St. Stephen’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School | Beaver Dam, WI | 920.885.3309

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Easter Changes Everything!


I Corinthians 15:51-57

Easter Communion Service


St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church—Beaver Dam, WI


Change. This single word can be very polarizing. Some people like change. Others try to resist change by any means possible. Here at church we changed hymnals about 5 months ago. We prepared ourselves for it. We started learning about the new offerings of the hymnal well in advance. However, change was involved. The liturgies changed. Some new hymns were added that maybe take a little getting used to. Hymn numbers changed, so we need to learn all new numbers. The Psalms and how we sing them have varied musical settings. This change provides us new and varied, as well as the time-tested methods, to praise our Lord and Savior.


Change is a part of life. Nothing can stay the same forever. Sometimes change can be for the worse. We do not want to change just for the sake of change. Most of the time, though, change can be a good thing when well thought out and done for a purpose.


Easter brings about a tremendous change. Do you feel the change today? Alleluias return. White altar paraments replace black. What about your personal life? Easter brings a great change. God, through the Apostle Paul, brings that wonderful message to the forefront today.


Easter Changes Everything!

  1. A change for our life right now.
  2. A change for eternity.


Paul wanted to emphasize the resurrection. Throughout this entire chapter, he spoke about the great victory Easter brings to Christ’s followers. This victory hinged on one important fact, Jesus rose from the dead. If Jesus had not been raised, he would be like any other earthly leader. His followers would have no hope or assurance in this world. However, Christ was raised! Three days after his death Jesus burst forth from the tomb. With his descent into hell, he proclaimed his victory. God showed the world, by the stone rolled away, and the tomb empty of its inhabitant, all enemies have been vanquished.


Paul continued his message of complete victory, “Death, where is your sting? Grave, where is your victory” (I Corinthians 15:55)? Three days prior it looked like death and the grace had won. Joseph and Nicodemus carried the lifeless body of Jesus to a tomb. The women thought they would return to finish the burial process. They were in for a surprise.


Death and the grave would not win. The grave and death would only be victorious if sin remained. “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law” (I Corinthians 15:56). Sin makes death so painful. Death is the final sentence that we do not live a perfect life. The law shows us our many sins which separate us from God. Death reminds the world that life is imperfect. No matter how hard we try, or what we do, we still sin.


Our own hearts tell the very same story. With every beat it reminds us of our many sins. We do not always praise God for his grace and mercy shown to us. We get caught up in thinking that we have to do something in order to appease God. Our attitude towards others is not love but disdain for what they do.


Our consciences hold us captive. Sin stings. The law shows our misdeeds. Easter changes everything right now for us. The sting has been removed. The power of sin removed. Easter shows us exactly what took place, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:57)! The empty tomb proclaims the gospel message. Jesus has won. The devil has been defeated. Sin has been paid for. Easter changes our life right now by taking everything Satan could over us and throwing it completely out.


Jesus is victorious. Even death is something that we do not need to fear anymore. “Death is swallowed up in victory” (I Corinthians 15:54). Since the sting and power of death has been removed, death holds nothing over us. Death could not hold Jesus in the tomb. With his work of salvation done, he rose on Easter morning. Death cannot hold us either. Easter changes the narrative of death for us. It changes us right now taking away all power of our enemies with Jesus’ victory won upon the cross. It changes us for eternity, as we look forward to living with our Lord and Savior.


For three days Jesus’ followers were lost. They had no idea what they should do, or what could be done. They only focused on the present time. Easter changed everything for them. They not only saw Jesus risen from the dead with glory and power, but they also saw how Easter changed everything for eternity.


We might only wish that after a death it would be three days for our sadness to go away. The grief and the sorrow hang on for a long time. At times we might wonder if it will ever go away. Easter changes how we view death, because it changes our entire view of eternity.


Jesus rose from the dead. This important news spreads joy and assurance to all people. It does not just have benefits for Jesus or his disciples. The news of Jesus’ resurrection brings a whole new outlook on our death. Paul goes on in his letter, “We will not all sleep, but we all be changed, in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (I Corinthians 15:51-52). Paul takes us all the way to Judgment Day.


It does not matter whether a person died or is still living because both will be changed. The dead will rise from their slumber. Those living will be gathered together. All bodies will change. This body of sin and death cannot remain. For life will be completely different.


The change is one that we cannot even begin to imagine at this moment. “For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality” (I Corinthians 15:53). These bodies of ours know only one thing. Disease ravages the body. Pain overtakes us. These bodies will eventually wear down and die. Such corrupt bodies cannot inherit eternal life. They need to be changed.


The message of Easter gives us insight into that wonderful change that will take place. When Jesus rose, he took up his glory once more. For a time, he set it aside to be humbled and die. He now had a glorified body. This body would no longer suffer and die for all of that was accomplished already on the cross. Jesus would ascend bodily to heaven to rule over all until he will come again.


Our bodies will change. On the Last Day, when body and soul reunite, we will be glorified. We will put aside these bodies which decay with bodies that will never decay. We will have glorious bodies that will never taste death again.


Easter changes our eternity for we look forward to a reunion with all the believers who have gone before us. It is sure and certain because Christ has been raised. His resurrection gives us joy as we look forward to our resurrection. Death has been swallowed up. Jesus stands victorious over death, so that we do not have to fear this world and what it can do. We will be changed and rise on the Last Day to join with Jesus in an eternal victory.


Our entire life has been changed. It all happened on this day. Jesus breaks free from the grave to stand in glory. His resurrection changes our life right now. The brokenness and heartache of this world does not have to hold any fear for us. Christ is victorious. Our eternal outlook has changed. We will rise to live in perfection with our Lord forever. Jesus is victorious. Easter Changes Everything! Amen.

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