"He is risen indeed!"
In his introductory welcome Pastor Brad shared what a great day this is. Death doesn't win. Then we reeled right into some rousing hymns of the faith which are especially potent on this special day.
Today we received a number of new members to our church family. Matt and Amy Danaiski, Dave and Dana Evenson, Susan Jessico, Tracey Montgomery, Kristina Carrillo & Jon Vanderscheuren, Ben & Elaine Vanderscheuren, and Jake & LeeAnn Vanderscheuren. They were called to the front to make a public confession of their faith and to be welcomed.
The trio of Chuck, Darlene and Ken sang "I'll Rise Again" by Dallas Holm while the offering was taken. After the reading of Matthew 28:1-10 Ed sang "This is the Glory." We had a time of prayer and the Darlene and Brad.sang "Love Crucified a Rose."
Brad began by reading I Corinthians 15:3-8, a letter from Paul. "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance..."
In the days that this letter was written, most people were not literate and the letter would have been ready aloud to the church there. That is why before the end of the letter he underscores that his is of first importants. This is what is essential.
They had been listening for an hour so he sets it up once more. THIS is important, of primary importance.
First, Christ died for our sins. Why did Christ have to die? We see the answer every day. The news daily reminds us how broken the world is. Sin has entered the world. And our sin separates us from god.
A lot of religions give us the hope of spanning the gap between ourselves and God through good deeds or some other "way." How much is enough though? Sin brings death... real death. Both physical death and spiritual death.
The second foundational truth: Jesus didin't just die, He rose again.
On the third day Jesus rose and visited his friends, and expanded this to more than 500 people whom He visited who saw Him.
Everyone is in one of three categories.
1. Those who say they are not sure whether the resurrection happened.
Brad's advice on this matter is to investigate further. You may wish to start with a book by Lee Strobel, an atheist whose wife became a Christian. Over a period of two years of asking questions he came to a single problem matter... How did the disciples go from being frightened men who hid when Jesus was killed to boldly sharing this story and becoming martyrs for their story. Who would do this for a lie?
2. The second category is "Those who are sure but have never acted upon it."
3. Those who believe, but feel need for God's power, the power of the resurrection.
When Jesus allowed Himself to be hung on the cross for our sins, that was not weakness. It was power.
And when He rose on the third day, there's never been this kind of power released anywhere at any time.
We closed the service with Christ Is Alive.