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Your Valiant Hero

April 09, 2023; Rev. Kurt A. Lantz, Pastor
Easter Resurrection_Raffaelino_del_Garbo_1510.jpg

Your Valiant Hero


Rev. Kurt Lantz Resurrection of Our Lord Psalm 118:15-29

April 09, 2023 Resurrection Lutheran Church St. Catharines, ON



Dear people who shall not die, but live,


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.



On Good Friday, Dr. Kellerman preached to us about the heroic death of Jesus Christ. Our psalm today reminds us that “the right hand of the LORD does valiantly.” To be valiant is to be worthy of praise for being heroic or brave or courageous. Jesus death for our sins was a valiant act of the LORD our God. But that is not the only valiant act of God.


Although the psalm we sang today was sung also on the evening of Jesus death, as the Jews celebrated the Passover, they sang it in praise of an act of God done thousands of years earlier. In particular, at Passover, the Jews praised the LORD by the mighty act of His right hand that brought them out of slavery in Egypt. The mighty hand of the LORD that went through the land of Egypt and killed the firstborn child in every household, but passed over the houses of those that had the blood of the lamb on their doorposts.


The valiant hand of the LORD led them to the Red Sea and held off the pursuing Egyptian army. The valiant hand of the LORD parted the waters so that they were a wall on the right and the left as His people walked through on dry ground. The valiant hand of the LORD waved the waters back to their place and drowned the enemies of His people.


Surely they thought they would die as they heard the wailing from all of the homes where the Egyptians discovered their dead. The cries repeatedly sounded one after the other in the distant homes of the Egyptians, but did not come near into the neighbourhood of the blood marked homes of the Israelites. It slowly dawned upon them that they would not die at the hand of the LORD, but live.


Then, when they saw Pharaoh’s army pursuing them to take its vengeance, getting closer and closer at chariot speed, surely they thought they would be mercilessly slaughtered. And if that was not enough to put the fear of death in their eyes, they were funnelled to walk through a corridor between turbulent walls of water that could have come crashing down upon them at any moment. Surely they thought they would die, until they saw the far bank rising ahead. And when they had safely crossed and looked back at the thunderous crash of the returning waters, they realized that by the valiant hand of the LORD they would not die, but live to recount His valiant deeds in remembrance of their mighty deliverance.


Has death ever sated you in the face? Have you ever had that feeling that tragedy was about to befall you? Your gut gets all twisted up. It becomes hard to speak. You begin to shake and sweat. You can only focus on one thing and everything else gets all blurry. That is the way that you should feel about your sin, and maybe you have.


When you thought you could keep it secret and no one would find out, but then suddenly you realize that it is not something that will stay hidden away. Rather, you are at risk of having to face the consequences of what you have done. It is like hearing the cries of death around you, seeing the avenger closing the distance behind you, feeling like you could be swamped by waves of punishment crashing down upon you.


That is when you know you need a Saviour, that you are helpless to prevent disaster from befalling you, that without any divine intervention this means death. It will take more than a valiant knight in shining armour who saves the innocent maiden about to be ravished, for you are not innocent. It will take more than the valiant soldiers storming the beach to take back the homeland that was invaded. For it was your sin that beckoned death and hell to you.


So, when you come to the realization that there is a Saviour for you, that the right hand of the LORD does valiantly in order to save you, a sinner, then the cry for salvation bursts from your lips. You see safety on the far bank ahead. You realize that the hellish wails of grief and sorrow will come no closer because God, your God, has lifted His hand to save you.


“I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD. The LORD has disciplined me severely, but He has not given me over to death” (Psalm 118:17-18).


This is what the resurrection of our LORD means. It means that “I shall not die, but I shall live.” My sins shall not send me to death and hell, because the right hand of the LORD does valiantly. The right hand of the LORD, came down from heaven to suffer and die for my sins. The right hand of the LORD was dead and buried in the tomb for me. But by dawn on the third day, the right hand of the LORD was no longer in the tomb, and He has ascended to the right hand of God the Father Almighty to bestow His victory upon me, and undeserving sinner.


The women went early to the tomb and they had that feeling of fear and dread (Mark 16:1-8). They were overwhelmed with grief. They had not only lost a loved one. They, too, were aware of their past that had brought shame and disgrace. All of their faith in Jesus as their Saviour from those sins had drained away when they saw they nails pulled out of His dead hands and His body taken down from the cross and laid in the earth. Without the hope of salvation in the dead hands of their Lord, they went to the tomb knowing that they could not even move the stone away from the entrance.


That is what is like to face death without a Saviour. When we lay our loved ones in the grave there is nothing that we can do to have them back. We cannot dig them up. We cannot open the coffin. We cannot give them life. We cannot wipe away their sins. We cannot do it for them and no one can do it for us.


But as the women came to the tomb, they saw the stone had been moved. They saw an angel who recounted to them the valiant deeds of the right hand of the LORD. “He is risen. He is not here” (Mark 16:6). The right hand of the LORD conquered death. The right hand of the LORD defeated our enemies. The right hand of the LORD took all of our sins upon Himself and bore all of the suffering that we deserve for them. He endured the full heat of the eternal hell that faced us, and He came out living. “The right hand of the LORD does valiantly. The right hand of the LORD exalts. The right hand of the LORD does valiantly” (Psalm 118:15).


This is not merely an historical event that happened to the women in the early hours of that morning so long ago. It is not like remembering the great deeds of the hand of the LORD to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. This is what the right hand of the LORD has done for you. It is your salvation. The gates of the righteous are open for you to go through them to eternal life with your Saviour. He has answered your cries for forgiveness and He has valiantly saved you. He has become your salvation.


Through His rejection, suffering, death, and resurrection, the right hand of the LORD has brought victory to you. He has snatched you from the jaws of the monsters of your destruction. This is the day that it happened for all. This is the day that it is happening for you, right now, right here as we recount the deeds of the LORD and you look to Him as the One who has acted valiantly to save you from sin, death, and hell.


This is why Easter is such a time of rejoicing for us. This is why this day is special and rightly observed and commemorated with as much splendour and majesty as we can give to it. This is why we sing and listen and feast together. This is why this day becomes a weekly celebration for us the whole year through. This is the day that Jesus rose from the dead, not just conquering death itself, but He rose after suffering the full punishment for the sins of the world.


He is not just a valiant hero. He is your valiant hero whose act of valour has freed you from guilt, shame, death, and hell. He is your Saviour, for you to thank and praise in Word and deed every day of your life.


What will that look like for you? There is a personal remembrance of what valiant things the right hand of the LORD has done for you: how He has saved you in times of your trouble and fear, how He came to your rescue when you were surrounded by your enemies, and how He forgave your sins when they were about to bring destruction upon you.


As you remember you confess that the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases. It endures forever. It endured for you throughout long days of suffering. It endured for you as your stamina seeped away. It endured for you when you had no endurance left. And so you can say to yourself, to your household, to anyone who will listen, to anyone who needs to hear: that the steadfast love of the LORD endures forever, even when we can endure no longer.


There is also a corporate remembrance as the body of Christ that comes together especially on the first day of the week when the Lord’s tomb was found empty. Together we marvel at the valiant acts of the LORD, done by His right hand. Together we pray for Him to save us and prosper us. Together we bless Him as He comes to us in the name of the LORD saying, “Peace be with you.” Together we bring to the altar our sacrifice of thanksgiving as we receive His sacrifice for our sins. And we want the whole world to hear us sing together:


“Oh give thanks to the LORD for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 1118:29).



The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

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