From the District President

March 2023

“Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever! I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” Job 19:23-27

Christ is Risen! He is Risen, indeed. Alleluia! I love this stuff! I love the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection! This is your Good News! Sin is conquered. Death is defeated.

Jesus is victorious and He has been set free. Death couldn’t stop Him. The grave couldn’t hold Him. He lives outside the tomb. Sanhedrin ropes, Pilate trials, crucifixion nails, death, grave, large stone, guards, and burial cloths—nothing can restrict Him. Nothing can hold Him. He is alive and on the move.

Even the walls the disciples hide behind cannot hold him back. He can go anywhere. He can do anything. Space and time cannot restrain Him. He has absolute and total freedom. The freedom He has, He gives to you.

I’m not suggesting time travel or walking through walls. I’m talking about the absolute and total freedom you have in Christ: in the faith bestowed upon you in baptism, in His faithfulness to you, in the faith poured into you by His Holy Word.

By the power of His cross and resurrection you have been united to Christ. Bonded to Him, but not in bondage.

The festival of the resurrection announces Christ’s victory and your freedom. This is the freedom Job proclaims in chapter 19 amid all of his loss and anguish. In this chapter, Job has nothing left but the thinnest string of faith and a whole lot of confusion. Notice on that first Easter morning, even with the announcement of His resurrection, how confusion reigns. Peter is confused. John believes, but it seems that what he believes is only that Jesus is missing, not that Jesus is alive. Mary is lost in grief and dismay. Jesus is on the loose, but they are still in bondage.

What is the challenge or opposition you struggle to overcome? What seeks to hold you in bondage?

Today, Christ proclaims that He has overcome! He has broken those chains! Today you stand with Job, even with the thinnest string of faith, and proclaim, “I know that my redeemer lives!!!”

Job 19 gives you three practices as you live by faith:

Easter jubilation – Joyful thanksgiving, even when your body is failing, and like Job your world is crashing. We shout hope. You and I join in this celebration jubilation. “Christ is Risen, indeed! Alleluia!” Practicing this hope fills you with inexpressible and glorious joy.

Easter proclamation – “Oh that my words were recorded, written on a scroll.” When God’s word is proclaimed, it doesn’t just inform us of the victory, it actually brings His light, life, and immortality to light in us. His Word doesn’t just inform, it performs. That performing Word is spoken both by pastor and people.

Daily death and resurrection – “And when my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.” Every day you die and rise. You go to sleep to rest and rise in the morning to new life. We see this in Luther’s morning and evening prayer. Dying at night and seeking forgiveness and rising with new life in the morning.

Easter jubilation, proclamation, and daily life. This is the freedom God performs in you. He is risen indeed and so are you.

In Resurrection Joy,
Richard Snow, President, Nebraska District LCMS