until this evening, it was the Jewish Sabbath. So we wait, as with Jesus’ followers, until the Sabbath is over and the sun begins to come out.
They waited to see what the aftermath might be… Once they were allowed to come out from their cloistered shelter, what would the world look like after the death of their Lord? What might the new normal look like? I suspect that on this particular Holy Week in 2020, we identify more with those first followers of Jesus than ever.
But we are blessed with a larger perspective. We know what is proclaimed on Easter Sunday. We know how this story ends – this greatest of stories which defines all other stories. We know that tomorrow we’ll be able to say, “Hallelujah! He is risen!” We know that Jesus’ victory over sin, death, and the devil has been accomplished, and that in Jesus’ rising from the dead the path is forged for us to live in relationship with him, and on the Last Day, to be raised with him into eternal life.
So this Easter, in the strange and unusual circumstances of 2020, take comfort in the anxiety and confusion of those first followers of Jesus. But remember that Holy Saturday does not last forever, and neither does our current circumstance. Before you know it, you will join the Saints of God in proclaiming, “He is risen!” And while we don’t know what tomorrow holds, we know that Jesus’ resurrection has established what that Last Day holds for those who belong to him – Resurrection Life. That resurrection hope, nurtured in relationship with Jesus the Risen Lord, will sustain us through today, tomorrow, and every day until the Risen Lord returns.
In living hope,
Following is an Easter sermon from North American Lutheran Church Bishop Dan Selbo. May you be blessed by the preaching of God’s Word.
Join us in person at All Saints Easter Sunday morning for Communion.