Quasimodogeniti (Easter 2)
Delivered By
Pr. Mark D. Lovett
Delivered On
April 12, 2015
Central Passage
John 20:19-31

In the name of the FATHER and of the + SON and of the HOLY SPIRIT.

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!

Even though He is very God of very God, the Scriptures teach that Jesus overcame the world not by being divine, but by His faith in His eternal, heavenly Father. This is nothing other than that He entrusted Himself to the one who judges justly and was rewarded. He was crowned King of heaven and earth and ruler of all things visible and invisible, seen and unseen because He trusted God; for His obedience He is given the name above all names. Even though it was His by right because He is the Son of God, Jesus earned His position at the right hand of God by being obedient even unto death. His obedience was born of His faith in His heavenly Father, just as yours is, as it is written, “We believe and so we speak.” (2 Cor. 4:13)

Jesus’ reward is the crown of life and the eternal kingdom of God. So St. Paul says to us, Do not run in vain, but run so as to receive the prize,” and St. James says, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

Now someone may think that this is beginning to sound like works righteousness; that we earn heaven by our works or by our righteousness, which of course we don’t. But here the apostles are not addressing the world – they are not addressing unbelievers – but are addressing you: the baptized, those who have been clothed with Christ’s righteousness; that is, those that have been clothed with Christ’s obedience and faith in the eternal Father. You have been yoked to Christ and His yoke is easy. You have been burdened with His love and His burden is light. There is nothing for you to do to gain the righteousness of Christ, you have it for you have Christ. Now there is only to remain in it as the apostle teaches:

“The saying is trustworthy, for:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him;

if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:11-13)

He cannot deny Himself in you and among us gathered in His name.

This is what it means that your faith has overcome the world: Jesus’ faith overcame the world, as He says, “Take heart, I have overcome the world.” The world rejected, abused, beat, mocked, and finally killed the Son of Mary. But by faith in the promises of His heavenly Father – and not by the works of the Law – Jesus overcame all that and was crowned with eternal life and given the eternal kingdom. “The righteousness of God has been made manifest apart from the works of the law…the righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ in all who believe” (Romans 3:21-22). So Jesus’ faith is your faith, given as a gift of God through the eternal word of God, which is the witness of the Holy Spirit.

You see, the Lord Jesus breathes on you the Breath of Life, which is the Spirit of God, and you become a living being. Not like Adam who became the man of death and from whom the Spirit of God departed, but like Christ who is the Man of life upon whom the Spirit descended and remained. He breathes on you and you become a living being. He breathes on you by proclaiming to you the gospel, the good news, which is that Jesus lives and because He lives you

will live. He breathes on you the living Spirit so that you share His Spirit and are called the children of God.

But don’t think that He only breathed on you when you were baptized, though He did. Holy Baptism is the Spirit and the water and the blood testifying and agreeing that Jesus died for you and that you have a share in His life. Holy Baptism is the divine witness that the merits and mercy of God in Christ are for you and applied to you. They wash over you and cover you. Holy Baptism is the anchor of your faith: that God loves you and wants you to share in the glory of the Son. For if we share in a death like His – a death to sin – then we shall certainly share in a resurrection like His – the resurrection to eternal life and the glory of God. Those who think Holy Baptism a small thing do not understand it and would do well to meditate on it to drink deeply of the mercy and grace and love of God.

Because you are baptized, the Lord Jesus breathes on you the Spirit of Life daily. He breathes on you the Breath of Life when you hear the faith of the saints in the Apostles Creed as you say it every morning when you rise and every evening when you lie down to sleep; when you join Him and all the saints in the Lord’s Prayer and the prayers of the whole Church in heaven and on earth, then He is breathing on you the Breath of Life. And most assuredly here, where He gathers you together with one another, with other brothers and sisters in Christ who share the Spirit with you and call upon God together as one people, one tribe, even though there might be many tribes of men that may be represented among us. Even as we are gathered throughout the world and speak in different tongues yet speak the same language and hear different sounds but the same words, rejoicing in the same Christ who is risen from the dead.

Here the Lord Jesus breathes on you and you are given the Holy Spirit to live as He lives, to love as He loves, to forgive as He forgives, and to rejoice in the Father as He rejoices in the Father who loves us and calls us His own.

See how your faith overcomes the world? Though in some parts of the globe your confession would cost you your life and in some parts – such as ours – it may cost you your livelihood, reputation, and position, if not your life, still you have overcome the world. Because you are not waiting to be crowned with the stuff of this world, the gold and glitter, the status and prestige of this world. You are waiting to be crowned with the crown of life in the world to come. You are waiting to be given the status and prestige of the heavenly hosts, even of the Son of God as it is promised: “If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him.”

You believe and so you have life in His name. You have overcome the world.

In Nomine Iesu