Easter Sunday     April 09, 2023


Evidence For Jesus’ Resurrection

and Its Implications For Us


            On Feb. 27, 1991, at the height of Operation Desert Storm (the 1st War with Iraq), Ruth Dillow received a very upsetting message from the Pentagon:   Her son, Clayton Carpenter, Private 1st Class in the United States Army, had stepped on a mine during combat operations and was dead.    She would later write of that moment, “I can’t begin to describe my grief and shock. It was almost more than I could bear. For 3 days I wept. For 3 days I expressed my anger and loss.   For 3 days people tried to comfort me, to no avail, because I felt that my loss was too great.”

            But 3 days after she received that message, the phone rang.  A voice on the other end said, “Mom, it’s me. I’m alive.”    Ruth said, “I couldn’t believe it at first. But then I recognized Clayton’s voice.   He really was alive.”   She went on to say, “I laughed.  I cried.  I felt like turning cartwheels, because my son whom I had thought was dead, was really alive.   I’m sure most of you can’t begin to understand how overwhelmed with joy I felt…..”

            Perhaps you and I can’t understand…….but the women at the tomb did.   So did  Peter, John and the rest of the disciples.  So did Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.   So did Jesus’ brother, James, as well as the Apostle Paul – when he was known as Saul.    So did many other believers in the early church.    In connection with receiving the news on that first Easter that Jesus was alive, they very likely experienced many of the same emotions that Ruth Dillow felt when she learned her son was alive after all.   Three days before Easter their best Friend and Master had been nailed to a cross.   From that cross He had cried out, in an agony that no one on this side of eternity will ever begin to understand,  “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”   They knew that Jesus had bowed His head at the end of His crucifixion and said, “It is finished!” and “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”   They watched as His dead body was taken from the cross and buried in a nearby tomb.   On that first Good Friday all their hopes and dreams dashed to pieces and were buried with Jesus.   Throughout Friday evening and all day Saturday they mourned, until finally, on “the first day of the week, early in the morning,” as Scripture says, some of the women made their way along the path that led to His tomb, wondering who would roll away the stone for them.  But when they arrived, they discovered that the stone had already been rolled away. And an angel there asked  them, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?”    In essence that divine messenger was saying, “You’re looking in the wrong place. You’re looking for Jesus in a cemetery.   Rejoice!   He’s not dead.  He’s not here.   He’s alive!   He has risen, just like He said He would!”
            Five centuries ago, Martin Luther wrote: “The Gospels do not explain the resurrection.   The resurrection explains why we have the Gospels.”   Jesus’ resurrection also explains why you and I have come to this house of worship today to celebrate Christ’s overcoming sin and death for us by His physical resurrection….and the implications it has for our earthly and eternal existence.  There is no mistaking the fact that the doctrine of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of our Christian faith.   In many ways the truth that Jesus physically rose from His grave on Easter morning – just as He promised He would – is the Christian Church’s “crown jewel.”  It makes the faith we will confess this morning (and live every day of our lives) not only precious to us, but one upon which we can confidently rest all our hopes for here and especially for heaven.

            Because Jesus really and truly rose from His grave after three days – as three of our closing three Scripture readings will affirm – we know that He is our God, and that our sins are fully forgiven (the resurrection is the proof that the Father accepted His Son’s sin-sacrifice as the world’s Substitute).  We also know that just as He has conquered death and lives eternally…..even so we will share both in His victory over death.   We are certain that death no longer has eternal mastery over us.  And we believe that because of Jesus’ resurrection — since He has promised and has the power to back up that promise – one day we, too, will bodily rise from our graves with glorified bodies to enjoy everlasting life in heaven. 

            These truths and others will be presented throughout this morning’s service, both in our Scripture Readings and Sermon, as well as in the resurrection-confessing hymns that we will be singing and hearing today. 

