Sermon — Pr. Tony Sikora — Easter Vigil — Do Not Fear!

St. Mark 16:1-8

Christ is Risen!  He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!


Steadfast Sermons GraphicCome you daughters of Eve and you sons of Adam.  Come to the tomb with the women.  Come and listen to Angel’s voice.  Come and do not be afraid for there are wondrous things afoot, heavenly things, real things, flesh and blood things, things you can see, and touch and taste and feel.  Yes beloved come out of the shadows and into the light.   Hasten your way, quicken your steps, set your heart like a flint and do not be deterred.  Come and see.  Come and listen.  The earth is shaking.  The old is going and the new is rising.  The dawn of life is upon us!   The reign of darkness is fading.  Death is bowing.  The demons are shuddering.

Yes, beloved, come, come quickly to the tomb with these women.  Come and behold the wonders of your God.  He has done marvelous things!  He has wrought the salvation of the world!  He has given all that all may be saved.  He has surrendered in order for you to win. He has worked His mighty works and lifted up His only –begotten Son that all may be drawn to His feet. He has taken all that is wrong and covered it in blood.  He has given all that is right and poured it upon the earth.

Yes, beloved come, come quickly and do not fear.  Though you suffer the wages of sin, do not fear. Though the frailty of your flesh would slow you, do not fear. Though your words or the words of others seek your deterrence do not fear.  Though doctors pronounce the curse, though neighbors clamor against you, though accusers mount their attacks, though the way be strewn with dangers do not fear.  For surely the Devil is about you.  Truly the old evil foe plots to deceive you.  His snares line the road like mines in a battle field.  Trials and tribulations afflict you.  Sin and ills contend against you.  Death itself pursues you even as it seeks all who bear the image and likeness of Adam, old Adam, sinful Adam.  Death comes by night.  Death comes by day.  Death will come to all of us.  Doubts fill the heart as the Land of rest seems a façade, certainty and security an ever elusive commodity.  Nevertheless, do not fear but hasten all the more and behold the God of your salvation.  Let no stone stumble you.  For God can roll the greatest stones away.  Let no sin entangle you, for the Lord deals with sin in His Son.  Let not death terrify you, for death has bitten the wrong man when death pierced through our Lord Jesus.

Hasten, beloved! Run, dear Christian!  Sprint with the women and hear the Angel’s voice.  Do not fear!  Do not be afraid.  “Do not be alarmed!  You seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified.”  He did suffer. He was crucified, dead and buried.  See the place where He lay!  He has borne the sins of the world.  He has taken all of your iniquities and put them to death in His death.  He has covered over your shame having been shamed Himself.  He has suffered your torment, having been striped in your place.  He has received your mockery, mocked by the very ones He came to save.  He has endured your death, having been pierced by the Law’s fangs.  But the Law has no claim on Jesus.  He bore your sin, but He is righteous One. Therefore, though He has died, death cannot hold Him.  The blood He shed is innocent blood, holy blood, blood full of life and immortality and light. The Life He lived He lived to God and God will not allow His Holy One to see decay.

You seek Jesus the crucified one, but He’s not here.  He is risen!  He is alive.  Death and Devil looked upon Him as though he were another Adam, an old Adam and thought to swallow Him up, devour Him as they had done so often.  But in Jesus all our enemies; sin, death and devil ran up against a wall, a rock, a stone and were smashed as Jesus submitted quietly to the pangs of the cross, suffered in our place.  And without lifting a finger in opposition floors them with His death.  Then being lifted up from death He floors them and the world again.  Look!  He’s not here.  He is risen!

Rejoice beloved!  The stone has been rolled away, away from the tomb and placed in front of sin, death, and devil.  There is no obstacle to your heavenly joys. There is no sin in your way to keep you from your God.  There is no death to frighten you. There is no hell to torment you.  That way has been blocked by the death and resurrection of the New Adam, the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth.  Rejoice beloved and give thanks!  The devil has been strangled and death has been drowned and sin has been erased.

Therefore do not fear!  Do not be alarmed!  Jesus is not in the tomb.  He’s risen and He will meet you where He’s promised.  Daughters of Eve and sons of Adam are invited to meet Him in the water – there He will wash away every spot, stain and blemish. There, He will mark you as ones redeemed by Christ the Crucified and pledge within you the very resurrection of your Bodies.  And He invites you to the table. Cleansed by water and the Word you are given heavenly food to eat and to drink, His true body and His true blood.  Giving Himself here in this place through these things our God gives heavenly things, real things, flesh and blood things, things you can see, and touch and taste and feel.  He forgives sins and gives Life.  Come beloved!  Come quickly and do not be afraid. The Lord of Life delights to be near you.  Hasten to the font.  Sprint to the altar.  Come, your Savior awaits.  Seek after Jesus of Nazareth, He was crucified. Now, He is here for He is risen.  He is risen indeed, alleluia.  AMEN!


The peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your heart and mind through faith in Christ Jesus.  AMEN!

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