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Luther Quotes for The Resurrection of Our Lord

by pastorjuhl ~ April 7th, 2009

These quotes are from Luther’s House Postil for Mark 16:1-8. They are useful for the Easter Dawn text of John 20:1-18.

The time never comes when we  have preached and heard enough concerning the significance of Christ’s resurrection. We are not preaching anything new, but always, without ceasing, about that man who is called Jesus Christ, true God and true man, who died for our sins and rose for our justification. yet even if we were again and again to preach about and dwell upon these events, we could never really exhaust their meaning. We would remain like infants and young children, just learning to speak, scarcely able to form half words, yes, scarcely quarter words.

If you look at the persons, you see a great difference between the resurrection of Christ and that of Lazarus. For in Christ you see a blessed, comforting battle as death and the devil strike against Christ to try their luck and fortune against Him but come off winning nothing. Death and the devil look upon Christ as though He were another Lazarus, Isaiah, or one of the other prophets, and contemptuously think: we have devoured and swallowed up these individuals, no matter how high and mighty they were; we will devour and gulp down this one, too – He shouldn’t be more than a snack. But here death and the devil ran against a wall as they smash headlong against this man who could not die. He could not die because of His divinity, for it is impossible for God to die. Nor ought He to have died according to His human nature, for He had no guilt, and, therefore, death had no claim on Him.

When death and the devil exerted their greatest power and killed Christ, they struck down His humanity. But the person lives, who at the same time is God and man as our Christian Creed testifies. Because the person is eternal and cannot die, so the human nature, though it has been killed by death and the devil, cannot remain in death, but must live and reign eternally. Death and the devil merely inflicted a wound, but could not overpower Him. They could only attack the human nature; the Godhead they could not touch.

Christ’s resurrection is greater than heaven and earth. By it the sins and death of all mankind have been swallowed up. My righteousness cannot redeem me from a single sin, let alone the entire burden of sin and death. But because this person is true God and man, He accomplishes it, gaining an eternal, glorious victory over sin, death, and the devil. The same victory is mine, if only I believe in Him and confess Him to be the person who has accomplished all this for me and all believers.

Christ’s resurrection and victory over sin, death, and hell are greater than heaven and earth. Even though we were to magnify them many times, Christ’s resurrection and victory would still be greater. Just as His person is great, eternal, infinite, and incomprehensible, so are His resurrection, victory, adn triumph great eternal, infinite, and incomprehensible. Even though there were a thousand hells and a hundred thousand deaths, they would be mere sparks and droplets over against Christ’s resurrection, victory, and triumph. Christ bestows the gift of His resurrection, victory, and triumph to all who believe in Him. Since we have been baptized in Him and believe in Him, it follows that even if you and I had one hundred thousand sins, deaths, and hells, it still would be nothing, because Christ’s resurrection, victory, and triumph, which become ours through faith and baptism, are far greater. If that is true, which it certainly is, who or what can harm us – sin, death, the devil, hell, the world, pope, emperor, or whatever foe?

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