            The theme of today’s worship service is “Evidence For Jesus’ Resurrection and Its Implications For Us.”    Why talk about “Evidence of the Resurrection?”   Because since the day Jesus rose from the grave until now, the doctrine (Biblical teaching) of Jesus’ bodily resurrection has been attacked by all manner of enemies both outside and inside the visible church.  In Jerusalem 20 centuries ago, the chief priests denied the reality of the resurrection even when the Roman soldiers who’d been guarding the tomb came and told them that Jesus had physically risen from the grave.   They “persuaded” those soldiers to spread the lie that Jesus’ disciples came during the night and stole His body away.   Today, many “scientific” (and unbelieving) people reject the wonderful reality and assurances of Jesus’ resurrection for us, saying that it simply couldn’t have occurred….since resurrections from the grave don’t happen in every day life.  Still others (including some so-called theologians and ministers), in an effort to “de-mythologize” the Biblical record (that is, they try to remove from the Scriptures whatever they foolishly believe is not historically and scientifically accurate) claim that Jesus never actually, physically rose from the grave.  Instead they maintain that while “He Lives,” He does so only “spiritually” in the hearts and memories of His followers.  (And let’s never forget, most of these blasphemous “so-called theologians” don‘t believe that Jesus is our God and only Savior!)    But, praise God for His grace to us, you and I know the truth from God’s Word, and it’s that Word around which our worship today will be centered.

            The Scriptural “Evidences” of Jesus’ resurrection that we’ll be considering this morning begin with accounts dealing with His physical death, His body’s burial, that His grave was sealed securely, and that fact that elite Roman soldiers were tasked with guarding His body to keep it in the grave.   Consequently, we can say He really did die.

            The next piece of “Evidence” we’ll consider is that the Women were God’s unlikely – but effective – choices as some of the first witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection.   That’s because women in those days were not regarded as “reliable” witnesses in court.  And so, had the resurrection been the “hoax” some suggest it is, those making up the story would not have used females as witnesses.   The women, themselves then, and their eye-witness account serve as powerful evidence of the resurrection’s reality.

            In addition, we’ll listen to the Apostle Paul as he lists just a few (there were more) of the individuals and groups who encountered the risen Christ during the 40 day period between His resurrection and ascension.    They also are “eye-witness evidence” that His resurrection is real, because they saw Him, spoke to Him, touched Him, and ate with Him.   Some critics say early believers merely “hallucinated” seeing Jesus.   However, hallucinations don’t move and don’t occur with over 500 people at once.  He really rose…and He lives!

            Another significant matter of “resurrection evidence” that we’ll be looking at has to do with the fact that Jesus’ disciples – who had deserted Him in fear when He was captured in Gethsemane and remained in hiding after His death – became bold witnesses of His resurrection after they encountered their risen Savior.   All of the Apostles (minus John) also eventually were executed because of what they preached about their risen Lord.  Had the story of His resurrection merely been a lie that they “manufactured,” would they have been transformed from cowards to courageous preachers….and would they have died for that lie?   Hardly!

            Finally, in our Sermon, under the theme “The Grave Wasn’t Really Empty,” we’ll talk about what John and Peter saw – and how it affected their faith – when they first went to Jesus’ tomb early on Easter morning.    Without meeting the risen Christ in that moment, John still believed not only that Jesus had left the tomb, but that He was alive – just as He had promised.   The evidence here is the “grave clothes of Jesus” that remained behind in the tomb.     

            Our Final reading today comes from the Old Testament book of Job.  Here that faithful believer expresses his confidence in the bodily resurrection. As we close with Job’s beautiful profession of faith, may we also be moved to sing loudly, faithfully and confidently our closing hymn for today (which is based on this text),“I Know That My Redeemer Lives!”  Because He does, for ever and ever!




Grace Lutheran Church

is affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, a church body which spans the United States and Canada, and which also operates a number of foreign missions.


Our Vision:   To extend God’s Kingdom through His Word, serving each Soul.  

Our Mission: To share the Gospel, Encourage Faith, and Prepare Souls through Worship, Education and Fellowship.




A Word Of Welcome To Our Guests . . . Good morning and welcome to Grace Lutheran Church.  We’re pleased that you’ve chosen to be a part of our worshiping assembly this morning.  Whether you are a guest today or a member of this Christian family, your presence at this service is sincerely appreciated.  It is our wish that the time you spend here will be enjoyable and spiritually edifying, and so it is our desire to serve you in the best way we can.  If there is anything that we might do to assist you in your worship today, please speak with one of our ushers or our Pastor.  They will be pleased to serve you in any way they can.    Following the worship service this morning, we invite you to join those around you for some coffee, refreshments, and good conversation in our gymnasium/fellowship hall, which is the building just east of our church building.  If you are able, we would also be honored to have you remain after today’s fellowship time in order that you might further hear and study the Scriptures with us in one of our Bible Classes or Sunday School classes.  And, we hope that you will come back soon to again praise the Lord with us.  May God bless you and your worship of Him today.




