The Resurrection of our Lord [c] April 17, 2022
Isaiah 65:17B25; Luke 24:1b-12
1 Corinthians 15:19B26
19If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
In Adam, all die. How do we about that? The statement leaves no one out!
It’s comprehensive, global, everyone. It forces us to see our sin as not little things we do wrong here or there, not just accidental over-steppings of rules, but as … who we are.
Are we children of Adam? Flesh and blood men and women along with Adam and Eve? Where did we get that flesh and blood? We can speak of DNA, of our genetic code, all that—we know where it all came from. We’re with Adam—In Adam all die.
Everyone belongs to this fact. Death, our last enemy. No escape. Not if you are of the lineage of Adam.
We see what goes on in our world. We know we’re in society with all Adam’s other children. Cain and Abel, that’s not just a story locked back in time. It’s how we children of Adam go about things.
The violence in our society, the brokenness in families, the theft, the politicians better at performance art than serving justice, the teaching of unnatural marriage to children—and we can all add to the list with the degradation of society we see around us, put it all in a big basket and label it, Children of Adam. In Adam, says the Apostle, all die.
It’s original sin—the sin of our origin. Adam is our origin. His sin is ours, unless we can somehow claim that our hearts are pure, unlike Adam’s, unlike Cain’s—our hearts are pure, untainted by lust, by bitterness, by self-centeredness. Who could claim that?
In Adam all die. It’s the sin in our hearts, at our very origin.
A new Adam, that’s what we need. We can’t bust loose from the old Adam; we can’t claim to be not of him.
A new Adam, a new Man, a Man pure and unstained.
A new Adam who doesn’t cower when he sees the Ten Commandments, who doesn’t belong to death but to life. When he hears God’s holy Law, he’s not under the accusation because of his sin but he sees … life. He sees God’s good ordering of things; God’s care for all people, God’s gifts of family and marriage of man and woman, of neighbor and love for neighbor, of house and home and property and business and all God’s institutions to build-up and protect and care for all people and families.
We need an Adam who when he sees his brother Cain raise his arm against him to strike the death blow, does not strike back in revenge, but let’s himself be humiliated and killed, who when attacked by arrogant or jealous ones who set out to tear him down by talking behind his back and lining up others in opposition to him, does not respond in kind by talking behind their backs, when he delivered into the hands of sinful man, does not strike back, but goes uncomplainingly, as a Lamb to slaughter.
We need an Adam unafraid of the Law because he has a pure heart, unafraid of death because his conscience before God is clean, an Adam from whom we would find our new origin, our new life before God.
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
On the third day, he stood up from death.
This is our new Adam.
A corpse, abused, dishonored, and given to the ground never to stand again, he stood up, breathing and living, victor over the sin he carried on his back, champion over the demons who, because of his atoning blood, no longer have any accusation against the sinner, conqueror over death which could not hold his body in the ground—this is our new Adam, Christ Jesus resurrected from the dead, now living to bring all sinners out of death to life.
This bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the Word of creation sent forth from the Father, creating life from that which had no life. It is God’s creative power shown to all those who witnessed Jesus walking around healthy and strong. It is the Father’s acceptance and approval of his Son’s perfect sacrifice on the cross.
But it is also this: It is your resurrection.
It is you and me and our children standing up out of death and walking into life. Because, Jesus, the new Adam, the holy and pure man, with no sin of his own, but with all the sin of his brothers and sisters on his back, went to the cross. Jesus, the new Adam of clean heart and unstained conscience, broke death’s hold, walked out of the tomb, doing it all as our new Adam.
That title Adam means nothing if there is not a lineage, those who follow.
Jesus is the new Adam. He has a lineage. It’s us—you, me, our children. It’s all given the gift of the birth of the water and word, all those whom Jesus baptizes into himself, into his cross and resurrection, into his life.
Jesus has a lineage, or his death on the cross and his resurrection mean nothing. Jesus brings into his lineage the generations of all whom he calls into the church by his Gospel.
These are those who live in these old-Adam bodies of sin, yet by faith hold onto the new-Adam lives bestowed by the Gospel of sins-forgiven.
In this lineage, Jesus’ Word of Gospel justifies us. So our confidence and sure hope is in the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting given by our new Adam, Jesus.
The old Adam, he belongs to this world fading away. The old Adam of our sinful flesh never could justify himself, though he kept trying. We drown this old Adam drowned each day in the promise of Baptism. We still live in this old Adam flesh. But we are given daily repentance of it. It has no hope, it will not live.
Our new Adam, our life in Christ Jesus the righteous, our life of faith—1 Corinthians 15:22:
As by a man came death—that’s the old Adam, now 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.
In the new Adam, Christ Jesus, death is defeated. In our new Adam, we belong to life. We belong to the Gospel of all sin forgiven. We belong to the resurrected one. His resurrection is your resurrection.
In Christ, says the Apostle, shall all be made alive.
IN THE NAME OF JESUS.