Sermon for Easter Sunday 2022 “He has risen! He is Now Here!”

The Resurrection of Our Lord: Easter Day, April 17, 2022

He Has Risen! He Is Now Here!

Text: Luke 24:1–12

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:

479 Christ Is Risen, Christ Is Living


Christ is risen, Christ is living,

Dry your tears, be unafraid!

Death and darkness could not hold Him,

Nor the tomb in which He lay.

Do not look among the dead for

One who lives forevermore;

Tell the world that Christ is risen,

Make it known He goes before.

Text: © 1974 Hope Publishing Co. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no.


Sometimes a sermon title can be accurate but still communicate the wrong
message. What would you think if today’s sermon was titled: “He Is Not
Here, He Has Risen.” The title comes straight from the Bible. Lk 24:6
shouts that very truth. Jesus no longer could be found in the tomb. He was
not there. The title was accurate. But that sermon came centuries later.
The church held people waiting to hear that Jesus had risen from the dead .
. . and he was there that morning. The title of the sermon needs to be
altered just a bit. “Jesus Has Risen! He Is Now Here!” Changing not to now
changes everything for us listening today.

Confusion and Fear Give Way to a Confident Faith and Hope Because Jesus Has
Risen, Because He Is Now Here!

I. Confusion and fear: Where is Jesus?

A. The women were confused at the empty grave and frightened by the

But back then, when the women met the angels, they needed to hear Jesus was
not in the tomb. They needed to be reminded of Jesus’ words that he would
rise from the dead on the third day.

They come to the tomb expecting to care for a dead body. The spices they
bring were for embalming the man who died on the cross. When they arrive,
they are confused. The stone is rolled off to the side. The tomb contains
no body, just emptiness. Where is Jesus? His body had disappeared. They are
at a loss as to what had happened.

Then the angels appear. These heavenly beings frighten the women. We
sometimes imagine angels as cute, cuddly, babylike cherubs. But most often
in the Bible, they are powerful beings that simply send someone to fall to
the ground in fear and awe. The women do just that; they bow to the ground
in front of the angels.

But the angels aren’t there to frighten the women. They have come to assure
them, to remind them, to bring a faith back to life in them. They do not do
this with power and fear, but with a very simple message. Jesus is not in
the tomb. He has risen. He has kept his promise. He died at the hands of
sinful men. Now, on the third day, he has risen from the dead, just as he
said he would. He is not there, in that tomb. The women needed to hear that
good news.

Watch what happens next. They remember. They believe. Even though Jesus
isn’t standing there in front of them, even though all they’ve seen with
their eyes is an empty grave and some angels, they believe. And with an
active, living faith, they dash away to tell the disciples that wonderful
news of the first Easter morning.

Confusion and fear change to belief and hope. Soon they will see Jesus.
They will know just exactly where he is. Not in the tomb. But with them. At
that moment, though, Jesus is not there.

Perhaps we struggle with the same emotions as the women did back then.
We’re confused. We’re frightened. Not at a stone rolled away. Or by
encountering angels. But by what life simply throws at us that makes us
ask, “Where is Jesus? He doesn’t seem to be here. And what is here is

B. So many things in life can raise the same confusion and fear. The
question becomes: Where is Jesus in all this mess?

A black man dies as a police officer kneels on his neck until he breathes
no more. The country erupts with protests, and many people awaken to the
racism embedded in so many institutions and systems in our way of life. But
then all police seem to be demonized. Protests turn into riots and
destruction. Vandalism goes unprosecuted. Black lives, blue lives, all
lives battle it out. What could have been a moment for biblical justice to
bring change and healing is lost, while anger, hate, and violence divide
people into political camps. You can be left confused and afraid, wondering
where Jesus is in this mess.

A pandemic sweeps across the nation, around the globe. At first, we lock
down together to do battle against this unseen enemy. We learn how to
protect one another and ourselves, and keep our health care system from
being overwhelmed. But as the months drag on, the fighting takes over.
Something as simple as a mask divides people into camps, and we hear the
battle lines drawn. Personal freedom screams—I don’t need to wear one. The
virus isn’t that bad; 99 percent of those who get it survive. The media has
overhyped the problem. We need to get people back to work. The loneliness
and depression are worse than the virus. We want to get together for
Christmas like we always do. But wait, doctors and nurses are exhausted.
We’ve run out of ICU beds for those who are sick. Other surgeries have to
be postponed, and cancer treatments suspended. Protect your neighbor, your
family members. Both sides claim political allies. Even in the church, the
division rages on, with some not attending if they have to wear a mask, and
others not coming if not everyone is wearing a mask. You can be left
confused and afraid, wondering where Jesus is in this mess.