A CHILDREN’S NURSERY is available to assist parents with small children during the worship hour.  We encourage parents to bring children into worship whenever possible.  This helps children learn why we come here each week: to praise God.  Furthe­rmore, we believe that the power of God the Holy Spirit in the written and spoken Word blesses the hearts and souls of little children, no less than adults.  But for very young children who become agitated during the worship service, the nursery is, at times, a necessity.  However, once your child becomes comfortable again, we encourage you to return to the sanctuary and join with us for continued worship and growth in God’s Word.   A fold-down changing table for the needs of our smallest children can be found in the restroom adjacent to the Nursery.   Our Nursery is located in our second/rear seating area, behind the first door on the north wall.  It is available to you at any time today.




Serving Us Today

Elders:    Richard Tragasz and John Johnson

Altar Guild:   Christine Quinlan, Linda Winnat      Video:   Dale Johannes

Organists:   Cynthia Tragasz   and   Debbie Huebner

Ushers:   Kent Mayer, James Boatright, Jim Taylor, Jim Winnat




Pre-Service Prayer -Heavenly Father, please guide me in wisdom and truth through Your Holy Spirit, as I spend this time meditating on Your Word and rejoicing in Your limitless love for me.  Assist me in being attentive in heart and mind to Your Word, as well as to the hymns of praise, the various petitions, and the prayers of thanksgiving my voice directs toward You.  Use this worship service, O Lord, to deepen my love for You, to strengthen my trust in You, and to renew my commitment to You.  All this I ask for the sake of and in the name of Your One and only Son, Jesus Christ, my Savior.  Amen.







The portions of God’s Word used in this worship flyer have been taken from The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version    Copyright 2019,    The Wartburg Project, Inc.   All rights reserved.   Used with permission Music and lyrics, unless otherwise noted, are used with permission via OneLicense.net #A712831





We Praise Our God


The Invocation


In the name…. of the Father, Who gave His Son into death for us and raised Him in glory on the third day;


And of the Son, Who laid down His life  only to take it up again on the third day;


And of the Holy Spirit through Whom Christ was made alive,  Who has worked saving faith in our hearts,

Who lives in us now through the Word,   and Who will one day give life to our mortal bodies.   Amen.



The Opening Hymn                                                                                                 Hallelujah, King of Kings

lyrics by Dianne Gutzman, 1980

 tune, St. George, by George Elvey, 1858.


Hallelujah!   King of Kings,      Oh, what joy Your vict’ry brings!

Journey back in history      To a tomb near Calvary.

Come relive that Easter Day      By a grave site far away.

It is morning;   we are there;          Scents of spices fill the air.


See the women drawing nigh,         See their sorrow, hear them cry.

Feel the ground beneath them shake  As the earth begins to quake.

Hear them as they loudly say:    “Look, the stone is rolled away!”

Feel the sorrow, feel the gloom –  At the Savior’s empty tomb.


What a wond’rous, glorious sight!  See the angel dressed in white!

See His grave-clothes lying ‘round,  But our Lord cannot be found.

“He has risen as He said,”     Rise, Victor o’er the dead!

Hallelujah! King of Kings,      Oh, what joy Your vict’ry brings!


Glory! Glory unto You,       Precious Lamb, our Victor too!

You Who died that we might live     All our praise to You we give,

May we spread Your Word so dear    To each nation, far and near,

All the earth Your glory sings,      Hallelujah!   King of Kings!        Amen


After which the Congregation will rise for


A Scripture Proclamation

of Faith in our Risen Lord!                                                                        selected Scripture verses

                                                                                        from Ps 118, Is 25; Eze 12;  Rom 4;  I Cor 1;  I Cor 15)


P:  God is faithful.

C: He fulfills whatever He says.


P:  The Stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;

C: The Lord has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes.


P:  The Lord Almighty will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations;  He will swallow up death forever.

C: Surely this is our God;  we trusted in Him, and He saved us;    let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.

P:  Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins,

C: And raised to life for our justification


P:  Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous.

C: The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things.


P:  Death has been swallowed up in victory.

C: Thanks be to God who gives us the victory  +  through our Lord Jesus Christ.


P:  I will not die, but live and will proclaim what the Lord has done.

C: I will give You thanks for You answered me;    +    You have become my salvation.


P:  Christ the Lord is risen today!

C: He is risen indeed.  Hallelujah!


P:  This is the day the Lord has made;

C: Let us rejoice, and be glad in it.  Hallelujah!



Jesus Died and was Buried in a Guarded Tomb

(Also our Children’s Lesson)


Mark 15:37 Jesus cried out with a loud voice and breathed his last. 38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he cried out and breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”


John 19:33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear. Immediately blood and water came out. 35 The one who saw it has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36 Indeed, these things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 Again another Scripture says, “They will look at the one they pierced.”


