Bishop Mark Hanson: Easter Message

The last enemy to be destroyed is death. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:26

For a brief time, while the crucified Jesus lay in a borrowed tomb, it seemed as if death had triumphed once again. Threatened by a messenger of God's expansive, steadfast love, yet another human mob succumbed to death's seduction. They chose its brutal, silencing power and trusted its empty finality. Death's murderous rebellion against the Creator of life seemed unstoppable.

Until that Sunday morning dawned. Mary, Joanna, Mary and the other women arrived at Jesus' tomb prepared for a body emptied of life. Instead they discovered the grave emptied of its power and death itself buried in resurrection life. Jesus Christ, the first fruits from the dead, lives!

Now Jesus Christ, the embodiment of God's compassionate love, is preparing your body for a resurrection life. In that life death can no longer imprison you in a grave nor hold you captive to its violent imagination and destructive power. Joined to Christ by baptism, your body is being brought into his resurrected life, into Christ's new creation, and into the ministry of reconciliation and peace. In this new day your resurrected service of God's steadfast love endures forever.

This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118:23-24

The Rev. Mark S. Hanson

Presiding Bishop

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America