Jesus’ Resurrection Is a Reality…….

The Foundation of our Faith and our Eternal Future

                  On the evening of June 18, 1815 a man stood in the tower of England’s Winchester Cathedral gazing anxiously out to sea. At last he found what he was looking for – a ship sending a signal by use of lights. He strained to see the message. All of England held its breath with him, wanting to know the outcome of the battle taking place at Waterloo between their army, under the leadership of the Duke of Wellington, and the French army, led by Napoleon Bonaparte.  Bonaparte, who had once ruled nearly all of Europe except England remained a very real threat to everyone, and so the European allies had confronted him and his army at Waterloo.

            As he stood in the tower of Winchester Cathedral that solitary watchman waited to relay the news that would determine England’s future.  The signal began to arrive just as a heavy fog was rolling in.  It only just got through, but how he wished it hadn’t, for the signal read: “Wellington defeated.”

            The man signaled to other stations and the news spread across the countryside, bringing great gloom and sadness. But then there was a great reversal. The fog lifted, and the message was sent again, this time in full: “Wellington defeated….the enemy.”   England was filled with happiness, joy, delirium.  Wellington had won after all!

            On Good Friday to all His followers, the message of Calvary’s cross and His damp, dark grave seemed to say, “Christ defeated.”     But three days later they would discover that the message had not been received in full.   Jesus’ resurrection reversed what they initially believed.   The dreaded enemies of death, sin and Satan had been overcome after all by Christ.   His resurrection from the grave declared to His followers then, and for all time,  “Christ defeated the enemy!”   And because He is our Savior and Lord, we – who believe in Him – are also victors over sin, the Devil and the grave.   It is that greatest of all victories that we celebrate today, and that we live every day of our lives.

            Today as you listen to God’s Word, as you sing some familiar Easter hymns, and as you join us in praise and prayer… sure to thank your Lord Jesus Christ that He not only predicted His  resurrection …..He also accomplished it.   And because you and I DO have a risen, living Lord, through faith in Him each of us can be absolutely certain that He has earned the forgiveness of all our sins….absolutely sure of our own glorified bodily resurrections on Judgment Day…..and absolutely confident of our souls’ eternal salvation and that everlasting life awaits us in heaven.
            This morning we have yet another opportunity to participate in the grandest, most glorious celebration on the entire Christian church calendar:  the “Festival of the Resurrection of our Lord.”   In so doing, we are joining a procession of believers that spans nearly 2000 years which have made the journey to Jesus’ empty tomb – there to listen to the firsthand, eyewitness, Spirit-inspired accounts of the Apostles Matthew and Peter, plus we’ll receive invaluable instruction about the truths of the resurrection through the inspired pen of the Apostle Paul.  In so doing, we’ll explore Four Key Resurrection Truths:   It proves 1) Jesus is God; 2) that our sins are forgiven; 3) that Christians have a reason to live life; and 4) that

            In this morning’s Children’s Lesson we will be talking about what the main message of Easter….that Jesus, our God and Savior, defeated death when He came out of the grave…..and that, because of His victory, we know we are forgiven all our sins, and sure that we will live one day in heaven.

             The Second Scripture Reading is a portion of Peter’s Pentecost sermon from Acts 2.  In it he tells us why we rightly put our faith in Christ…..because our Savior’s resurrection with power proves that He truly is our God and our Lord. 

            Our Third Reading from God’s Word, drawn from I Corinthians 15, reminds us that by raising Jesus from the dead, God the Father proved that He had accepted Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross as the sufficient, complete payment for all our sins. 

            In Our Fourth Bible Reading for today, Peter encourages Christians to see that in Jesus’ empty tomb and His promise to us that we will one day rise to eternal life, we have the strength and support we need to successfully endure whatever sufferings and challenges might confront us in our lives.  

            The Fifth Reading from the Word of our Lord upon which we will reflect is recorded for us in I Corinthians 15.   Through it we are reassured that just as Jesus Christ kept His promise to rise from the grave (Mt 12:39-41), so He will also keep His promise to us that He will also, because of His victory over death, one day raise our bodies – glorified and perfectly prepared for heaven – from our graves. 

            The theme of this morning’s Sermon is “The Mystery (and Message) of the Missing Body.”  It’s based on the traditional Gospel lesson for Easter:   Matthew 28:1-15.   In part of this message we’ll evaluate some of the stories that have been fabricated to try to deny the resurrection’s reality.  Today’s “Four Key Resurrection Truths” will also be incorporated into this message.

            Finally, in our Closing Scripture reading, Job 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! And so will we.