Matthew 27:57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his own new tomb that he had cut in the rock. He rolled a large stone over the tomb’s entrance and left. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there sitting opposite the tomb.


62 On the next day, which was the day after the Preparation Day, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered in the presence of Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remembered what that deceiver said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give a command that the tomb be made secure until the third day. Otherwise his disciples might steal his body and tell the people, ‘He is risen from the dead.’ And this last deception will be worse than the first.”  65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard. Go, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and posting a guard.


Children’s Lesson:    They Couldn’t Keep Jesus Inside


The Second Hymn                                                                                                       “How Great Thou Art”

                                                                                                                     Stuart Heine (v, 2); C. Huebner (v.3)

                                                                                                                                           (adapted;; CCLI 1336669)


And when I think that God, His Son not sparing, Sent Him to die,  I scarce can take it in.

That on the cross my burden gladly bearing He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul,   my Savior-God to Thee, “How great Thou art!   How great Thou art!”

Then sings my soul,   my Savior-God to Thee, “How great Thou art!   How great Thou art!”                       


On the third day, our Lord His body raises,   Defeating sin, death, Satan, and the grave.

Today I bow and offer Him my praises,   For Jesus Christ alone my soul did save!

Then sings my soul,   my Savior-God to Thee,   “How great Thou art!   How great Thou art!”

Then sings my soul,   my Savior-God to Thee,   “How great Thou art!   How great Thou art!”



Believing Women Were Witnesses to Jesus’ Resurrection


Matthew 28:1   After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 Suddenly, there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, and going to the tomb, he rolled away the stone and was sitting on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. 4 The guards were so terrified of him that they shook and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here. He has risen, just as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 Go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead! And look, he is going ahead of you to Galilee. There you will see him.’ See, I have told you!”   8 They hurried away from the tomb, with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!”  They approached, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.


Luke 24:9 When they returned from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles. 11 Yet these words seemed to them like nonsense, and they did not believe them.


A Special Vocal Selection                                                                                                See What A Morning

                                                                                        by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend;   Thank You Music

sung by Danielle Ashley


See what a morning, gloriously bright,  with the dawning of hope in Jerusalem;

folded the e clothes, tomb filled with light, as the angels announce “Christ is risen!”

See God’s salvation plan, wrought in love, born in pain, paid is sacrifice,  fulfilled in Christ, the Man, for he lives:

Christ is risen from the dead.


See Mary weeping, “Where is He laid?”   As in sorrow she turns from the empty tomb.

Hears a voice speaking, calling her name;   it’s the Master, the Lord raised to life again!

The voice that spans the years, speaking life-stirring hope, bring peace to us, will sound till He appears, for He lives,

Christ is risen from the dead.


One with the Father, Ancient of Days.  Through the Spirit Who clothes faith with certainty.

Honor and blessing, glory and praise   King crowned with pow’r and authority!

And we are raised with Him;     death is dead, love has won, Christ has conquered.

And we shall reign with Him, for He lives:    Christ is risen from the dead!



The Risen Christ Appeared to Many People At Many Times and Places    


I Corinthians 15:1   Brothers, I am going to call your attention to the gospel that I preached to you. You received it, and you took your stand on it. 2 You are also being saved by that gospel that was expressed in the words I preached to you, if you keep your hold on it—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:  that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.  6 After that he appeared to over five hundred brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, he appeared also to me, the stillborn child, so to speak. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, and I am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted God’s church. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not ineffective. On the contrary, I worked more than all of them (and yet it wasn’t my doing, but it was the grace of God, which was with me, that did it). 11 So whether it is I or they, that is what we preach, and that is what you believed.



The Fourth Hymn                                               Hymn 143  “He’s Risen, He’s Risen, Christ Jesus, the Lord”


1 He’s risen, He’s risen, Christ Jesus, the Lord;  He opened Death’s prison, the Incarnate Word.

Break forth, hosts of heaven, in jubilant song,   And, earth, sea, and mountain, the praises prolong.


2 The Foe was triumphant when on Calvary    The Lord of creation was nailed to the tree.

In Satan’s domain did the hosts shout and jeer,    For Jesus was slain, whom the evil ones fear.


3 But short was their triumph, the Savior arose,   And Death, hell, and Satan He vanquished, His foes;

The conquering Lord lifts His banner on high.   He lives, yes, He lives, and will nevermore die.


