On this Easter Sunday, we will conclude our “Saving Grace” Lenten sermon series with “Salvation is Life.” In a sense, we are coming full circle as we end our series. We began focusing on eternal life as a quality of life that begins in this life and extends beyond death. In several places, Paul makes the connection between the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the life, death, and resurrection of those who are “in Christ Jesus.” In the sixth chapter of Romans, Paul says, “We were buried together with [Christ] through baptism into his death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too can walk in newness of life. If we were united together in a death like his, we will also be united together in a resurrection like his.”
The 20th chapter of John recounts an appearance of the risen Christ to the disciples. They are frightened and traumatized from the horrific experience of Jesus’ death on the cross. They are huddled behind locked doors. What they are experiencing is not life, but death and the heavy burden of grief. The risen Christ says to the disciples, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathes on them and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” The experience of the risen Christ has a dramatic effect on those disciples. They emerge from those locked doors to live vibrant, abundant lives. They experience LIFE — eternal life.
Through our scripture readings, sermon, and some very special music, we will celebrate what it means to be resurrected with Christ to new life — abundant and eternal. I look forward to celebrating a glorious Easter Sunday morning with you in our beautiful services!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster,