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The Victory of Christ

Divine Service themes for April

In the month of March we commemorated the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The services in the month of April fall under the themes “The victory of Christ” and “The founding of the church”. Both of these themes are directly related to the message of Easter, namely the tidings of Christ’s resurrection.

There are two aspects to the victory of Christ: He has conquered both sin and death. The crucifixion and death of Jesus constitute His victory over sin. He allowed Himself to be put to death for us so that we could be liberated from the reign of sin. The victory of Christ also includes the resurrection, in which the power of death was broken. Thereby it has become clear that God wants all mankind to have salvation and life. In order to make this victory accessible to all human beings, Jesus Christ established His church. The resurrection is thus the foundation upon which the church came into being in the first place.

The victory of Christ over sin, and thus over evil, makes it clear that our redemption was not achieved by force. Only the merciful love of Jesus Christ toward us can grant us redemption and an enduring, everlasting peace with God.

We rejoice that we have been incorporated into this victory of reconciling love, and not only proclaim this joy in words, but also through our willingness to reconcile with our neighbor. Only in this manner is it possible for peace to prevail among all human beings. This also applies to our personal interaction within the congregations.

However, the victory of Christ also brings us great confidence and gives us strength in our battle against evil. An attitude that is clearly aligned with the Lord allows us to be certain that the favor of God rests upon us in all our decisions, and that His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

The victory of Christ also allows us to stand firm in our hope that the Lord will soon fulfill the promise of His return—as well as that of our own resurrection—and that we will be accepted in grace.

Moreover, the victory of Christ constitutes the firm foundation of His church. It is there that the glad tidings of the death and resurrection of Christ, as well as the forgiveness of sins founded upon His sacrifice, are proclaimed. This is an essential task of the Apostles. The Apostle ministry in the church serves to perfect and prepare human beings for the return of Christ. The help and support that Jesus promises His Apostles also applies to His church. 

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