Lutheran Worship and Resources



Traditional Lutheran worship services, using The Lutheran Hymnal and the KJV.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central.


Thanksgiving Eve - 7 PM Central Time.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works asgregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday, 2013. Mark 16:1-8




Easter Sunday: The Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord - 2013


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson





The Hymn #191               Christ the Lord                                  2:97
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual       
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #188                Hallelujah                               2:20 

The Gospel Is Life Eternal

The Communion Hymn # 206:1-5            Jesus Christ, My Sure Defense  2:81
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #189   He Is Arisen Glorious Word               4:77

KJV 1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

KJV Mark 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. 5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

Easter

Lord God, heavenly Father, who didst deliver Thy Son for our offenses, and didst raise Him again for our justification: We beseech Thee, grant us Thy Holy Spirit, that He may rule and govern us according to Thy will; graciously keep us in the true faith; defend us from all sins, and after this life raise us unto eternal life, through the same, Thy beloved Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.



The Gospel Is Life Eternal


KJV Mark 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him.

The lessons for Easter seem to be short, but they are intended as the beginning of a series of worship services for several days, since Easter is the central event of Gospel, revealing to the world that Jesus died on the cross but also rose from the dead as the Savior.

Time and dates are part of each culture. We even count differently in America than do the British. The same is true of the Jewish people of New Testament times. They counted each part of a day as a day, so the three days predicted by Jesus were Friday, when He died, Saturday, and the very first part of Sunday, when He rose from the dead.

Jesus was not long in the tomb, because God would not let the Holy One see corruption, as the Scriptures said.

KJV Psalm 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

This resurrection also changed the calendar. The Church began among Jewish believers, who worshiped on Sunday to recognize the resurrection. There are early references to this. They even began worship with the rising of the sun to commemorate the moment of discovery.

To this day, Sunday is the main day of worship. When people insist on returning to Saturday, as the Seventh Day Adventists insist, they are showing their reliance on the Law and their preference for Old Testament thinking. The Adventists (my kin long ago) deny salvation by grace and punish those who teach justification by faith, just as WELS does not. Heretics do not tolerate the Gospel, because it displaces their law.

This resurrection was similar to Lazarus, the young girl, and the widow’s son, but distinctly different. Jesus showed His power over death to demonstrate His power as the Son of God. But those people were going to die again.

Lazarus was especially important and quite deliberate, because Jesus delayed His trip to let Lazarus die and to allow him to be buried for days. There could be no doubt that His good friend was dead, in front of a large crowd that watched Him, doubted His compassion, and saw Him weep in grief for his friend. This made the raising of Lazarus a shocking and revealing event in the midst of a crowd of people from the entire region. Lazarus was so important as proof of the sonship of Jesus that the authorities plotted against him as well. And crowds wanted to see Lazarus alive when they knew very well he had been dead for days.

We can see how God trains us, step by step, so that the early lessons lead to the great lesson. If Jesus could raise the dead by His Word, so God could raise Him from the dead. In fact, the Scriptures emphasize both – Jesus rising on His own, and the Father raising Him. That is because the Father-Son relationship is constant. One does not act without the Other, so both are emphasized at different times. This is similar to the Two Natures being emphasized, one and then the other in the same section. Jesus was thirsty (John 4, human nature) but He knew all about the woman (divine nature).

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him.

The Scriptures show us that the women were so anxious to finish their honoring of His body that they rushed out to complete their work, without a thought about their danger.

This shows how their faith eliminated their fears, even a realistic fretting about how they would go about their task. Three women were not going to roll that giant stone lid from the tomb. Although the stones were shaped to roll in the groove in front of the opening, smaller stones are an enormous chore for men to move, heaving with their backs, legs, and arms.

When the Holy Spirit creates and energizes faith, we do not stop to wonder how it can be done but rush to get it done, not knowing the exact path (as they say currently) but knowing God will bless what is faithful to His Word.

One person suggested starting Bethany Lutheran Church and gave a token gift; he bailed out soon after and never showed up to see what he started. Nevertheless, thousands of views of our services suggest that the Word got out anyway.

2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

People do not get up early in the morning and jump into their task unless they feel a great urgency to get it done. These woman gathered before the sun was up, not an easy task, grabbed their supplies and set off on their own.


What urged these good women to hazard life and body? It was nothing but the great love they bore to the Lord, which had sunk so deeply into their hearts that for his sake they would have risked a thousand lives. Such courage they had not of themselves, but here the power of the resurrection of Christ was revealed, whose Spirit makes these women, who by nature are timid, so bold and courageous that they venture to do things which might have daunted a man.

5. These women also show us a beautiful example of a spiritual heart that undertakes an impossible task, of which the whole world would despair.

