Yes, Jesus is still alive. Although there are probably many people in the world today who wish He had died – and stayed dead. Sadly.
The apostle Paul rightly divines (1 Cor. 15) that at the core of the Gospel message is the knowledge and fact of Christ’s resurrection. If that’s a lie then the disciples preached, lived, and died in vain. In fact, the faith of every follower of Christ since would be worthless. Take away the resurrection and you have no gospel.
But the good news is this. Christ died, yes, He died as a substitute for us. He died to pay the penalty for sin, what every human being is born into this world with. That which keeps us from God. Yes, He willingly died. It wasn’t the Jews, it wasn’t the Romans who killed Jesus – He laid down His life “for the joy set before Him” (Hebrews 12) the joy of the millions who would believe and be saved because of His sacrifice. Much like a soldier going into battle for the freedom of their country and facing death, and even dying for their country – even more so was Christ going to the crucifixion knowing that this wasn’t just any battle, this was the deciding battle. And on the cross, Christ rightly said, “It is finished” – His sacrifice was complete, His sinless life culminated with sin being paid for.
It was finished for sin but the declaration still needed to be sealed with a demonstration of power, and of victory. That’s why the resurrection is so important. Because of sin, Christ died. Because He rose again – sin, and death, were defeated. Christ dragged death and sin to the grave and left them there. With His resurrection comes the hope and the assurance of our resurrection. With His life comes the certainty for LIFE in those who follow Him. Jesus rightly said, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE” and declared it that Friday to Sunday!
What’s so great about Easter? The tomb is empty.
I missed posting about two weekends ago (March 29th) but life has been really busy! Sorry folks. This past weekend I had the awesome pleasure of having my kids to myself as Ker went to Niagara Falls for a Women’s Retreat (one of those times where I wish Ker kept a blog – she has some AWESOME things to share about her experience at the retreat!). Needless to say, I had a blast with my kids this weekend. I SOOOO MUCH LIKE BEING A DAD! We had pillowfights, played a game called “Pictureka!”, played some Wii, went to McDonald’s for breakfast and did all sorts of other stuff together.
My observations/thoughts on Sunday at WPA:
- I taught the first session of “Chasing Daylight” for the “Bread and Breakfast Class” (young adults) in the morning. I absolutely love this study/book by Erwin McManus. So challenging. The first session was on “Choices”. The most spiritual act we can do every day is choose. What will YOU choose this day? WHO will you choose to serve?
- I don’t know if anyone else in the class noticed it but in the service there were all kinds of references in the praise songs, and Pastor Marshall’s message about deciding, choosing etc. After the morning lesson, those words just kind of leapt out at me! I LOVE it when the Holy Spirit orchestrates stuff – I began the first session out of sequence – choosing to bypass the introduction session to go with “choices”!! WOW!
- Once again, the praise and worship time was awesome!
- Pastor Marshall continued the series on “Worship is Essential” and taught on The Principles of Worship out of Luke 19:37-40.
- Worship is NOT exclusive BUT IS inclusive…”the whole multitude” – Satan’s lie – “God doesn’t want to hear you” BUT God DOES want your worship!!
- Worship is NOT monotonous BUT majestic – “began to rejoice and praise God”
- “Rejoice” talks about being ENGAGED!
- worship is not WEAK but is POWER! – “with a loud voice”
- our worship of God should be INTENSE!
- Marshall said he was going to “step on some toes” and asked, why is it that we won’t be late for work or appointments we have but we think it’s okay to arrive late for Sunday Services? I’d like to take that one step further. I have ushers and greeters that arrive late (later than I’ve asked them to commit to as a part of their service in that ministry)!! What makes it okay to arrive late for something you’ve committed to doing in the church and not okay to be late at work or for a doctor’s appointment? Sorry, rant over.
- I love this statement Marshall made, “There needs to be a revolution of WORSHIP in our hearts”
- Sunday night Pastor Marshall and Walt Semeniuk shared about their recent trip to Africa where they visited two of our missionaries there (in Uganda and Tanzania). I’m so glad I belong to a missions minded church and that we’re supporting such AWESOME missionaries with a vibrant heart for the call God has placed on their lives for serving the people in their part of the world and going, “for the sake of the gospel”!! If they don’t serve, who will?