Welcome To Grace Lutheran Church  –  If you are a first time friend and guest today, we are honored that you’ve chosen to worship with us.  If you have been with us before, thank you for coming back!  We pray that you will be comfortable during the worship service and in these surroundings.  If you have any questions about our congregation, or if we can be of service to you in any capacity, today or in the future, please talk with our Pastor or any of our other members.  At the conclusion of today’s service we encourage you to join those around you for our Easter Brunch, which will be held here in our gymnasium/ fellowship hall where we are meeting for worship.   Finally, please return to Grace Lutheran on Sundays in the future to again join us as we worship our Lord.   It will be our privilege to serve you with God’s Word as a regular part of our church family.  May the comfort of God’s love and His forgiveness in Christ be with you through this service, this day, and this week.


If You Would Like to Know More about this Congregation   as a result of your time spent among us today, our pastor would be honored to speak with you at your convenience.   We have also tried to make available for you a number of informative brochures which you can find in our entryway.  They describe our church family and the work we have been called to carry out in Christ’s name.  They also explain, in some detail, the Bible-based beliefs that we hold in common as members both of this Lutheran-Christian church family and of our parent church body, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (the WELS).   Please help yourself to them.  Communicant membership in Grace Lutheran Church is established by an informed declaration of fellowship upon transfer from a Lutheran congregation, or upon completion of our Pastor’s New Membership Course, whichever is appropriate for you.  To make a personal appointment to discuss this further, please speak with Pastor Huebner today or at your convenience.


Pre-Service Prayer  – Dear Savior, the cross shall always be precious to me as the altar of sacrifice on which  You died for my sins.  The tomb that sheltered You is also precious to me.   It stands empty to remind me that death could not hold You.  You have risen, and in this truth lies my hope for here and for heaven.   By Your resurrection I know that the Father in heaven has accepted Your payment for my sins, and declared You His Son, my Savior.   And I know that death cannot keep its hold me, for as You live, I shall live also.   At Your cross I have found refuge from God’s wrath, and in Your vacant tomb, I have comfort in death and confidence for the life eternal that is to come.  Now bless my worship of You today, for the benefit of my faith, and for Your glory as my God and my risen Lord and Savior.  Amen.



Serving Us Today

Elders:    Steve Stone, John Johnson     Altar Guild:     Harriet Johnson, Tina Wambold

Pianist:   Debbie Huebner            Video:   Tim Huebner, Dale Johannes        Church Secretary:   Harriet Johnson

Ushers:   Chris Roberts, Tom Otto,   Kent Mayer                 Custodian:    Tina Wambold


+  The Festival of the Resurrection of our Lord  +


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


The Significance of Jesus’ Resurrection

for our Faith, our Daily Lives, and our Eternal Future



Pre-service prayer                                                                                                                  Pre-service music



We Praise Our God


The Introduction and Invitation to Worship – Pastor


The Invocation                                                                                                                                                  

We begin this festival service


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,   

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



An Easter 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!



The Opening Prayer                                                                                                              offered in unison


Almighty and everlasting God, + through the glorious resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ,  + You have overcome death   + and opened the gate of eternal life to us.   +   Although our human minds cannot comprehend how it is possible, +   Your Word has convinced us that it is true:   +   our Lord is risen, He is risen indeed!   +   We beg You, therefore, to sow in our hearts the joy and peace of sins forgiven,   +  and the confidence of everlasting life in heaven + through faith in Jesus Christ our Savior and God, + so that we might produce in our lives + the fruits of the faith that we are proclaiming with our lips today.   +   Amen.


After which, the Congregation will be seated for



The Festival Hymn                                                                                                Hallelujah!   King of Kings

to the melody of “St. George” (Come Ye Thankful People Come)


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!


All Rise for the Final Verse

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



The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                      I Corinthians 15:1-8


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.


Jesus “Came Out” on the Third Day….As Promised!




Today’s Second Hymn                                                             Hymn 145   “Jesus Lives, The Victory’s Won”


1 Jesus lives! The vict’ry’s won!   Death no longer can appall me.

Jesus lives! Death’s reign is done!   From the grave Christ will recall me.

Brighter scenes will then commence;   This shall be my confidence.


2 Jesus lives! To him the throne   High o’er heav’n and earth is given.

I shall go where he is gone,   Live and reign with him in heaven.

God is faithful; doubtings, hence!  This shall be my confidence.


3 Jesus lives! For me he died;   Hence will I, to Jesus living,

Pure in heart and act abide,   Praise to him and glory giving.

All I need God will dispense;  This shall be my confidence.


4 Jesus lives! I know full well   Nothing me from him shall sever,

Life nor death nor pow’rs of hell   Part me now from Christ forever.

God will be a sure defense;   This shall be my confidence.