Yet a heart like this stands firm and accomplishes it, not thinking the task impossible. So much we say for the present on this narrative, and now let us see what are the fruits and benefits of the resurrection of Christ.

3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

They were almost there before they thought of the big question – who will be around to help them at that early hour? God paints a picture of faith here – where love and faith completely cancel out fear, worry, anxiety, and pessimism.

Resistance is so common that we can never say, “Oh I never doubted it could be done. I was always upbeat. I was never anxious or fearful about bearing witness to the truth.” The Old Adam is always ready to step to the front and list all the reasons why not. I do not mean The Power of Positive Thinking the book that Norman Vincent Peale plagiarized from an occult lady author (often word for word).

Faith in God’s Word drives out fear of the consequences. Faith means continuing when nothing seems to have any effect on the lethargy and obstinacy the masses when dealing with obvious false doctrine.

These women did not stop to count the cost of doing what they knew to be right, and God honored them in making them the first visitors to the Empty Tomb.



4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

Lenski:
This stone λίθος (not πέτρος) has been described fully in 15:46. What the women meant was that the stone should be rolled, like the flat wheel that it was, far enough up in the groove to expose the door of the tomb. In speaking to each other of this stone as they do they imply that they themselves may not be able to move it far enough. Whom will they get to help them? They fear further delay. They perhaps blame themselves for not having thought of the stone before and thus having insisted that some of the men come with them.
The observation is correct that the women seem to know nothing about the Roman guard that had been stationed at the tomb. They do not ask each other whether the captain of this guard will permit them to come near, yea, to enter the tomb. But this is at it should be in the narrative: the women did not know that such a guard had been stationed there. This was an arrangement between the Sanhedrists and Pilate, which became known to the friends of Jesus afterward and not at this time.
4) Matthew tells us that an angel rolled the stone away and sat on it. It was not rolled aside in its groove in the regular way so as to be rolled back again to shut the entrance. No, it was hurled out of its groove by some tremendous power, thrown flat upon the ground in front of the tomb, thus making a seat for the angel who waited until the women drew near and then went inside the tomb. This stone was not again to be rolled in front of the entrance. It had been laid flat so that the tomb should stand wide open for all men to see that it was emptied of the body of Jesus, the bodiless wrappings lying undisturbed and flat just as they had been wrapped, mute but mighty evidence of the resurrection, John 20:5–10.
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. Mark's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 739.
The stone being removed completely was a shock, because it was meant to stay in place. For instance, grave robbers would find it very difficult to get past the large size and tremendous weight. Trying to move it would cause a commotion that would alert others. The guard is not mentioned because he was frightened away by the revealing of the empty tomb.

I noticed on the websty of Steve Witte (WELS Asian seminary president, Church and Change founder)  a painting of Jesus being released from the tomb by the angel opening the stone door. But that is a fallacy based upon this error - the divine nature of Jesus is limited by His human nature. Several instances of Jesus passing through a crowd show that He was not limited as we are by physical barriers. If Jesus was able to walk on water, why would the very stone He created limit Him in any way?

When the stone lid was opened, it was not to release Jesus but to show that the tomb was empty. This alone was enough to terrify the Roman soldier, who knew that a corpse was inside.

5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

The change was so abrupt that the women were afraid. They expected death and saw the evidence of the resurrection instead, an angel instead of death.

7. You have heard in the story of the Passion how Christ is portrayed as our exemplar and helper, and that he who follows him and clings to him receives the Spirit, who will enable him also to suffer. But the words of Paul are more Christian and should come closer home to our hearts and comfort us more, when he says: “Christ was raised for our justification.”

Here the Lamb is truly revealed, of whom John the Baptist testifies, when he says in John 1:29: “Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” Here is fulfilled that which was spoken to the serpent: “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: he shall bruise thy head,” which means that for all those who believe in him, hell, death, and the devil and sin have been destroyed. In the same manner the promise is fulfilled today which God gave to Abraham, when he said in Genesis 22:18: “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Here Christ is meant, who takes away our curse and the power of sin, death and the devil.

8.
All this is done, I say, by faith. For if you believe that by this seed the serpent has been slain, then it is slain for you; and if you believe that in this seed all nations are to be blessed, then you are also blessed. For each one individually should have crushed the serpent under foot and redeemed himself from the curse, which would have been too difficult, nay impossible for us. But now it has been done easily, namely, by Christ, who has crushed the serpent once, who alone is given as a blessing and benediction, and who has caused this Gospel to be published throughout the world, so that he who believes, accepts it and clings to it, is also in possession of it, and is assured that it is as he believes. For in the heart of such a man the Word becomes so powerful that he will conquer death, the devil, sin and all adversity, like Christ himself did. So mighty is the Word that God himself would sooner be vanquished than that his Word should be conquered.

