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The King Raised

April 20th 2014 by Joel Schultz

The culmination of our Lenten sermon series rejoices in the good news of Easter - our King, Jesus, is raised from the dead! Read or listen to find out more...

EASTER SUNDAY – “THE KING RAISED” – MATTHEW 28:1-10 – APRIL 20, 2014 P: Christ is risen! C: He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

On the Sixth Day of Creation, God made Himself a king. From the dust of the ground He brought forth His king and placed him in a garden made just for him. He wasn’t just someone for an all-powerful God to boss around like a servant; this man was God’s representative on earth. And this king was not created to lollygag around the garden all day; he was made to have dominion and to rule. This king was created with feet, for God gave him work to do – to tend the garden and to guard it, and that meant also guarding His bride, Eve.

But Adam blew it. He blew it big time. A preacher from hell, a fallen angel, came into the garden. Beautiful and glorious on the outside, but ugly on the inside, Adam let him in. And he came to Adam’s wife spewing his poisonous lies. Now, Adam should have taken those feet and planted them right between his wife and the serpent and said, “Eve, don’t listen to that preacher. He’s a liar.”

But he was a very convincing preacher, smooth-talking and slick. In fact, you and I have been mesmerized by him too. God had graciously said to Adam, “the day you eat of [tree of the knowledge of good and evil], you shall surely die.” But instead of moving his feet and standing up to the serpent, he was caught flat-footed and did nothing. Instead, he joined in being deceived with his wife and ate the fruit.

Almost all kings leave some kind of legacy, something they are remembered for. David was the great warrior king, a man after God’s own heart, who purchased the land for construction of God’s temple. Solomon is remembered for his wisdom and for building the temple. But King Adam built nothing. His legacy was death. His work brought tombs and graves into the world, funeral homes and obituaries, sickness and disease, fear and anxiety.

Before the fall, Adam and Eve revered God with a holy fear. Now they were scared of Him and everything else. Because of them, the world was filled with fear. Little boys would now be afraid of the dark. Teenage girls would live in fear of not being thin or pretty enough. Women now would fear the judgment of other women more than the judgment of God. Men would fear conflict in a world where men needed to have courage, backbone, and self-sacrifice. And mankind feared failure, causing many of us to “bury” our lives before we are even dead.

So God drove His king out of the garden, and placed security guard angels at the door. Angels that stood at attention. With flaming swords. To keep the man and his family from the tree of life in the garden. The garden was no longer his home. Adam made mankind’s bed, and it’s a grave, and he will now have to lie in it too.

But God loved the king that blew it and He promised one day to send another. The Seed. A royal Seed. His only-begotten Son, God in the flesh, God with feet. These feet would not be the feet of a coward, but the feet of a champion who came into the world to restore all that King Adam ruined.

His were the feet that came to crush the head of that false preacher who deceived Adam and filled the world with fear. But this king, our Lord Jesus Christ, was not caught by the enemy flat-footed. He used His holy feet to get just where He needed to help fallen man, to heal the sick, the blind, deaf, and the lame. To feed the hungry. To walk right into a tomb and raise Lazarus. To walk right into a funeral procession and raise a widow’s son.

He used those feet to get where He needed to go to instruct the ignorant. To preach to them about entrance into a Kingdom that they could never merit. A Kingdom that He bestowed freely. This King was just the right king. And His feet were just the feet that were needed to save you. To open up the entrance to the garden paradise that Adam closed up. But the way back to the Garden of Paradise meant that this king had to bleed – this king had to have the courage to sacrifice Himself for rebels. A king who would not be tempted by that preacher from hell to take the easy road and let this world and all people be damned. A King who wouldn’t blow it.

He had the royal feet that willingly staggered to the hill called in order to carry your sin to the cross. He had the royal feet that laid in the grave to heal your wandering feet.

But what good is a dead king? What good are the feet of a king if they can’t move? How can a dead king give out gifts, give out a share in his kingdom, give glory and honor to his rebel subjects? How can a dead king share his royal feast of feasts? What good is merely a Crucified King, if that king is not raised to show His wounds and bring peace to man’s raging and guilty conscience? He is no good.

So God made The Crucified King to be our King Raised. The Crucified King raised from the dead, so that you might reign with Him forever. That you might see that you are no longer in your sins. So that you might see that in Him death has no power over you. So that you might hear and rejoice in the results of what our King’s holy feet accomplished—Satan’s head crushed, and the teeth in His accusing mouth kicked in.

Our King was raised on this holy day and what wonderful things we hear about. - We see the sad and scared Marys, a picture of God’s sad and scared church, filled with joy and gladness at the angel’s preaching.

  • We see the stone rolled back and no BODY in there, catching a glimpse of our own future graves.

  • We see angels – not sword wielding, imposing figures guarding the entrance to the garden of paradise. But, rather an angel preacher in white – no sword – no scowl. He’s not even standing on his feet. He simply sits in a garden graveyard and preaches a short but magnificent sermon. “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said.” No need for fear in this fear-filled world, says the preacher from heaven. This King has on the cross dealt with and conquered all that could ever make you afraid.

  • We see how Mary Magdalene and the other Mary take hold of those blessed feet of the Second Adam, as Jesus comes to them and preaches the same sermon. “Don’t be afraid.” They grasp and worship at the feet of their Savior and King who took the bed of death that Adam had made for man, laid in it for three days, and emptied it of its dread and power.

How great was that sixth day of creation when God made Himself a king with feet. But how much greater is what happened on this day, a day which Christians call the eighth day, the first day of a new creation, when God placed His King back on His pierced feet, that you might be baptized and fed with His life-giving body and blood, and reign with Him forever. Amen.

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