The Facts of Death
This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man[a] when they were created.3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. 4 The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters. 5 Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died. – Genesis 5:1-5 (cf, also Genesis 5:8, 11, 14, 17, 20,27,31)
We’ve taken a brief celebration trip in honor of Diane’s retirement (March 31, 2021), and celebrated Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday in churches here in Fredericksburg. We were able to connect with friends and my former colleague, Pastor Clint Pluenneke since he serves at Holy Ghost Lutheran Church (Fredericksburg) and St. Paul Lutheran Church (Cave Creek).
The experience at St. Paul – a small white frame country church – was delightful: not only because of connecting with our friend, but also because of the strong message he shared. He reminded us that Easter is good news because it shows Jesus is with us…
- In history (This really happened);
- In the word and sacraments (Jesus’ real presence in the body and blood of the Lord’s Supper);
- In the community of believers (Jesus is present where two or three are gathered in his name); and
- In the very end (when we go to Jesus or he comes back to earth).
Amen, brother Clint! Amen.
We still miss our dear friends and brothers and sisters in Christ at St. John, and we rejoice in the Gospel message that continues to be preached there. Thank God for the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection that binds us together across time and miles.
That news is so important and good because of the facts of death that are paraded before our eyes in Genesis 5. God warned Adam and Eve that if they ate the forbidden fruit they would surely die (Genesis 2:17). Now in Genesis 5 runs the refrain that underlines this warning: “…and he died.” With only one exception (Enoch) every one mentioned in this chapter dies.
We live under that same curse to this day. One day we will die – unless Jesus comes back to earth first. Jesus’ death removed the curse of sin and death. His resurrection opens the door of eternity to us. Death no longer has the eternal sting. Life is Jesus’ promise to all who believe in him. So while we must talk of the facts of death, we may also look with confidence toward the promise of eternal life through him.
Jesus Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
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