4 Oh, where is your sting, Death? We fear you no more;    Christ rose, and now open is fair Eden’s door,

For all our transgressions His blood does atone;    Redeemed and forgiven, we now are His own.


5 Then sing your hosannas and raise your glad voice;    Proclaim the blest tidings that all may rejoice.

Laud, honor, and praise to the Lamb that was slain,   Who now sits in glory and ever shall reign.



Jesus’ Resurrection Had a Transformative Effect on His Disciples


Acts 4:1  As Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the commander of the temple guard, and the Sadducees approached them. 2 They were very upset because Peter and John were teaching the people and proclaiming the resurrection from the dead in connection with Jesus. 3 They arrested them and put them in jail until the next day because it was already evening.   4 But many of those who had heard the message believed, and the number of the men increased to about five thousand.


5 The next day, the rulers, the elders, and the experts in the law assembled in Jerusalem 6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all the rest of the high priest’s family. 7 After they made Peter and John stand in front of them, they began to question them: “By what power or by what name did you do this?”  8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel, 9 if we are being questioned today for a kind act that was done for the lame man, as to how this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that it was by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead! By him this man stands before you healed. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you builders, which has become the cornerstone.   12 “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”


13 When they saw the boldness of Peter and John and found out that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were astonished and took note of the fact that these men had been with Jesus.




A Choral Selection                                                                                                             The Tomb Is Empty


The tomb is empty, is empty!      Come and see   Where once the body lay

Can it be true, be true, that Jesus Christ is raised to life today?   Sing alleluia!   Sing alleluia!


The tomb is empty, is empty!      Come and hear   these words of life and peace

“He is not here, not here.   He lives again in all your Galilees.”   Sing alleluia!   Sing alleluia!


The tomb is empty, is empty!      Come and touch   the stone and folded shroud

Christ lives indeed, indeed.   Alleluia!    Believers, shout aloud.   Sing alleluia!   Sing alleluia!


The tomb is empty, is empty!     Come and meet    The risen Christ our Lord.

In Whom we have, we have our victory, in Whom is life restored.  Sing alleluia!   Sing alleluia! 

The tomb is empty.  The Tomb is empty.  The tomb is empty!



after which the Congregation will rise for


The Pre-Sermon Greeting


Grace and peace to you from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come.   This is the day the LORD has made;  let us rejoice and be glad in it.   Hallelujah!



The Sermon Text                                                                                                                                               


John 20:3  So Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. 5 Bending over, he saw the linen cloths lying there, yet he did not go in.  6 Then Simon Peter, who was following him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there. 7 The cloth that had been on Jesus’ head was not lying with the linen cloths, but was folded up in a separate place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who arrived at the tomb first, also entered. He saw and believed.


“His Tomb Wasn’t Exactly Empty”



The Post-Sermon Blessing                                                                                                               Jude 24-25


Now to Him Who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy — to the only God our Savior, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!   Amen.”



We Offer Our Gifts and Prayers to the Lord


As we gather the offering for this morning,

we will pass offering plates throughout the chapel.

For those watching this service online, we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your offerings through our ministry:  

1) You can send a check (no cash) in the mail to our church address

(415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745);   OR

2) You can go online to our website (www.gracelutherannwa.com)

and use the giving option there.


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord  

The Offering Hymn                                                                       Hymn 157   “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today”


1 Jesus Christ is ris’n today, Alleluia!   Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!

Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!    Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!


2 Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!    Unto Christ, our heav’nly King, Alleluia!

Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!   Sinners to redeem and save, Alleluia!


3 But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!   Our salvation has procured, Alleluia!

Now above the sky he’s King, Alleluia!   Where the angels ever sing, Alleluia!


4 Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!   Praise eternal as his love, Alleluia!

Praise him, all you heav’nly host, Alleluia!  Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Alleluia!



after the offerings are brought forward the Congregation will rise to join in

The Responsive Prayer for the Festival of the Resurrection

P:  Blessed Savior of all mankind, this morning we have again heard about Your glorious resurrection from the grave and Your triumph for us over sin, death and hell.  In all this You were our Substitute.

C: The battle which You fought was our battle,   +   and therefore the victory which You won is our victory.


P:  Because You rose from the dead, we know that all our sins have been paid for in full.

C: Like the stone rolled away from Your grave,   even so our sins have been rolled away from our hearts,    and our guilt and punishment have been forever removed from us.

P:  Because You were raised from the grave by the glory of the Father, we know that we, together with all true believers, will also be raised to life on the Last Day with glorified bodies.

