"Come To The Feast of Life!" Isaiah 25:6-9

April 17, 2022
Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Christ's resurrection sets before us the feast of Life eternal! Sermon Text: Isaiah 25:6-9. Sermon Theme: "Come To The Feast of Life!" preached for Easter Dawn, 17-April-2022, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Tell City, Indiana by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

Episode Notes

Easter Dawn - The Resurrection of our Lord.           17-April-2022
Sermon Text: Isaiah 25:6-9
Sermon Theme: “Come To The Feast of Life!” by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

I.N.R.I. He smelled fresh like a garden after a spring thunderstorm. The fragrance of new life seemed to emanate from His pores. Mary Magdalene had come with the other women with spices. Spices to cover the stench of death. Their beloved Jesus had been betrayed, falsely accused, unjustly condemned, and crucified - an Enemy of the Church and the State. A corpse three days in the tomb would’ve rotted and decayed. Death stinks.
    Mary’s heart is shattered when she saw the stone that had sealed His tomb thrown out of its groove and on the ground. She assumed the worst - grave robbers, what else could it be. Leaving the other women in the garden she runs. Runs to tell Peter and John, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”  
          Peter and John were there and gone by the time she makes it back to the Joseph of Arimathea’s garden. His new tomb is the last place she had seen the lifeless body of her Jesus laid to rest on Friday as the sun began to set. Grief flooded upon her bursting forth from tearfilled eyes. She weeps inconsolably for now she had lost her Lord twice once to death and now to grave robbers. She’d never see Him again - never have a place where she could come knowing that His mortal remains rested there.
        He had to be the Gardener - this Man interrupting her tears asking, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” All she wants is His lifeless corpse. If this Gardener has taken it away, give it to her - and she will take care of it. Then He called her by name, “Mary!” It was the voice of her living Lord and Master - her Teacher! The feast had begun as she clung to her Living Lord and Gardener - Christ Jesus.
        Eight centuries earlier the prophet Isaiah had preached of Easter morning in Jerusalem. God the Holy Spirit invites all who sorrow and grieve like Mary to “Come To The Feast of Life!”
        The Apostle Paul testifies of over five hundred eyewitnesses of Jesus’ physical resurrection. Those who deny this historical truth are ignorant and too lazy to study the historical evidence. If you deny our Lord’s physical resurrection because you watched a You-Tube video, read a Wikipedia article on it, or followed a google search - you have been deceived by Satan the Liar who steals Truth away with distracting images constantly flashed before your eyes.
        For Paul the primary proof isn’t in the eyewitnesses. Listen: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (4) and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,” Paul, the preeiminent Old Testament scholar, points back to the Scriptures - God’s Word written down by His prophets. That the Messiah would die for our sins permeates Moses and all the prophets flowing forth from Genesis 3:15. That He would rise again on the third day was demonstrated in the journey of Jonah, the sacrifice of Isaac, from the 3rd day of the creation of all that exists. On that day the Creator - the Gardener - called forth the land from the chaos of the sea- He commanded the earth to bring forth new life - vegetation reproducing after its own kind. Three days later the Gardener would mold man from the dirt, breath him alive, and plant a beautiful garden to provide all he needed. On that third day He blessed Adam with a wife, after He had caused him to fall into a deep sleep and open up his side. In the Garden, the Gardener prepared a table - the Tree of Life to have communion with mankind. There they would meet and He would talk to Adam and his wife face to face - there they would feast together.       Isaiah now sings of the third day - the Garderner - recreating His creation. Setting a feast of life with mankind (vs.6) Isaiah preaches God’s just judgment on the nations, even on Israel and Judah. Jerusalem itself will become desolate. He ends preaching of judgment day when the whole world will be laid waste. The moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed to shine. Then comes chapter 25 and Isaiah sings a new song! Isaiah 25:1 O LORD, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, For You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” The Gardener - The Creator - The Word by Whom all things were made - Jesus- reclaims and recreates His garden. “In this mountain” on Zion - where the city of Jerusalem had been built and the Lord blessed it with His Name and Temple. Now the Lord of Host makes for all people, not just Jews, a life giving feast.
      He brings forth the best food and wine on which to feast. It is the choice pieces of the sacrifice that He how will share with all in this mountain of Zion - His Church. It is the best of wine on the lees. In this feast of Life He frees us from sins darkness to see (vs.7) When Satan led our first parents away from God and His Word he blinded them with his dark lies and chained them with the fear of death. For three hours Jesus, the Light of the world, shouldered our darkness to restore to us the Light of Life. Rising to new life He brings life and immortality to light through the good news that He alone died for our sins - He is raised to declare our debt paid in full - we are reconciled to our God and Father in His flesh and blood.
    Now in this mountain - the True Zion - the Heavenly Jerusalem - the Holy Christian Church - the feast filled with cross won forgiveness, grave conquering life, and King Jesus gifted salvation is placed upon our lips. He places into our lips His full living body and all His living blood. Here at His table the veil is lifted - we behold our Salvation - death is defeated and our voices are reunited with angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven - our loved ones who have fallen asleep trusting in Jesus - whose bodies rest in the earth awaiting of the dawning of the day of resurrection to life eternal.
      On mount Zion our victory is won in Jesus’ flesh and sealed by His blood! (vs.8) Death has been swallowed up forever by Jesus. He drank the cup of death we deserved to its bitter dregs. Now He lives - as He drew near to grieving Mary to comfort her - He draws near to you. Here within His Church - through the flesh and blood of fellow believers - for He has filled them with His flesh and blood and we are all knit together as one body in Him.
      He takes away our rebuke by His speaking. His Words are peace and life - He ascends our His Father who is now our Father in His crucified and risen flesh. He ascends to His God who is now our God in Him!
      Today is the day Isaiah saw us singing these Easter hymns of joyous victory! (vs.9) Today is “that day” - sing forth - “Behold, this is our God” - Jesus Christ is risen today! Alleluia! our triumphant holy day, Alleluia! who did once upon the cross, Alleluia! suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!” Our God is Jesus! He has saved us from all sins, from death, and from Satan’s lies!  
  “We have waited for Him, and He will save us!” “Awake, my heart with gladness!”4 Now I will cling forever to Christ, my Savior dear, My Lord will leave me never; with him I need not fear. He rends death's iron chain; he breaks through sin and pain.He shatters hell's dark thrall; I follow Him through all.”
  “We have waited for Him! “The Strife is o’er the battle done!”3 The three sad days have quickly sped,He rises glorious from the dead.
All glory to our risen Head! Alleluia! 4 He broke the age-bound chains of hell; The bars from heav'n's high portals fell. Let hymns of praise His triumph tell. Alleluia!
 We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation! “Jesus lives! The Victory’s Won - death no longer can appall me!” 5 Jesus lives! And now is death
But the gate of life immortal; This shall calm my trembling breath When I pass its gloomy portal. Faith shall cry, as fails each sense; Jesus is my confidence!”
      The Gardener has made all things new by watering the earth with His Holy precious blood and planting His living flesh into the earth - to burst forth to wipe away tears from our faces. Today Jesus draws near to comfort you at His table. He calls you by Name. He assures you that your loved ones who fell asleep trusting in Him are not lost. He shall bring them with Him- on the Last Day- when the eternal Easter breaks and He raises them from death to life. Now He drys your tears at His Table - here you smell the eternal feast to come - just as aromas from the Easter breakfast begin to tempt your noses now - here you smell the new life of the Garderner - of Jesus uniting you with the whole company of heaven. Amen.

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