Easter Sunday March 31, 2024


Easter Sermon

Job 19:25a

Scripture Readings

Luke 24


202, 188, 200, 191

Hymns from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) (TLH) unless otherwise noted

Sermon Audio: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ministrybymail

Prayer of the Day: O God, for our redemption You gave Your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross and by His glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of the enemy. Grant that all our sin may be drowned through daily repentance and that day by day we may arise to live before You in righteousness and purity forever; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

I know that my Redeemer lives. (NKJV)

Part I: “I know that my Redeemer lives!

In Christ Jesus, whose empty tomb reveals that our Redeemer lives, fellow redeemed:

I KNOW! Those two words form a declarative statement which implies certainty and confidence. What Job stated 4,000 years ago was not a mere conjecture such as, “I think,” suggesting a lack of confidence; nor was it an interrogative—a question implying complete uncertainty. No, Job declared during his great trials, “I know that my Redeemer lives!

Job had been the object of Satan’s attacks. In one day, he lost all his material belongings as well as his children. What was Job’s response? The Scriptures say: Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.’ In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. (Job 1:20-22) Then Satan took Job’s health away, striking him with painful boils from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet. Yet his life remained, for Satan was restrained by the grace of God. Still, the Scriptures say, Job did not sin with his lips, but rather asked his wife: Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity? (Job 2:10) Did Job wonder why these things were happening? Yes, he did! Did Job grow weary and discouraged amid these trials? Yes, he did! Did Job begin to question God in these matters? Yes, he did! But Job did not ever question God’s existence, His presence, His relevance, or His ultimate and gracious intent! Amid these great difficulties Job declared: I know that my Redeemer lives!

Job knew that His God existed, for he could see the glories of creation. Job did not have the written revelation of God’s will in the form of the Old Testament Scriptures. They would not be written for hundreds of years, but he had the promise of a Savior—kept alive through oral tradition. He knew that God would send the seed of the woman promised by God in the Garden of Eden. That seed,God had assured man, would crush Satan’s head, while enduring a bruise to His heal (Genesis 3:15). As cryptic as those words may have seemed, Job knew that they meant victory by God on behalf of mankind. God ultimately would resolve the tragic circumstances facing him, for He had promised victory over greater circumstances and enemies—Satan, sin, death, and hell!

My dear friends, we too can say with Job no matter what our current, personal circumstances: I KNOW that my Redeemer lives! We have the facts regarding Jesus’ coming, His life, His death, and His resurrection recorded in the Scriptures! The unbelieving world scoffs at us, suggesting that we Bible-believing Christians are weak, ignorant, and superstitious. The elite in our world today—those who control most of the secular educational institutions—suggest that there is no certainty out there to be found. Everything is relative, they say. Nothing beyond the material exists, they claim. Man’s experience, observations, and understandings are to be the measure of all things, they boast. Man, in essence, is his own god. Modern man has fallen into the same temptation as our first parents with the result that the world is beset by problems that have been common to all ages, and which have their roots in man’s sinful and selfish desires. There is nothing new under the sun! (Ecclesiastes 1:9c)

Yet, we can declare with full confidence: I KNOW that my Redeemer lives! We can do so for three very good reasons. First, the Bible, which informs us of the resurrection, is the inspired and infallible Word of God. The apostle Paul tells us: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. (2 Timothy 3:16) As Jesus Himself stated: The Scripture cannot be broken. (John 10:35) What the Bible tells us is true and, therefore, can be trusted in whatever situation or circumstance we find ourselves.

Second, New Testament events fulfilled Old Testament prophecies. Truly, as Peter affirms in his 2nd Epistle: We have the prophetic word confirmed by the historic events documented in the New Testament Scriptures. (2 Peter 1:19) Regarding the future resurrection of the promised Christ David wrote in Psalm 16: For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. (Psalm 16:10) Jesus’ tomb was empty, just as it had been foretold! To that the angels, the women, and even Jesus’ enemies—the soldiers sent to guard the tomb could testify!

Third, the truth of Jesus’ bodily resurrection was confirmed by many eyewitnesses. Paul reports that Jesus was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve…(then) by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also (1 Corinthians 15:5-8). There need be no doubts in our minds about the truth of Jesus’ resurrection! Therefore, dear friends—each of us can today, just as Job did 4,000 years ago, declare with full confidence: I KNOW that my Redeemer lives!

Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is indeed a fact which has so much practical implication for our lives today. Those practical implications are captured so beautifully in our thematic hymn for today: “I Know That My Redeemer Lives!” Our Redeemer lives triumphant from the grave! Our Redeemer is our ever-living Head! Our Redeemer lives all-glorious in the sky! Our Redeemer lives exalted there on high! Our Redeemer lives to bless us with His love, to plead for us above, to feed our hungry souls, and to help in our every time of need! Our Redeemer lives to grant us rich supply, to guide us with His eyes, to comfort us when faint, and even…when as Job we find ourselves confronted by grievous trials in this life…to hear our soul’s complaints!