C: Help us, by Your Holy Spirit,   to always remember that we are Your dearly loved children,   having been spiritually resurrected by You.

P:  Keep us from sin in every shape and form.

C: Help us to live our new lives in gratitude to You,   and for Your glory.

P:  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, enable us to keep Your commandments faithfully.

C: Fill us with the same sacrificial love    for You and our fellow man    that You have demonstrated and continue to display toward us.

P:  And finally, when that great Last Day arrives,  when You will return in all Your divine majesty, attended by Your angels to raise the dead and judge the world,

C: raise us all dear Savior,  and take us to the heavenly mansions     which You have prepared for us and all who believe in You    that we may forever share in Your glory. 


P:  Hear us, for Your name’s sake, Lord Jesus Christ.  And in Your name we also join in praying:

C: Our Father, Who art in heaven;  Hallowed be Thy name;  Thy kingdom come;  Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven;  Give us this day our daily bread;  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us;  And lead us not into temptation;  But deliver us from evil;  For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.

After which the Congregation may be seated

Three Implications of Jesus’ Resurrection

#1   He Is The Son of God, Our Savior

Romans 1:1   Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised in advance through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures. 3 This gospel is about his Son—who in the flesh was born a descendant of David, 4 who in the spirit of holiness was declared to be God’s powerful Son by his resurrection from the dead—Jesus Christ, our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and the call to be an apostle on behalf of his name, to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles, 6 including you, who were called by Jesus Christ.

#2   Our Sins Are Forgiven, As He Promised

I Corinthians 15:12 Now if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how is it that some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is pointless, and your faith is pointless too. 15 Then we are even guilty of giving false testimony about God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise, if it were true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then it also follows that those who fell asleep in Christ perished. 19 If our hope in Christ applies only to this life, we are the most pitiful people of all.   20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

#3   Those Who Believe in the Risen Christ,

Will Rise When They Die — Glorified Like Him

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even if he dies. 26 And whoever lives and believes in me will never perish.

Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. We are eagerly waiting for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 By the power that enables him to subject all things to himself, he will transform our humble bodies to be like his glorious body.

The Next Hymn                                                                                                                 “Because He Lives”

                                                                                                                                     by William and Gloria Gaither

                                                                                                               (used, with permission, under CCLI 13666699)

God sent His Son,    they called Him Jesus, He came to love, heal and forgive;

He lived and died    To buy my pardon,  An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives   I can face tomorrow,

Because He lives,   All fear is gone;   Because I know —-    He holds the future

And life is worth the living   just because He lives.


And then one day    I’ll cross the river,   I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;

And then as death   gives way to victory,   I’ll see the lights of glory – and I’ll know He lives.

Because He lives   I can face tomorrow,    Because He lives,   All fear is gone;

Because I know —-    He holds the future    And life is worth the living   just because He lives.        

We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing

The Final Scripture Reading:  Job’s Confidence in His

Resurrection and Our Confidence in Ours                                                                                  Job 19:25-27

I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;  I myself will see Him with my own eyes — I, and not another.   How my heart yearns within me!

The Benediction

The LORD bless you and keep you.

The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.

The LORD look with favor upon you, and give you His peace.    Amen.

The Closing Hymn                                                                 Hymn 152  “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”


V.1  Congregation   

I know that my Redeemer lives;      What comfort this sweet sentence gives!

 He lives, He lives, Who once was dead;      He lives my ever-living Head.

V.2  Choir

V.3  Congregation

He lives to bless me with His love. He lives to plead for me above,

He lives my hungry soul to feed.   He lives to help in time of need.

V.4  Choir

V.5  Congregation

He lives to silence all my fears,    He lives to wipe away my tears,

He lives to calm my troubled heart,     He lives all blessings to impart.

V.7  Choir

V.8  Congregation and Choir

He lives all glory to His name!    He lives my Jesus still the same.

Oh the sweet joy this sentence gives.         “I know that my Redeemer lives!”

“Amen.”  (by the Choir)

 Thank You and An Invitation To You


Thank you for being a part of our worshiping assembly this morning. We invite you to join those around you for some good conversation and  fellowship at the conclusion of today’s announcements.   We also invite you to join us for our Easter Fellowship Breakfast in our gymnasium/fellowship building, following today’s worship service.   Finally ,we sincerely thank you for the opportunity to serve you with God’s Word and to have you as a part of our worshiping family today.  We do hope that you will worship and study with us again soon, and often.    Please know that you will always be welcome at Grace Lutheran Church.  May the comfort of God’s love and His forgiveness through Jesus Christ be with you throughout this day and this week.



