Easter Day B

Let us marvel at how much God loves us!

Suggested First Reading and Alternate Second Reading: Acts 10:34-43

"...how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him."
-- Acts 10:38

Verse 38 is quoted in Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 7: Holy Supper (SD 7.36) to support the argument against transubstantiation. For, "the divine essence is not transformed into the human nature, but that the two unaltered natures are personally united" in Jesus (SD 7.36).

"All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
-- Acts 10:43

Verse 43 is quoted in Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 4: Justification (AP 4.83) as solid proof that "We receive the forgiveness of sins... through [Jesus'] name, that is, on account of him, and therefore not on account of our merits and not on account of our contrition, attrition, love, acts of worship, or works" (AP 4.83).

Verse 43 is quoted again in Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 12: Repentance (AP 12.65) as part of a familiar argument. "Therefore the only way that we receive the forgiveness of sins is through the name of Christ, that is, because of Christ, and not because of any of our merits or works" (AP 12.65).

And in case that wasn't enough, verse 43 is quoted again in Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 20: Good Works (AP 20.2) arguing, yep, "that the forgiveness of sins takes place freely on account of Christ, that Christ--and not our works--is the atoning sacrifice for sin" (AP 20.2).

Alternate Fist Reading: Isaiah 25:6-9

...he will swallow up death forever.
-- Isaiah 25:8a

The first line of verse 8 is footnoted twice in The Large Catechism, both making the same reference to death being swallowed up. The first citation is near the end of The Second Part: The Creed, The Second Article (LC 2.31, n. 134) noting that Jesus is the one who does this. The second citation is in The Fourth Part: Concerning Baptism (LC 4.43, n. 207) to show that our death is also swallowed up by Jesus in our baptism into Jesus' death.

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

The Lord has punished me severely,
but he did not give me over to death.
-- Psalm 118:18

Verse 18 is quoted in Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 12: Repentance (AP 12.49) to show that God "terrifies... in order to make room for consolation and vivification, because hearts that do not feel the wrath of God loathe consolation in their smugness" (AP 12.51).

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
-- 1 Corinthians 15:10

Verse 10 is cited in a footnote to Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 2: Free Will (SD 2.66, n. 80) along with a couple of passages from 1 Corinthians 5, in association with a quote from 2 Corinthians 6:1 in the body of the text in an effort to make it clear that any good works we do are not a result of our own choice or free will but only through the Holy Spirit moving us to at best cooperate "in great weakness" (AP 2.65).


Psalm 118:23 perhaps says it best. "This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes."

The forgiveness of sins is only by God's action. Communion is efficacious because of God's action. God alone destroys death and lets us share in that victory. Our works are only every good because God makes them so. Marvelous!

Even how God freely gives us everything we need every day even while we are still enemies so that we might encounter the Law and discover everything God does for us and others. This is the LORD's doing. This, too, is marvelous!