GEO Missionary Sarah Berta-Somogyi chose the Easter hymn “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” (LSB 461). Sarah says of this hymn: “I love this Easter hymn, especially verses 5 and 6. Not only does Jesus live, but He lives with us each and every day. He is not some far-off God in the sky who lives somewhere, but He lives in us and helps us each and every day, with our fears and troubles, and He blesses us beyond measure with forgiveness and grace for today and always. And finally, we too will live with Him.”
- He lives to silence all my fears;
He lives to wipe away my tears;
He lives to calm my troubled heart;
He lives all blessings to impart.
- He lives, my kind, wise, heav’nly friend;
He lives and loves me to the end.
He lives, and while He lives, I’ll sing;
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.
This wonderful hymn focuses in on the ongoing effects of Jesus’ resurrection and His living. It is not as though the resurrection occurs, we find out Jesus is alive, He ascends into heaven, and from that time on everything’s pretty stagnant. We don’t have a resurrected Lord who is ascended just to sit and wait it out. He’s not up there keeping tabs on how we’re doing from afar and letting us work out the rest for ourselves as we face day-to-day life and await the Second Coming.
This hymn repeatedly reminds us that Jesus’ living MEANS something for us and to us in the here and now, as well as in the future. The final slice of verse six offers us a good reminder of all that Jesus is up to on our behalf now that He is risen, ascended and living “on high” (v. 2). He lives as our Prophet, Priest, and King. These three offices cover pretty much all that our living Lord is still actively bringing about for us.
As Prophet, though ascended on high, Jesus speaks words of salvation, life and peace to us. He speaks through His Word, which comes forth through the mouths of our pastors. Through their mouths He speaks forgiveness of sins when we doubt that He lives for us, when we fail to serve our neighbors and when we wrong one another. As prophet He proclaims the salvation and life His death and resurrection have secured for us as our pastors preach the sweet words into our ears.
As Priest, Jesus presents the ultimate sacrifice before God the Father on our behalf — His very own body and blood. He stands before the Father in heaven, showing forth the scars that bought our eternal salvation, and reminding the Father of that sacrifice. He also intercedes for us before the Father’s throne, praying and pleading for us to be forgiven and rescued from our distresses. He brings our very own requests before the Father’s throne and asks that they be answered. Through our pastors, He gives us to eat and to drink of His sacrifice every Sunday as we partake of His body and blood in the Lord’s Supper.
As King, Jesus rules and reigns over the heavens and the earth on our behalf. He does so to “grant [us] rich supply” (v. 4) for all that we need for “this body and life.” Through the bounties of the earth and the vocations of those around us, Jesus supplies what we need physically — food, shelter, clothing, medical care, etc. He stays the hand of the devil so that he cannot harm us, and shows him once again that he is no longer in charge.
As He lives for us in these three offices, Jesus’ work on our behalf “calms all [our] fears,” “wipe[s] away [our] tears;” and “calm[s] [our] troubled hearts.” As Prophet, Priest, and King, He imparts the blessings of His Word, His protection, His love and His daily care. Each and every day He lives, and He lives for us, to provide, comfort, care, save, forgive and love us. And when that Second Coming does come, He will be there as He has been all along to raise our bodies from the grave and to give us eternal resurrected life with Him.
Let Us Pray: Lord Jesus Christ, You are our Prophet, Priest, and King; continue to live for us in these offices and remind us of your daily care so that we may be comforted, fed, and ever given Your Word and Sacraments unto everlasting life; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
- Please note the following credits for the recording used in the video:Hauptwerk: This non-commercial production, legal by virtue of product purchase, was made possible in part by Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ instrument software. © 2014 Milan Digital Audio LLC. All rights reserved.Organ Art Media: The use of the 1686/1720 Bosch/F. C. Schnitger organ for this non-commercial production was made possible by the gracious permission of Prof. Helmut Maier. © 2014 OrganArt Media 2006 Kusterdinger Straße 48 D-72827 Wannweil. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Christopher S. Ahlman. All rights reserved.
- Please pray for Sarah and her work in Hungary.
- To learn more about Sarah’s work, read this recent story.