Looking Ahead At Grace Lutheran Church

Today                  Choir, 8:40 a.m.           Easter Festival Service,  9:30 am

      Easter Breakfast following worship, in the fellowship hall

NOTE:  The Children’s Easter Egg Hunt will take place as soon as possible following the close of today’s worship service.

April 11 (Tues)    Morning Bible Study, 10:30 a.m.

                             Church Council Meeting, 6 p.m.

April 16 (Sun)      Morning worship, with the Lord’s Supper, 9:30 a.m.

Bible Class & Sunday School classes, 11:05 a.m.

Serving Us Next Sunday                                                                           Elders: John Johnson, Rick Tragasz

Altar Guild:   Katie Boatright, Marilyn Outlaw              Ushers: Terry Bruns, Tim Huebner, Tom Otto

Fellowship:   Mary Karloski                Video:   Dale Johannes

This Past Week at Grace Lutheran

Sunday Worship: 74     Online: 17   Bible Class/Sunday School: 26 & 5        Online Bible Class views:   9               Tuesday Bible Class: 13          Sunday Budgetary Offerings:  $4175   Online Offerings:   $112.71

Maundy Thursday Attendance: 49  (communed: 43)    Online views: 8   Offerings: $830    Good Friday Attendance: 57    Online views: 11


A Very Special THANK YOU to all those who: 1) helped set up our facilities for today’s brunch   2) offered their efforts and varied talents to enhance our worship this mornings;   3)  brought flowers to adorn our altar area today;  4) prepared the various food items that we will enjoy as part of our Easter breakfast later this morning;   and 5) provided and prepared the materials for our children’s Easter egg hunt.



Some of the History of the

Church’s Celebration of Christ’s Resurrection

     An article written a few years ago reported that more than a third of high school students in the U.S. did not know the true reason for celebrating Easter.  That might be a surprising bit of news to most of us who’ve gathered here this morning specifically to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, but we really shouldn’t be surprised given the social trends in our nation over the past generation.   The increasing variety of ethnic and religious groups that make up our population today, coupled with a rather aggressive effort on the part of secularists to remove as many Christian influences and symbols as they can from the public eye, have produced a vacuum of understanding concerning many of the Christian values and observances long a part of our American culture.

     We have come together on this Easter Sunday to celebrate the fact that three days after He died on the cross and was buried, Jesus physically came back to life, left His grave, and lives as our Savior-God today.    It is our conviction that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, through His bodily resurrection from the dead has broken the power of sin, death and Satan, and has secured forgiveness for all, and eternal life in heaven for us who believe in Him.   The fundamental reason for Christians to celebrate Easter, then, is because Christ lives   ! To quote His words to the Apostle John in Revelation 1:18, “I am the Living One;  I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever.   And I hold the keys to death and Hades!” Because He lives, Easter has always been a special occasion of celebration for the Christian Church, based on this certainty which fills us with the confidence that because Jesus lives, by faith we will live for ever and ever in heaven with our risen Lord.

Our date for Easter is established in relation to the same natural

signs which mark the celebration of the Jewish Passover.   It generally occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon of the vernal (spring) equinox.  As a result, Easter can come anytime between March 22nd and April 25th.   This year, it falls on April 9th.

     In the earliest days of the Christian Church, the events of Easter Sunday (along with those of Good Friday) were routinely commemorated every week in the worship service held each Lord’s Day (Sunday).   The first “festival-like” celebrations of Christ’s resurrection began to be held in the early second century.  By the third century, Easter was followed by a period of fifty days devoted to focusing on the resurrection  (which we continue to refer to on the Church Calendar as “The Easter Season;”  seven Sundays in length, it begins on Easter Sunday and concludes with our observance of Pentecost).            

     The first Nicene Council (325 A.D.) determined the method for setting the date on which Western Christian churches (Western Europe, most of Africa, the Americas and Asia….which follow the Gregorian Calendar) observe Easter.  (See the comments above about the 1st Sunday following the Vernal Equinox.)  In the Eastern churches (the Balkans, southeastern Europe, Russia, Ethiopia, and the Middle East….where the Julian calendar is followed) Jesus’ death is commemorated on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan.  Consequently, in Eastern rite churches (e.g. Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox [in Ethiopia]) the celebration of Christ’s resurrection can fall on any day of the week.  In fact, the Eastern Church’s celebration of the resurrection can fall anywhere from one to four weeks behind  our Western observance of Easter.  The Eastern Church’s tradition-based practice over the centuries has been to emphasize the significance of Christ’s death on Good Friday over significance of the His resurrection on Easter morning.  

