Easter and the Promise of Life

by Rev. Jerry Kieschnick

Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick

The Easter season, which continues for the 50 days from Easter Sunday until Pentecost, proclaims yet again that life is ours forever.

At this time of year, there are fresh signs of life all around us. Flowers are blooming, trees are budding, and grass is greening. These are most welcome sights—a relief, really—following the especially cold and difficult winter months that many parts of our country, including St. Louis, have endured. Now, the mountains of snow and ice are melted by the warmer temperatures, providing the ground with much-needed moisture for the support of reemerging life.

All the beauty and new life that comes with spring are but pale reminders and symbols of the life that is now ours in Jesus Christ. How joyous it is to recall that above all else, Easter, the festival of our Lord’s resurrection, gives us the assurance of eternal life in Jesus Christ and the certainty of our own resurrection.

The apostle Paul says it so clearly: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:17–22).

These Holy Spirit-inspired words emphasize with great power the miracle of life, even life after death.

Photo: Walter Timm

In my limited understanding as a human being—having experienced the death of friends, acquaintances, and loved ones over the years—my human brain can’t compute how a cold, lifeless body can experience life again. But God, who brought human life into the world through the creation of Adam and Eve and continues to bring life into being through procreation, also promises to restore life to human beings in a way that transcends our comprehension.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly,” as Paul puts it. But when Christ returns and we, too, are raised to eternal life, we will see God “face to face.” Paul continues, “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12).

So, as you experience and enjoy all the new life in flora and fauna around you—symbols and reminders of the life that is ours in Jesus Christ—hold closely in your heart the promises of Jesus. He says, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19) and “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25–26).

John 3:16–17
Lives Transformed through Christ, in Time . . . for Eternity!
e-mail: president@lcms.org
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