9. This is the meaning of the words by St. Paul: “Christ was raised for our justification.” Here Paul turns my eyes away from my sins and directs them to Christ, for if I look at my sins, they will destroy me. Therefore I must look unto Christ who has taken my sins upon himself, crushed the head of the serpent and become the blessing. Now they no longer burden my conscience, but rest upon Christ, whom they desire to destroy. Let us see how they treat him. They hurl him to the ground and kill him. O God; where is now my Christ and my Savior? But then God appears, delivers Christ and makes him alive; and not only does he make him alive, but he translates him into heaven and lets him rule over all. What has now become of sin. There it lies under his feet. If I then cling to this, I have a cheerful conscience like Christ, because I am without sin. Now I can defy death, the devil, sin and hell to do me any harm.

The crucifixion of Christ caused fear and mourning, because no one fully understood what was happening. They only saw the dark side of the Passion narrative. The empty tomb began their catechism, to learn the meaning of “died for your sins, raised for your justification, if you believe (Romans 4:24) that God raised Him from the dead.”

The question is always, “But how do I know that my sins are forgiven? I still regret my sins.”

The answer is – you believe in the resurrection of Christ and you confess it.



6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

The passages in the Bible that address fear always have a similar thought conveyed by the Holy Spirit: “Do not be afraid, because…” In the Old Testament there are many assurances of God’s love and protection.

In this passage, the ultimate fear is addressed – Do not be afraid, because Jesus has conquered death. You will see Him soon, and so will the disciples and Peter – the one who denied Him three times.”

Peter was not shut out from the future ministry for his denials. He was included and became an early leader. His life was short. He was executed for his testimony and work. According to one tradition, he was crucified upside-down by his own request. He did not want to die exactly like Christ – he was not worthy.

8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

The modernists want us to believe that this Gospel broke off at verse 8. But the early Church had the complete ending. It took a questionable character, plus Wescott and Hort, to eliminate verses 9-16. A good way to tell how reliable a Bible is – look at what they did to Mark. There are other indications as well, such as editing “the Son of God” from the opening.

This verse is not the ending of Mark but the beginning of the wider narrative of the world-wide Gospel ministry started by the empty tomb, the appearances of the risen Lord, His ascension, and Pentecost.



Eternal Life

"For the papalists understand the word 'justify' according to the manner of the Latin composition as meaning 'to make righteous' through a donated or infused quality of inherent righteousness, from which works of righteousness proceed. The Lutherans, however, accept the word 'justify' in the Hebrew manner of speaking; therefore they define justification as the absolution from sins, or the remission of sins, through imputation of the righteousness of Christ, through adoption and inheritance of eternal life, and that only for the sake of Christ, who is apprehended by faith."
            Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent,   St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1971, I, p. 467.    

"And, in short, the meritum condigni is the Helen for which the Tridentine chapter concerning the growth of justification contends. For they imagine that the quality, or habit, of love is infused not that we may possess salvation to life eternal through this first grace but that, assisted by that grace, we may be able to merit eternal life for ourselves by our own good works. For concerning the meritum condigni Gabriel speaks thus: 'The soul shaped by grace worthily (de condigno) merits eternal life.'" [Kramer note - Scholastics taught that the good works of the unregenerate had only meritum congrui; the good works of the regenerate rewarded as meritum condigni, merit worthy with being rewarded with eternal life.]
            Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent,   1971, I, p. 541.  

"How is a person justified before God? This occurs solely by faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ; that is, freely, not because of any works or merits of one's own but only because of the one Mediator, Jesus Christ, who became the sacrificial victim and propitiation on our behalf. By this sacrifice, man obtained forgiveness of sins and became righteous; that is, God-pleasing and acceptable. His righteousness was imputed to man for Christ's sake, and man becomes an heir of eternal life when he believes with certainty that God gives him these blessings for the sake of His Son."
            David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith, (1568), trans., Richard Dinda, Decatur: Repristination Press, 1994. p. 105.     

"Christian righteousness is the forgiveness of sin, the imputation of the righteousness of Christ and acceptance to eternal life. It is free, not the result of any virtues or works but is given solely because of Christ, the Mediator, and apprehended by faith alone."
David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith, (1568),  1994. p. 106.         

"Scripture therefore uses these words, 'We are justified by faith,' to teach both: 1) What the reason (or merit) for justification is, or what the blessings of Christ are; to wit, that through and for the sake of Christ alone we are granted forgiveness of sins, righteousness and eternal life; and 2. How these should be applied or transferred to us; namely, by embracing the promise and relying on Christ by faith alone."
            David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith, (1568),  1994. p. 107.               

