From Death to Life

Posted by Pastor Jonathan Blanke on

From the Pastor

From Death to Life
(Ephesians 2:1-10)

You may have heard the popular tale regarding the origin of the word eureka, often used to convey the sense of “I’ve found it.” It has to do with a really clever Ancient Greek scientist observing the displacement of water in his bathtub when he got into it… an observation that led him to calculate the volume of even irregularly shaped objects. He was so excited he immediately jumped out of his bath and ran out into the street naked, shouting “I’ve found it!” (“Eureka!”). I did not find the secret of any mystery concerning the mysteries of science or mathematics. And thankfully for all concerned my Eureka moment didn’t involve streaking in the Lochmere Parkside neighborhood! If I’m honest, I am a little embarrassed that my Eureka moment was so long in coming. It has to do with crosses I see all the time at Resurrection but never stopped for very long to ponder. Did you ever notice that the crosses you see all over our campus have the same shape? They are all ordinary crosses ending in four points or “arrows.” A little time online led to the discovery that this particular kind of cross is what is called a “Passion Cross”. It’s a Passion Cross because the four points on the top, bottom, and sides of the cross represent the “Passion” or suffering and death of Jesus. These four “arrows” signify the three nails and one spear that pierced our Lord and brought about His sacrificial death on a cross for our sins and the sins of the world. But if you look around at RLC you’ll also see that the top of the cross is often under another arrow — a roof or other architectural feature — pointed upward. That reminds me that the Passion of our Lord is directly connected with His resurrection and ascension! Jesus would suffer many things, be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed. But on the third day, he would rise again! His rising demonstrates His victory over sin, death, and the devil. And that is the world-changing reality we get to remember and celebrate in the month of March this year. It underlies the name of our congregation: “RESURRECTION Lutheran Church.”

Jesus has crossed over from death to life. As people who, by the grace of God, are found in Him, we have done the same! St. Paul writes: “You were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…. But God, being rich in mercy…made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us” (2:1-7).  Whether it is our Lenten focus on 40 days in the wilderness with Jesus, our special services during Holy Week, RLC kids’ Easter Extravaganza, or our church’s self-identity as people who are “saved by grace, through faith, for service” every day of the year (2:8-10), we have ample opportunity this month to celebrate that were it not for Jesus though we are people who would be dead in our sins. His Easter victory is our victory, too! By the grace of God, we have passed over from death to life. What difference will that gift of life make in your life — and the lives of those you meet — this year? I can’t wait to answer that question together with all of you.

Easter joy!
Pastor Jonathan



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