EASTER – WEEK 3 – WEDNESDAY
LESSON: 1 CORINTHIANS 15:12-19
If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:14
Like the disciples of old, we are not slow in choosing crosses and sufferings for ourselves in the belief that we shall endure them without much difficulty. Peter declared boldly that he would rather die than deny Christ, and all the other disciples concurred with him (Matthew 26:35). But when the particular hour arrives, contrary to your expectation, you will hardly stand your ground unless you have become a new man. The Old Adam gives up very quickly and cannot stand up to any great pressure. To do that is quite contrary to his inclinations, purposes, and aims.
So, you must have your own little hour in which you suffer for a time. Christ withdraws Himself from you and allows you to become enmeshed in the power of sin, death, and hell. Your heart will become powerless to devise a way of bringing peace to your conscience, do whatever it may. Christ goes on His way and dies. Then you will hear the little refrain: “A little while, and you will see me no more.”
Where will you turn? There is no consolation, no help anywhere. You are held fast in the midst of sin, in the midst of death, in the midst of hell. If Christ did not come to you in this situation, without any merit on your part, you would have to remain forever in such fear and terror. This would also have been the situation of the disciples had Christ not risen and become alive again. Therefore, it was necessary for Him to rise again from the dead.
SL 11:834 (12)
PRAYER: In the resurrection of Your Son, our Lord heavenly Father, you have given us sure and certain proof of the validity of His death for the forgiveness of our sins, life, and salvation. Grant us the full joy of believing this with our whole hearts, in and through our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 3:72-86.