"The second argument is that 'God desires all men to be saved' (1 Timothy 2:4), and He gave His Son for us men and created man for eternal life. Likewise: All things exist for man, and he himself exists for God that he may enjoy Him, etc. These points and others like them can be refuted as easily as the first one. For these verses must always be understood as pertaining to the elect only, as the apostle says in 2 Timothy 2:10 'everything for the sake of the elect.' For in an absolute sense Christ did not die for all, because He says: 'This is My blood which is poured out for you' and 'for many'--He does not say: for all--'for the forgiveness of sins.' (Mark 14:24; Matthew 26:28) Martin Luther, Luther's Works, 25 p. 375. 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Timothy 2:4; Mark 14:24; Matthew 26:28       "His gifts and works in His Church must effect inexpressible results, taking souls from the jaws of the devil and translating them into eternal life and glory."
             Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 220. 

"In this epistle lesson Paul gives Christians instruction concerning the Christian life on earth, and connects with it the hope of the future and eternal life, in view of which they have been baptized and become Christians. He makes of our earthly life a death--a grave--with the understanding, however, that henceforth the risen man and the newness of life should be found in us."
             Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 141. 

"Therefore, whoever would have a joyful conscience that does not fear sin, death, hell, nor the wrath of God, dare not reject this Mediator, Christ. For He is the fountain that overflows with grace, that gives temporal and eternal life."
             Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols  V, p. 331. 

"Therefore, do not speak to me of love or friendship when anything is to be detracted from the Word or the faith; for we are told that not love but the Word brings eternal life, God's grace, and all heavenly treasures."
            Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1411f.          

"In all simplicity and without any disputing, children believe that God is gracious and that there is an eternal life. Oh, what a blessing comes to the children who die at this time! Such a death would, of course, cause me extreme sorrow, because a part of my body and the mother's body would die. These natural affections do not cease in the pious, as those who are without feeling and are hardened imagine, for such affections are the work of divine creation. Children live with all sincerity in faith, without the interference of reason, as Ambrose says: There is lack of reason but not of faith."
             What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 142.    

"To be converted to God means to believe in Christ, to believe that He is our Mediator and that we have eternal life through Him."
              What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 343. Acts 26:20.         

"The Church has no word of its own. Whatever is not taken from Scripture is not the 'Word of the Church,' but what Luther bluntly calls 'prattle.' Also other books can exert a divine power and efficacy, but always only inasmuch as they have absorbed God's Word. Of Scripture Luther says: 'No book teaches anything concerning eternal life except this one alone' (St. Louis edition XIV:434)."
            Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans. Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1950, I, p. 315.      

"But Christ was given for this purpose, namely, that for His sake there might be bestowed on us the remission of sins, and the Holy Ghost to bring forth in us new and eternal life, and eternal righteousness [to manifest Christ in our hearts, as it is written John 16:15: 'He shall take of the things of Mine, and show them unto you.' Likewise, He works also other gifts, love, thanksgiving, charity, patience, etc.]. Wherefore the Law cannot be truly kept unless the Holy Ghost is given."       Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article IV, Justification, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 159. Romans 3:31; John 16:15.      

"But Christ was given for this purpose, namely, that for His sake there might be bestowed on us the remission of sins, and the Holy Ghost to bring forth in us new and eternal life, and eternal righteousness [to manifest Christ in our hearts, as it is written John 16:15: He shall take of the things of Mine, and show them unto you. Likewise, He works also other gifts, love, thanksgiving, charity, patience, etc.]. Wherefore the Law cannot be truly kept unless the Holy Ghost is received through faith...Then we learn to know how flesh, in security and indifference, does not fear God, and is not fully certain that we are regarded by God, but imagines that men are born and die by chance. Then we experience that we do not believe that God forgives and hears us. But when, on hearing the Gospel and the remission of sins, we are consoled by faith, we receive the Holy Ghost, so that now we are able to think aright."
Augsburg Confession, Article III, #11, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 159.  

"This power {the Keys} is exercised only by teaching or preaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments, according to their calling, either to many or to individuals. For thereby are granted, not bodily, but eternal things, as eternal righteousness, the Holy Ghost, eternal life. These things cannot come but by the ministry of the Word and the Sacraments, as Paul says, Romans 1:16: The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Therefore, since the power of the Church grants eternal things, and is exercised only by the ministry of the Word, it does not interfere with civil government; no more than the art of singing interferes with civil government."
Augsburg Confession, Article XXVIII, #8, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 85. Romans 1:16    

"This righteousness is offered us by the Holy Ghost through the Gospel and in the Sacraments, and is applied, appropriated, and received through faith, whence believers have reconciliation with God, forgiveness of sins, the grace of God, sonship, and heirship of eternal life." Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 16 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 921. "Also they teach that at the Consummation of the World Christ will appear for judgment, and will raise up all the dead; He will give to the godly and elect eternal life and everlasting joys, but ungodly men and the devils He will condemn to be tormented without end."
Augsburg Confession, Article XVII, Of Christ's Return to Judgment, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 51.



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