The church suffers as well. Attendance goes down. Those who watched at
first on the computer begin to drift away. Contributions disappear, and
programs and staff need to be cut. Pastors and church workers grow weary
and are even attacked for whatever they decide to do. They can’t visit
people in the hospitals and nursing homes. Many are ready to quit. You can
be left confused and afraid, wondering where Jesus is in this mess.

Where is Jesus when all this happens?

II. Where is Jesus? He has risen! He is now here!

What we need to hear is that he has risen and he is here! Yes, he is now

A. He is here in Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and his Word.

Where? Imagine a baptismal font. Before the service, water is poured into
the basin. A white napkin is placed on the side, along with a baptismal
certificate. The service begins and a family, with godparents, sits up
front. The opening hymn ends, and the mom and dad, holding the baby, step
to the font. Godparents are standing across from them. The pastor begins
the liturgy. Soon the moment comes. The mother lowers her child over the
water. Three times the pastor dips his hand into the basin and splashes
water on the child’s head, all the while speaking the name of the child and
the name of the triune God. Where is Jesus at that moment? Right there. He
is risen from the dead. He is alive and now lives in that child. Faith and
hope arise in the child and are renewed in those watching. Then
remember—one time it was you who was brought into Jesus’ living presence at
a baptismal font.

Where is Jesus? Look at the altar. Before the service, the bread and wine
are placed on the altar. The service moves along until the pastor speaks
familiar words. “On the night when Jesus was betrayed . . . ‘Take, eat;
this is my body, which is given for you . . . Drink of it, all of you; this
cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you for the
forgiveness of sins.’ ” Your pew is ushered forward. You kneel at the rail.
The bread is placed in your hand and then your mouth. A sip of wine runs
over your tongue. Where is Jesus at that moment? Right there. He is risen
from the dead. He is alive and lives in you. He renews your faith and hope
once again. He is not in the tomb. He is here in our midst, in our church,
in your life. Confusion and fear give way to a confident faith and hope.

Where is Jesus?

(Read Matthew 28:20b; Romans 8:38–39; John 11:25–26.)

A day will come when Jesus will return. We will see him face-to-face. All
of creation will be remade. No more will old age take away our strength and
breath. All creation will live in peaceful harmony. Only gladness, not more
anger and hate. Grief will give way to rejoicing. The one great last enemy
to be destroyed is death. Jesus is the first fruits when he left the tomb
empty, so many more will follow on that glorious Last Day of resurrection.
Jesus is moving and working in you, building up your faith and renewing
your hope by the power of his Holy Spirit as you read and ponder His Word.

Now remember what the women did after the angels reminded them of Jesus’
words, after their faith came to life and hope returned. “And returning
from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest”
(v 9). They ran and told the disciples. They didn’t stay at the tomb. They
went back to their lives. They went back to their lives with the risen
Jesus present with them.

So do we. We leave this worship service, a service where Jesus has been
present because he promised where two or three or more are gathered
together, there he would be. We go back to our lives. We go back to
injustice and anger. We go back to division and strife. We go back to
sickness and aging muscles. But we do not go back alone. We go back with
Jesus. We go back with a powerful message. He has risen; he is now here.

B. He is here in the living of life with faith and hope, even when there
is misery.

479 Christ Is Risen, Christ Is Living

If the Lord had never risen,

We’d have nothing to believe.

But His promise can be trusted:

“You will live, because I live.”

As we share the death of Adam,

So in Christ we live again;

Death has lost its sting and terror,

Christ the Lord has come to reign.

Text: © 1974 Hope Publishing Co. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no.

C. He is here when the last great enemy, death, claims us.

Each of us will come to that time when that last great enemy, death, will
confront us with all its ugly, frightening, confusing reality. We will
stand before a grave and the test of faith will rise up from the depths of
our souls. What is our hope at that moment?


On this Easter morning, listen to the words of the angels: “Remember how he
told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be
delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third
day rise” (vv 6b–7). The women staring at an empty tomb needed to hear the
words, “He is not here, but has risen” (v 6a). But we, for a living faith
and a confident hope, need to hear those words differently. We need to hear
this message once again: He has risen! He is now here! Amen.:

Let us pray:

479 Christ Is Risen, Christ Is Living


Death has lost its old dominion,

Let the world rejoice and shout!

Christ, the firstborn of the living,

Gives us life and leads us out.

Let us thank our God, who causes

Hope to spring up from the ground;

Christ is risen, Christ is giving

Life eternal, life profound.

Text: © 1974 Hope Publishing Co. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no.

The peace of God…Amen.

In the Name of the Father…Amen.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Amen.