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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Is Your Christ Dead?"

April 16, 2004

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If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 1 Corinthians 15:14

Has the Easter glow left you yet? Easter Sunday was a joyful day. In our church we proclaimed that Christ rose from the grave and still lives today. Do you believe that? Is the Christ who died on Good Friday still alive in your life a few days after Easter?

You may be familiar with an interesting anecdote about Martin Luther, the great leader of the 16th-century Reformation. He preached again and again that Christ is alive and at our side every day. But he was also subject to periods of depression and discouragement. On one such occasion his dear wife, Katie, came to his rescue in a rather unusual way. She dressed herself in mourning apparel and fixed a sorrowful expression on her face. When Luther returned from a walk, he saw Katie apparently overwhelmed with sorrow. He was startled and anxious. “What has happened?” he asked. “Alas,” she replied, “the dear Lord is dead.” “What nonsense,” he said. “You know that God lives and cannot die.” “Is that possible?” she exclaimed. “I thought surely He must be dead since you seem so distressed.” Then Luther smiled and said, “You are right. I should not be so sad, because God – who has been, is, and will be – is always the same, loving God.”

The anecdote strikes home. We may believe that Jesus Christ rose from the grave, but often we don’t act that way. For all practical purposes, He is dead in our life. We mope around, moaning about all the evils, troubles, and problems in the world. We develop ulcers and consume tranquilizers by the dozen. Selfishness dominates our thoughts and actions. How can we help others come alive in Christ when we act as though He were dead?

Katie Luther was wiser than many of us. In a comical way she reminded her husband that Christ does live, no matter how sad we may feel. He did rise form the grave, just as surely as He mounted the ugly cross to take away our sins. He is with us always, as He promised. That never changes.

PRAYER: O risen Christ, live in my heart each day according to Your promise. Amen.

(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)

Today's Bible Readings: Judges 7-8    Luke 13:23-35

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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