Second Sunday of Easter
- Without it, we face a hopeless end
- With it, we have an endless hope
SERMON TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:12–22
Now if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how is it that some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is pointless, and your faith is pointless too. Then we are even guilty of giving false testimony about God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise, if it were true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then it also follows that those who fell asleep in Christ perished. If our hope in Christ applies only to this life, we are the most pitiful people of all. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came by a man, the resurrection of the dead also is going to come by a man. For as in Adam they all die, so also in Christ they all will be made alive.
FIRST LESSON: Acts 26:19–29
“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. Rather, I first told those in Damascus and Jerusalem about it, and then throughout the entire country of Judea and also the Gentiles. I told them that they should repent and turn to God, while also doing works that are consistent with repentance. These are the reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. “But I have had help from God right up to this day, and so I stand testifying to both small and great. I am saying nothing other than what the prophets and Moses said would happen, that the Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light to our people and to the Gentiles.” While Paul was saying these things in his defense, Festus shouted, “Paul, you are out of your mind! Your great learning is driving you insane.” But Paul replied, “I am not insane, most excellent Festus, but I am clearly speaking words that are true and sensible. Certainly the king to whom I am freely speaking knows about these things. Indeed, I cannot believe that any of these things has escaped his notice, because this has not been done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” Then Agrippa said to Paul, “In such a short time are you going to persuade me to become a Christian?” Paul replied, “I pray God, that whether in a short time or a long time, not only you, but also all those who are listening to me today would become what I am, except for these chains.”
SECOND LESSON: 1 Corinthians 15:12–22
See Sermon Text
VERSE OF THE DAY: John 20″29b
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
GOSPEL: John 20:19-31
On the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were together behind locked doors because of their fear of the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you! Just as the Father has sent me, I am also sending you.” After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whenever you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” But Thomas, one of the Twelve, the one called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, and put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe.” After eight days, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Take your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue to doubt, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus, in the presence of his disciples, did many other miraculous signs that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.