It was still dark. The sun was still far below the horizon. The women. were going to the tomb. This was the first chance they had to take care of

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1 Sermon 2012 Resurrection of Our Lord Text: John 20:1 18 Theme: Who s Wounded Now? It was still dark. The sun was still far below the horizon. The women were going to the tomb. This was the first chance they had to take care of the dead body of their Lord. You can imagine what they were thinking about as they walked; Jesus horribly wounded and slain body that they were about to prepare for burial. The women had seen the Lord s face when Pilate brought him out in front of everyone with that thorny crown on his head. They could probably still hear the sound of the scourging, the whips tearing at his flesh. They could probably still see in their mind s eye those cold metal spikes that were driven through his hands and feet. They were there when the soldier pierced Jesus side with the spear. They saw the men come and seal his body into a cold, dark tomb. I m sure that these women never expected to see the violence they had seen over these last few days, but I guarantee you that they never expected to see what they saw this morning. The stone over the tomb was rolled back. There was no Jesus inside the tomb. Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, Woman, why are you weeping? She said to them, They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him. Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are 1

2 you seeking? Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus said to her, Mary. She turned and said to him in Aramaic, Rabboni! (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. There was Jesus! He had come back from the dead. He had been publicly humiliated and crucified where all could see, but now he appeared to Mary, completely alive and well. Satan had done his worst. Satan tempted Judas with greed, so Judas would betray the only one Satan feared. Satan was at work through the religious leaders, hardening their hearts so they would not recognize that Jesus is God in the flesh. Satan was at work in making Pontius Pilate a coward before the crowds. Satan was behind the whips, the shouts, the thorns, the nails, the spear. Satan was behind it all. Satan had done his worst to this body, and here Jesus stands, talking with Mary, fully alive. Satan and death can no longer touch him. We know Jesus is real, because Mary touched his feet, the disciples touched his wounds, and he ate fish on the beach with his disciples. Jesus had come back to life in spite of all that Satan had done to him. Satan attacked Jesus with everything he had. He tried to mortally wound Jesus and thought he had but here Jesus is, alive and well!. So who s wounded now? 2

3 When Satan was abusing Jesus, it turns out that he was only closing the door on himself. If Jesus had not died for us, then Satan could drag all of us into eternal punishment with him. But Jesus did die. And when Jesus was dead, and Satan thought he had won, it turns out Jesus was still more powerful than Satan, because Jesus descended into hell, and there, in a victory parade, kicked down the gates of Hell and proclaimed to all of Satan s minions that he had won, once and for all. Then Jesus rose from the dead. So, who s wounded now? Jesus accepted all the horrors of hell into his wounded body and paid the price for all the hurt in this world. Are you feeling wounded this morning? Jesus is resurrected, but we are not yet and so we continue on our journey towards resurrection. As we make our way through this valley of the shadow of death, we have a few scrapes along the way: a cruel word here a betrayal by a friend there. Then there are broken down body parts and the frustrations of brains that don t always work right. There are the hurts of childhood that have scabbed over but are still angry and infected beneath the surface. All of these wounds weaken us and make it harder and harder to proceed. Sometimes we feel like giving up. Maybe we look around at the cruelty in the world and think that even God has given up. When you feel that way, remember this day. On this day, out of a tomb walks one who suffered the most deadly of wounds and even Hell itself. With that horribly wounded body, Jesus should have stayed dead. Yet Jesus would not stay dead. He came out of the tomb. He came out of the tomb to be back in the world where we need him most. Easter is not 3

4 just an historic event. Easter comes to us today. Jesus resurrection is here for us now. We look to him and remember all the wounds he suffered. They cut into his body with nails and scourges and thorns. He was cut off from his closest friends. He was cut off even from God the Father, who forsook him on the cross. Yet, here Jesus is standing outside the tomb among his followers again. He has overcome! He came back into the world to be alive with us right here, right now. Jesus overcame all his wounds so that he may bring healing to your wounds. Jesus comes to be with you so that you know that no matter what wounds you suffer, no matter what disasters come your way, no matter what pain and suffering you bring on others or on yourself, you have one who is with you who overcomes all wounds. He heals us with the very body and blood with which he saved us. That is why what you believe about that stuff on the altar is important! If you just think it represents the body and blood of Jesus then for heaven s sake can we have something that tastes better? I don t know about you but a plain, flavorless cracker and a thimble full of cheap wine does not surpass a nice donut and some coffee for me on Sunday Morning. But if you believe what the Bible says, that this bread and wine on the altar is the very body and blood of Jesus, then everything comes full circle. The wounded body that was given for us on the cross is given for us also right now. On the cross it healed us from sin. This morning it heals our earthly wounds and prepares us to move forward as faithful servants. So when you come forward this morning to receive this amazing gift, 4

5 remember: his wounded body is given to heal your wounded body, and your wounded mind and your wounded soul. Today he strengthens you for the journey. One day he will resurrect you too and we will live forever together in paradise with him who suffered all for us. 5

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