Home > Reading > Daily Reading – April 12, 2020

Based on Matthew 28:1-10

Martin Luther wrote of resurrection:

This article has suffered and still suffers the most opposition and is most difficult to believe…The reason for this is that no article so contradicts experience as this one does. For our eyes see that all the world is swept away by death and dies. Emperors and kings, high and low, young and old, and in a word, all children of men, one after the other, are laid in the grave and buried…Hence it is difficult to believe that man, who dies and perishes in so many different ways, is to live again; that his members, so widely scattered, reduced to dust and ashes in fire, water, and soil, are to be gathered again; that his soul is again to live in the same body in which it lived before; and that he is to have the same eyes, ears, hands, and feet, except that the body…is to have a different manner of existence…Therefore it is necessary for every Christian to have before him the testimony of Holy Scripture concerning the resurrection of the dead and then also the resurrection of the Lord Christ, proved and attested by certain revelation; that he must rest firmly on these and abandon outward appearance and the experience of reason.” (Luther’s Works, Weimar Edition, 44, 429 ff)

On this Easter Sunday, it is always a challenge to hear and grasp the women visiting the tomb, the great earthquake, the angel of the Lord like lightening, white as snow, the guards trembling and then finally, the Lord Jesus resurrected, alive, greeting them as if nothing had happened these last few days. He tells the women not to be afraid — yet, how could it be otherwise? Who can so easily believe that He who was crucified, dead and buried according to all-natural laws and expectation, could be alive again? We believe it because the testimony of Holy Scripture proclaims it. We believe it because Mary Magdalene and the other Mary saw Jesus and told us about it. We believe it because the apostles and 500 others saw Jesus alive, resurrected from death. And His resurrection causes us to rest our fears and doubts firmly on these, so that we believe, by faith. May His resurrection give us new life and hope day by day, all our lives.

Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

This year’s devotional was prepared by the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, NALC assistant to the bishop for ministry and ecumenism. To learn more about A Lenten Walk Through the Word, visit thenalc.org/lent.

Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Acts 10:34–43

10:34 Then Peter started speaking: “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, 35but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is welcomed before him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all)— 37you know what happened throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, that God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil because God was with him. 39We are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40but God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 41not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to warn them that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43About him all the prophets testify, that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

(NET Bible)

Ps. 118

118:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,

and his loyal love endures.

2Let Israel say,

“Yes, his loyal love endures.”

3Let the family of Aaron say,

“Yes, his loyal love endures.”

4Let the loyal followers of the Lord say,

“Yes, his loyal love endures.”

5In my distress I cried out to the Lord.

The Lord answered me and put me in a wide open place.

6The Lord is on my side; I am not afraid.

What can people do to me?

7The Lord is on my side as my helper.

I look in triumph on those who hate me.

8It is better to take shelter in the Lord

than to trust in people.

9It is better to take shelter in the Lord

than to trust in princes.

10All the nations surrounded me.

Indeed, in the name of the Lord I pushed them away.

11They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me.

Indeed, in the name of the Lord I pushed them away.

12They surrounded me like bees.

But they disappeared as quickly as a fire among thorns.

Indeed, in the name of the Lord I pushed them away.

13“You aggressively attacked me and tried to knock me down,

but the Lord helped me.

14The Lord gives me strength and protects me;

he has become my deliverer.”

15They celebrate deliverance in the tents of the godly.

The Lord’s right hand conquers.

16The Lord’s right hand gives victory;

the Lord’s right hand conquers.

17I will not die, but live,

and I will proclaim what the Lord has done.

18The Lord severely punished me,

but he did not hand me over to death.

19Open for me the gates of the just king’s temple.

I will enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.

20This is the Lord’s gate—

the godly enter through it.

21I will give you thanks, for you answered me,

and have become my deliverer.

22The stone that the builders discarded

has become the cornerstone.

23This is the Lord’s work.

We consider it amazing!

24This is the day the Lord has brought about.

We will be happy and rejoice in it.

25Please, Lord, deliver!

Please, Lord, grant us success!

26May the one who comes in the name of the Lord be blessed.

We will pronounce blessings on you in the Lord’s temple.

27The Lord is God, and he has delivered us.

Tie the offering with ropes

to the horns of the altar.

28You are my God, and I will give you thanks.

You are my God, and I will praise you.

29Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good

and his loyal love endures.

(NET Bible)

Col. 3:1–4

3:1 Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, 3for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him. (NET Bible)

Matt. 28:1–10

28:1 Now after the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2Suddenly there was a severe earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descending from heaven came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were shaken and became like dead men because they were so afraid of him. 5But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here, for he has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. He is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there.’ Listen, I have told you!” 8So they left the tomb quickly, with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9But Jesus met them, saying, “Greetings!” They came to him, held on to his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee. They will see me there.”

(NET Bible)

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016.

It was only the culmination point of this whole development when on April 18 [Luther] gave his famous answer in Worms: “Unless I am convinced by testimony from Scripture or evident reason (convictus testimoniis Scripturae aut ratione evidente)—for I believe neither the Pope nor the Councils alone, since it is established that they have often erred and contradicted themselves—I am conquered by the writings (i.e., passages from Scripture) cited by me, and my conscience is captive to the Word of God; recant I will and can nothing, since it is neither safe nor honest to do ought against conscience.” This once forever established the Sola Scriptura. (19)

–Johann Michael Reu, Luther on the Scriptures

This daily Bible reading guide, Reading the Word of God, was conceived and prepared as a result of the ongoing discussions between representatives of three church bodies: Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The following individuals have represented their church bodies and approved this introduction and the reading guide: LCC: President Robert Bugbee; NALC: Bishop John Bradosky, Revs. Mark Chavez, James Nestingen, and David Wendel; LCMS: Revs. Albert Collver, Joel Lehenbauer, John Pless, and Larry Vogel.

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