Third Sunday after Easter – Saturday
Every man in his own order. – 1 Corinthians 15:23.
In the resurrection of the dead everyone and everything shall come in the order appointed by God. The first-fruits in the resurrection is Christ, as has been abundantly shown. Then they shall rise unto eternal life who are Christ’s at His coming to judgment. Then, immediately after this resurrection and the judgment, comes the end of the world. Then, having done all things well, Christ will deliver up to the Father the kingdom of grace, the King and Mediator of which He has been up to that time. Then He will also abolish all worldly rule and authority and power, and, in particular, all power hostile to His own. But Christ must reign as King of His kingdom of grace and as our Mediator until, at the end of the world, He will have made all His enemies His footstool. The last enemy of His own that shall be destroyed is death; they who have risen unto eternal life shall see nothing more of it. For the Father has put all things under Christ’s feet. He has told us so in His Word (I Corinthians 15:27 a).
But when He says that all things are put under Christ, it is manifest that He is excepted who did put all things under Him, that is, the Father. But when at last all things shall have been subdued unto Christ, then shall also the Son, Christ, the King and Mediator, Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that is, to the Father; then shall He appear before the Father with His entire congregation of the redeemed of all times and say: I have finished the work which Thou hast commanded me to do; then shall He deliver up the kingdom of grace and His mediator-ship unto the Father who gave it to Him. And then shall the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be all in all; then shall the riches of blessedness and of glory pour forth upon us from the Triune God to His glory and honor, and for our everlasting good as His dear people forever and ever.
PRAYER – O God the Father, what riches of bliss hast Thou promised to me! O God the Son, my Lord Jesus Christ, my King and Mediator, how well hast Thou accomplished all, even unto my eternal glory! O God the Holy Ghost, by continuing in Thy holy Word Thou wilt confirm me in faith unto the end, that I may live to see it all. O Triune God, indeed, I shall, by Thy marvelous, undeserved grace, live to see it, for Thou wilt raise me from the dead by Thy divine power and grace, and bring me to my eternal, heavenly home. Amen.
Jesus lives, to Him the throne, high o’er heav’n and earth is given;
I shall go where He is gone, live and reign with Him in heaven;
God is faithful, doubtings hence; this shall be my confidence.
Jesus lives, I know full well; naught from me His love shall sever;
life nor death nor powers of hell, part me now from Christ forever;
God will be a sure defense; this shall be my confidence
(TLH, 201, st. 2, 4).