Message from The King's Crown
IN NOMINE JESU CHRISTI
Where the paschal blood is poured, Death’s dread angel sheathes the sword; Israel’s hosts triumphant go Through the wave that drowns the foe. Alleluia! Now no more can death appall, Now no more the grave enthrall; You have opened paradise, And Your saints in You shall rise. Alleluia!
Matthew’s Gospel is the Gospel appointed for this Easter Sunday 2017. It begins with Mary Magdalene and the "other Mary" i.e. the mother of James and Salome, going to the tomb of Jesus Christ to anoint Jesus’ dead body with spices to cover up the odor of death. Matthew reports a "great earthquake" in conjunction with the appearance of an angel of the Lord. Christ is already risen from death, so the stone is rolled away only to demonstrate that He is risen, not to allow Him to rise. The guards originally standing at the entrance to the tomb become "like dead men" when the angel appears.
The good ladies come to the tomb fully expecting to find the body of Christ. The words of Christ about rising from the dead are not yet sunk in. It is not until the angel announces to them that Jesus has risen and shows them the place where he was laid that they believe. The dear women depart the tomb "with great fear and joy" as they run to tell the other disciples.
Then Jesus appears to them. This is the first post resurrection appearance in Matthew. Just as the Magi, at the beginning of the Gospel, so now the women, "came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him." So, too, do we worship and honor our risen Lord and Savior.
Like the women at the tomb, we at CTK and indeed the whole Christian Church are gladdened at the words, "He is not here, for He has risen, as He said." What joy is ours! Christ and His resurrection validates the words of Christ and His Apostles. His resurrection validates the work we do here at CTK. It proves that He has won the ultimate victory over death and that God has in fact forgiven our sins. All doubts must fly away in the face of this marvelous Good News. Christ, whose blood was shed on the cross of death has risen!
Dear friend, as you reflect on Christ’s Easter Victory, please recognize that no victory celebration is complete without a feast. On Mt. Sinai, a feast was prepared, and God’s people ate and drank in the presence of God. This feast is connected with God’s covenant promise to Israel through Moses. It’s no surprise, then, that God provides a feast for His people in connection with His work on Mount Calvary. Mt Sinai and Mount Calvary are closely connected in Isaiah 25. The Lord’s victory over death provides the occasion for a "feast of rich food, a feast of well aged wine"
With these words, the Lord, who was raised in triumphant victory over death, points us to that feast whereby we share in His victory over death– the salutary gift of His body and blood in the Lord’s Supper. This feast, celebrated weekly here at CTK, is a foretaste of that eternal banquet that is to come when the Lord appears in glory. It is a true sign of our Lord’s victory over the grave. At the altar we, and all the Church, proclaim "the Lord’s death until He comes" and confess that Jesus, who was crucified, has risen. Come, dear friend, the banquet is prepared!
God bless you. Pastor Loewe
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