HE IS RISEN…
Lee Strobel in The Case for Hope, talks about how Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church and the author of The Purpose Driven Life, together with his wife, Kay, went through a devastating loss when their twenty-seven-year-old son Matthew took his own life after battling depression and mental illness for years.
About a year after this tragedy, Rick said, "I've often been asked, 'How have you made it? How have you kept going in your pain?' And I've often replied, “The answer is Easter.”
You see, the death and the burial and the resurrection of Jesus happened over three days. Friday was the day of suffering and pain and agony. Saturday was the day of doubt and confusion and misery. But Easter—that Sunday—was the day of hope and joy and victory.
And here's the fact of life: you will face these three days over and over and over in your lifetime. And when you do, you'll find yourself asking—as I did—three fundamental questions. Number one, “What do I do in my days of pain?” Two, “How do I get through my days of doubt and confusion?” Three, “How do I get to the days of joy and victory?”
The answer is Easter. The answer … is Easter.
Easter changed everything forever, and its power still works and is still available to all who tap into it through a personal relationship with Christ. That is why today is more than a religious holiday… it is a day to celebrate life, real life! It is about triumph of Life over death, it is about victory over the bondage of sin and it is about being restored to fellowship with our creator.
It is my prayer that as you join us in worshiping our risen Savior that your heart will be warmed by His presence, that your mind will be transformed by His truth and that your soul will be convicted and converted to the soul of a disciple and follower of Christ, if you are not already one.
Today is not about going through some annual religious motions… far from it. Today is a celebration of our living Savior. What makes Christianity so different from all other religions? It is that Christianity is the only faith in all of time whose founder conquered death and lives to this day. Every other religion’s founder is still in the grave. But Jesus lives and because He lives and because He rose, Paul, speaking about the resurrection said, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is your victory? O death where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives US THE VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST”. (1 Cor. 15:54-57)
If you have never trusted Christ as your personal savior, today, in this service, you can receive Him. He lives and as the scripture says… “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”. (John 1:12) And remember, God is always trying to take you someplace new. I love being your Pastor!
For God’s Glory Alone,