Let us not be deterred! This day let us rejoice with absolute conviction in the essential truth of Easter—I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES! Hallelujah! Amen!

Part II. My Redeemer Lives

I know…that there are 108 double stitches on a Major League baseball. That is not quite how you expected the statement to finish, is it? “I know that my Redeemer lives!” Now, that is better, is it not? Both of those statements are true. There are, in fact, 108 double stitches on a baseball, and I know that to be true. My Redeemer does really live, and I am certain that is true as well. In both cases there is a certainty of knowledge, but a knowledge of what? We can be absolutely certain of something, but what we are certain about is also important—content matters. I know that my Redeemer lives, but to what end? Why is that important to know?

With knowledge there also needs to be understanding. On that first Easter Sunday Peter and John came to Jesus’ empty tomb. They saw the empty tomb and the grave clothes laid neatly where Jesus’ body once had been. Peter and John saw it and they knew it was true, but by John’s own admission they did not yet understand it until later (John 20:9). I know that my Redeemer lives. Why is that important? There are a lot of people living today. To understand the importance of that statement, it is vital to understand that my Redeemer lives…having first died for my sin.

In addition, it is not just a matter of knowing the facts and understanding what they mean, but also applying that to ourselves by faith—to put our own personal trust in what we know. Knowledge that our Redeemer lives, of necessity, also includes faith. Just knowing facts does not save! James reminds us that even the demons know that there is one God and tremble (Jam. 2:19). The demons know the facts too, but in no way do they put their trust in God as their Savior. Their knowledge does not lead them to trust Him, love Him, or worship Him. So, when we say, I know that MY REDEEMER LIVES, we say that with confidence not just because we know the facts, but also because by faith we also understand and believe the significance of that statement.

Our Redeemer lives. This is vital to our salvation, for if Christ is not raised, there is nothing to celebrate today (1 Corinthians 15:14). If Christ is not raised, there is no reason to confess your sins and seek God’s forgiveness. Christ’s resurrection is an integral part of God’s plan of salvation laid out from eternity. God’s gracious plan was that His Son would become man and live a perfect life to fulfill God’s expectations. This Son would then die to make full payment for sin. Then He would also rise from the dead for salvation to be complete. If Jesus had lived that perfect life, died on the cross, and then stayed dead, what good would it do us? He would have conquered nothing. Death would have overcome Him. He would be just like any other human being—dead and decaying in the grave. But I know that MY REDEEMER LIVES and with that comes the assurance that our sins are, in fact, forgiven because the whole plan of salvation was brought to fulfillment. God sealed it by raising His Son to life and declares to you that your sins are forgiven.

I know that MY REDEEMER LIVES also has significance because it means we too will live. Jesus said, Because I live you will live also. (John 14:19) What was the comfort Jesus gave to a grieving sister at the tomb of her brother? I AM…the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live, and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. (John 11:25-26)

Knowing the truth that your Redeemer lives is a truth that is needed universally because every single person deals with the reality of death. We deal with the reality that we will one day die. We have all felt the sting of death as a loved one has died. We understand the sorrow of death, the separation, and the emptiness when someone we love dies. Therefore, knowing that my Redeemer lives is a universal blessing because our Savior died for the sins of all people. Jesus promises life to every sinner through Him and the forgiveness of sins which He brings.

Knowing that your Redeemer lives and that He is the Resurrection and the Life enables us to face the reality of our own death, or if that seems like a long way away, to at least face our mortality. We face death and sorrow with confidence when we can say, “I know. I know I’m going to die; I know that this world is plagued with disease, sickness, and all kinds of other trouble; but I also know that MY REDEEMER LIVES and because He lives, I will live also.”

Day-by-day Jesus is our living hope, so day-by-day when we sin we have a living Redeemer who forgives that sin. Day-by-day when we sorrow over our sin, when we sorrow over the troubles of this life, when we sorrow over anything, He is our living hope. He is our living hope to guide us, to encourage us, to give us His living promise that He is with us always even to the end of the age. He is our living hope because He is our living Redeemer.

Job’s statement is very short, it is only several words long, but what an impact it has. I know MY…this is faith; this is MY Redeemer, He died for me, this is MY living hope. MY REDEEMER—the one who paid for my sins—LIVES! He did not stay dead but conquered sin and death for you and for me, and that has a powerful impact on every aspect of our lives as our thematic hymn suggests: Jesus lives to silence all our fears, to wipe away all our tears, and to calm our troubled heart! Jesus lives as our kind, wise, heavenly Friend. He lives and loves us to the end. He lives and grants us daily breath. Because He lives, we shall conquer death. Indeed, He lives our mansions to prepare. He lives and will finally bring us there!

My dear friends, what joy is ours! What a confidence we have! What blessing for each of us to be able to declare: “I know that my Redeemer lives. He lives indeed!” Amen.

—Pastor Paul D. Nolting

Grace Lutheran Church, Valentine, NE
Peace Lutheran Church, Mission, SD
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, White River, SD

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