Events on Saturday, April 19th
Events on Sunday, April 20th
Brothers and sisters,
I pray that this month you have already begun to focus on the forthcoming celebration that both defines and distinguishes Christianity: the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christianity is centered around Jesus Christ, who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 2:2). By His death, we have perfect righteousness resulting in peace with God, but when He died, all hopes of Him being the Savior seemed to die with Him. However, His resurrection from the dead was God’s stamp of approval on His life and the promise of our new life in union with Him.
The Resurrection also distinguishes Christianity. As one reporter once wrote, “It is Christianity’s most irreducible tenet: On the third day, Jesus rose from the grave. From the very beginning Christians have proclaimed the Resurrection a validation of all that Jesus taught and all they believe him to be. It is the foundation upon which all else rests” (Jeffery Sheler, U.S. News and World Report, January 2004) Because of Christ being raised from the dead, we have God’s grace bestowed upon us. On the Cross, Christ proclaimed “tetelestai,” which means “It is finished!” These words from Christ on the Cross proclaim to all who would hear, “YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY FOR YOUR SINS! JESUS PAID IT ALL!” Christianity is not man working his way to God, but God paving the way for man. And this is a living hope! In the Resurrection, we celebrate the fact that Jesus is alive! His empty tomb declares His promises are true! No other religion of the world can make that claim, but the hope of Christianity is one that points to a Savior who is alive and well, interceding for His bride at this very moment (Romans 8:34).
Therefore, I would like to encourage you on three fronts.
- First of all, adjust your language. The world calls the season “Easter,” which is actually an Anglicized version of the name of the pagan goddess, “Eostre”. While we can celebrate with traditions that are fun, as we describe the reasons behind your celebration don’t call it “Easter.” Call it what it is: The Resurrection.
- Secondly, come and join us as we celebrate the Resurrection through a variety of activities, beginning with a Resurrection Egg Hunt at 10 AM on Saturday, April 19th, followed by our Children’s Choir drama called “The Power of the Cross” at 6:00 PM Saturday evening. Then, on Resurrection Sunday, I would like to invite you to our Community Wide Sunrise Service at Calvary Baptist Church (6:30 AM) where I will be delivering the message, followed by Sunday School (9:30) and our Worship Celebration (10:45).
- Finally, invite someone. Thom Rainer, president of Lifeway Christian Research and author of the book “The Unchurched Next Door” wrote, “”Eighty-two percent of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited.” Who should you invite? What if they came and found eternal life in Christ? Let God use you this Resurrection Sunday.
I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and know that I am praying for God to use you mightily!