5 Jesus lives! And now is death   But the gate to 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!”


Four Key Resurrection Truths


Truth Number One:

The Resurrection Proves that Jesus Truly is our God and Lord

Acts 2:22-36


22 “Men of Israel, hear these words! Jesus the Nazarene was a Man recommended to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did through Him among you, as you yourselves know. 23 This Man, Who was handed over by God’s set plan and foreknowledge, you killed by having lawless men nail Him to a cross. 24 He is the One God raised up by freeing Him from the agony of death, because death was not able to hold Him in its grip.


25 “Indeed, David says concerning Him:   I saw the Lord always before me.   Because He is at my right hand,   I will not be shaken.    26 Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced.  My flesh also will rest in hope, 27 because You will not abandon my life to the grave,  nor will You let Your Holy One see decay.   28 You have made known to me the paths of life.   You will fill me with joy in Your presence.


29 “Gentlemen, brothers, I can speak confidently to you about the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath that he would seat One of his descendants on his throne, 31 he saw what was coming and spoke about the resurrection of Christ, saying that He was neither abandoned to the grave nor did His flesh see decay.  32 This Jesus is the One God has raised up. We are all witnesses of that. 33 So, after He was exalted to the right hand of God and after He received the promised Holy Spirit from the Father, He poured out what you are now seeing and hearing.

34 “For David did not ascend into heaven, and yet he says:   The Lord said to my Lord,   ‘Sit at My right hand,   35 until I make Your enemies  a footstool under Your feet.’   36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, Whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”



Truth Number Two:

By Raising Him from the Grave, the Father Proved that

Jesus’ Son’s Sacrifice for our Sins was Sufficient to Save Us

I Corinthians 15:12-20


12But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that He raised Christ from the dead. But He did not raise Him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.   20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the Firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.



The Third Hymn                                                             Hymn 157   “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today, Alleluia”


  1. Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!

our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!

Who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia!

suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!


  1. Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!

unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!

Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!

sinners to redeem and save, Alleluia!


  1. But the pains which He endured, Alleluia!

our salvation have procured, Alleluia!

now above the sky He’s King, Alleluia!

where the angels ever sing, Alleluia!


  1. Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!

praise eternal as His love, Alleluia!

praise him, all ye heavenly host, Alleluia!

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Alleluia!



Truth Number Three:

The Reality of Jesus’ Resurrection Gives Us Confidence

as We Strive to Live Godly Lives in this Sinful World

I Peter 1:3-9


3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy He gave us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 into an inheritance that is undying, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. 5 Through faith you are being protected by God’s power for the salvation that is ready to be revealed at the end of time.

6 Because of this you rejoice very much, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various kinds of trials 7 so that the proven character of your faith—which is more valuable than gold, which passes away even though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.


8 Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not see Him now, yet by believing in Him, you are filled with a joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.



Truth Number Four:

Because Jesus Christ, our Savior, Has Risen

We – too – Shall Rise….Just as He Has Promised

I Corinthians 15:50-58


50 Now I say this, brothers: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and what is perishable is not going to inherit what is imperishable. 51 Look, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 But once this perishable body has put on imperishability, and this mortal body has put on immortality, then what is written will be fulfilled:   Death is swallowed up in victory.  55 Death, where is your sting?   Grave, where is your victory?


56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!


58 Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.



The Fourth Hymn                                                                     Hymn 167    “Jesus Christ, My Sure Defense”



1 Jesus Christ, my sure defense   And my Savior, now is living!

Knowing this, my confidence   Rests upon the hope he’s giving,

Though the night of death be fraught   Still with many an anxious thought.


2 Jesus, my Redeemer, lives;   I, too, unto life shall waken.

Endless joy my Savior gives;   Shall my courage, then, be shaken?

Shall I fear, or could the head   Rise and leave his members dead?


3 No, too closely am I bound   Unto him by hope forever;

Faith’s strong hand the rock has found,  Grasped it, and will leave it never.

Even death now cannot part   From its Lord the trusting heart.


4 I am flesh and must return    Unto dust, whence I am taken;

But by faith I now discern   That from death I shall awaken

With my Savior to abide   In his glory, at his side.


5 Glorified, I shall anew   With this flesh then be enshrouded;

In this body I shall view   God, my Lord, with eyes unclouded;

In this flesh I then shall see   Jesus Christ eternally.



after which the Congregation will rise for


The Public Confession

of our Faith in Christ                                             The Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed

                                                                                                                along with Martin Luther’s Explanation

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;   +   Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost;  +   born of the Virgin Mary;  +  suffered under Pontius Pilate;   +   was crucified, dead, and buried;    +    He descended into hell;   +   the third day He rose again from the dead;   +  He ascended into heaven;   +   and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father almighty;   +  From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.


What does this mean?