     In Western Churches, while the events of Good Friday — with Christ’s sacrificial death for the world’s sins — are appropriately highlighted, the celebration of the resurrection on Easter morning is given “center stage.”  The reason for this practice is that Scripture teaches us that Christ’s resurrection certifies that His death for sin was accepted by the Father in heaven as sufficient (I Corinthians 15:3; 17;  Romans 4:25), as it also proves that Christ is our God (Romans 1:4;  Acts 2:32), that there is a resurrection of the body  (I Corinthians 15:12, 16, 20)  and  we also will one day rise from the grave to newness of life (John 6:40;  14:19;  11:25,26).

     Historically, some controversy has existed as to the naming of this celebration——Easter.   In fact, on the calendar of the Church the day of Christ’s resurrection is more appropriately referred to as “The Celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord,”  since it was on this first day of the week that Jesus rose again from the dead and was first seen by His disciples (Matthew 28:1-20).   In connection with this we want to keep in mind that what we are celebrating this morning is the annual celebration of a reality that is actually reaffirmed by millions every Sunday.  Each “first day of the week” those who believe that Christ——the Messiah of Old Testament promise——has come in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth unite to worship Him.   Thus Christians proclaim week-in and week-out this precious truth:    that Jesus died for the sins of all mankind, and that He rose again as the manifest evidence of His being the Son of God and the Savior of humankind (Romans 1:1-4; 16, 17).

     It is interesting to note that the origin of  our English word “Easter” is uncertain.   It could  have come from “Eostre,” the Teutonic (ancient German) name for the goddess of spring, or from the Teutonic festival for spring called “Eostur.”   Other possibilities are that it has been derived from the Middle English word “Ostern,” which denotes the direction from which the sun rises, or that it is connected in some matter with the name of the Greek goddess Astarte.   (Some even trace the derivation to the Babylonian nature goddess Ishtar.)    In the  King James Version of the Bible, the word Easter occurs in Acts 12:4 but there it is actually a mistranslation of the Greek word  pascha, meaning “Passover.”  (This has been corrected in most contemporary translations.)     The pagan “connection” to the term  “Easter” has caused some Christians – in their Christian freedom – to protest against using the designation, although they still observe the event to which it testifies.    But for most Christians, the name holds no relationship whatsoever to the names of pagan goddesses.    For the vast majority of believers, Easter is a day of declaring Christ’s (and, through faith in Him, our eventual…) triumph over death through the power of the resurrection, and of our celebrating Jesus’ resurrection assurance that our sins are fully forgiven and that everlasting life and salvation are ours through faith in Him as our Lord and Savior.            

     Spanish-speaking persons typically refer to the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection by the term “Pascua.”  In Italian, Easter is “Pasqua,” while the French word for Easter is “Paques”…..all are derived from the Hebrew word for Passover, “Pesah.

     The Lamb is one of our better-known symbols associated with  Easter.  This symbol, of course, is intimately connected with the Jewish Pesah (Passover) observance.  During Passover the Jewish people re-enact the events of the Exodus from Egypt, a part of which included each family killing an unblemished lamb at sprinkling its blood on their doorposts.   The unblemished lamb for Christians is a fitting Old Testament example (or “type”) of our sinless Savior, while the blood of the lamb represents the assurance that salvation has been secured for us through the precious  blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, Who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29;  Isaiah 53).

     Finally, Jesus Christ has also made this announcement of assurance to every one of us:   “Because I live, you shall live also!” (John 14:19).    Eternal life-beyond-death is promised to everyone who believes Jesus is our God and Savior from sin.   He is not only an example of godly living that we can follow in this lifetime; He is, above all else…the Way to heaven, the ultimate Source of all Truth, and the Guarantee of Life everlasting for all who put their faith in Him.    Finally the consummate confidence that His resurrection gives us provides the Christian with an overcoming faith enabling us to endure life’s trials and stresses certain that a better life in heaven is ours through our Risen Lord.     Because Easter’s testimony is true, we have a hope for tomorrow, this week, and the rest of our lives…..a hope that will surely carry us through life, beyond death, and into heavenly glory.   In the words of songwriter Bill Gaither,


Because He lives I can face tomorrow.

 Because He lives all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds my future,

Now life is worth the living, just because He lives.