By Pastor Jacob Hanneman
Terry Trinity Lutheran Church
Everyone wants a hero. In an uncertain world, people want a hero they can look up to, to give them hope. Think of how many movies Hollywood releases that feature heroes saving the day. These movies usually start with some imminent danger brought by a villain that threatens the lives of a group of people. Into this situation arises a hero, who takes matters into his own hands and, risking life and limb, attempts to save the day. Often the hero is a rather vulnerable character, who gets beaten up time and again. Bloodied and sore, it often seems he will not prevail.
But just when it seems all is lost, an incendiary device explodes and the eyes and ears of the moviegoer are filled with the bright colors of reds and oranges and a loud BOOM! And we know at that moment that the villain of the movie is defeated as a building comes crashing down in a heap of rubble.
Yet for a moment we are still left in suspense — where is the hero? Did he, too, perish under the rubble and weight of the explosion? No way! There he is, running through the flames toward the camera, covered in dirt and ash, bloody and bruised. But … he’s the hero! He won!
While in the movies it becomes a cliché, in regards to our salvation it’s completely true. The world and everyone in it was in imminent danger, our souls were in imminent danger. Sin, death, and the ultimate villain, the Devil, were the enemies. And there was only one hero who could defeat them - Jesus Christ.
Jesus — true God and true man — our hero, took matters into his own hands. He came down from heaven to fight the enemies that threatened our eternal welfare. And though he seemed so vulnerable — He was stricken, smitten, and afflicted. He was mocked, beaten, crowned with thorns.
Eventually He was put onto a cross, where He died, and His body was laid into the grave. It looked like the Hero, Jesus, had lost.
But the reality was far different! When the final “explosion” resounded on Good Friday as Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” the enemy was defeated once for all, sin was paid for in full.
And what became of the hero? Did He, too, perish under the rubble and weight of our sins? No way! There He is, bursting from the grave that first Easter morning! No longer bruised and beaten, but victorious! The winner! His resurrection proving that he has thoroughly defeated his (and our!) enemies once and for all.
That, dear friends, is the Power of Easter! The power of our Savior to do what no one else could do; the power to save you and save me. This is God himself doing what no one else could accomplish. This is God rescuing us from eternal death through the most amazing miracle of all time. At Easter we experience the most amazing display of power the world has ever known — power to give us life for all eternity!
So are you looking for a real hero? Hear about Jesus, who won the ultimate victory … for you!
Happy to know that my victory rests in Jesus’ resurrection, just like you! Happy Easter!
Published April 4, 2012