I believe that Jesus Christ, true God,   +    begotten of the Father from eternity,   +   and also true Man,    +   born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord.  +    He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature,     +    purchased and won me from all sins,    +   from death,    +   and from the power of the devil,    +    not with gold or silver,    +    but with His holy, precious blood,    +   and with His innocent suffering and death.   +  All this He did that I should be His own,    +    and live under Him in His kingdom,    + and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness,   +     just as He has risen from death   +    and lives and rules eternally.    +   This is most certainly true.   +    Amen.



After which the Congregation may be seated for



The Sermon 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.    Amen.



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                                                                                                                     Matthew 28:1-15


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 worshipped Him.   10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go, tell My brothers that they should go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”


11 As they were on their way, there were some members of the guard who went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 After the chief priests had assembled with the elders and had reached a decision, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers 13 and said, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we were sleeping.’ 14 If the governor hears about it, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 After the soldiers took the money, they did as they were instructed. And this story has been repeated among the Jews until this day.


The Mystery of the Missing Body



after the Sermon is completed, the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for


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 to the Lord


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


Because we aren’t able to pass an offering plate today, as we would during a regular worship service, we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:


1) You can send a check (no cash) in the mail to the church address (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can go online to our website ( and use its giving option

We Bring Our Prayers Before the Lord


Included in our prayers this morning are:

Prayers of Intercession on behalf of Ann King, who will be undergoing

shoulder surgery this coming week.


Bryan Yurchak (a friend of Rick and Cynthia Tragasz) who is dealing with severe back pain.


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, and 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.



We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing


The Final Scripture Reading:  Job’s Confidence in His

Resurrection and our Confidence in our own Resurrection                                                       Job 19:23-27


23 Oh how I wish that my words were written down.    Oh how I wish that they were inscribed in bronze,    24 that they would be engraved in rock forever   with an iron tool and letters filled with lead.    25 As for me, I know that my Redeemer  lives,   and that at the end of time He will stand over the dust.   26 Then, even after my skin has been destroyed,   nevertheless, in my own flesh I will see God.   27 I myself will see Him.   My own eyes will see Him, and not as a stranger.   My emotions are in turmoil 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”



1 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!


Duet (Karen Swogger & Cynthia Tragasz)

2 He lives triumphant from the grave;   He lives eternally to save.

He lives all-glorious in the sky;   He lives exalted there on high.



3 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.


Duet (Karen Swogger & Cynthia Tragasz)

4 He lives to grant me rich supply;   He lives to guide me with His eye.

He lives to comfort me when faint;   He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.



5 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.


Soloist:   (Cynthia Tragasz)

7 He lives and grants me daily breath;   He lives, and I shall conquer death.

He lives my mansion to prepare;   He lives to bring my safely there.



8 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!”


Period for silent prayer

Announcements, Post-service music






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


Serving Us Next Sunday (4-11)                                      Ushers:    Jim Winnat,  John Wambold, Kent Mayer

Altar Guild:    Christine Quinlan,    Linda Winnat                Elders:   John Johnson;   Steve Stone


This Week’s Birthdays           

April 05 – Andy Franzmeier;        April 05 – Cindy Ryan;

April 06 – Mary Beck;        April 07 – Tammy Abernathy;


This Past Week at Grace Lutheran

Sunday Worship: 72                                                               Bible Class/Sunday School: 11 & 3                Tuesday Bible Class: 13

Budgetary Offerings:  $2265       Capital Imv: $10         School Fund: $10       Benevolence: $20

Maundy Thursday Attendance: 27 (communed: 24)             Good Friday Attendance: 58

Thursday budgetary offerings:  $250               Friday budgetary offerings: $275

Looking Ahead At Grace Lutheran Church

Today                          Festival of the Resurrection of our Lord Worship Service,  9:30 am

                                    Easter Brunch after worship, here in our gymnasium/fellowship hall

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

April 06 (Tues)            Morning Bible Study, 10:30-11:30 am.

April 10 (Sat)              Outreach Visits, 10 a.m.

April 11 (Sun)             Morning worship, with the Lord’s Supper, 9:30 a.m.

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

                                    Youth Confirmation, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.




An Historical Background for the Christian 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, plus.   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 growing vacuum of understanding concerning many of the Christian values and observances long a part of our American culture.

            We have gathered 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.    Our conviction is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, through His bodily resurrection from the dead broke the power of sin, death and Satan, and 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 4th.   In the early Christian Church, the events of Easter Sunday (along with those of Good Friday) were commemorated every week in a worship service held on the Lord’s Day/Sunday.   The first “festival” celebrations of Christ’s resurrection were held in the early second century.  By the next century, Easter was followed by a fifty day period devoting its focus on His resurrection  (which we now refer to on the Church Calendar as “The Easter Season”….seven Sundays long, it begins Easter Sunday and concludes with 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 — namely, 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 (Jn 1:29;  Is 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.