Resurrection Is Real!
He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed! Those are such fun beautiful words. But even when we say those words, does the truth of Easter always sink into to our minds and hearts. This Easter season, may God bend our minds a bit with the truth of Easter!
1) Jesus finished the work of healing His world on Good Friday. He rested on the Sabbath. Easter morning was the time for new life to begin!
2) The empty tomb with an angel sitting in Jesus' spot left the women dumbfounded. But Jesus had prepared them for this moment.
3) We can see and hear what Jesus has done, and yet the truth of the event doesn't sink in.
4) But when we don't go running out to Resurrection, Resurrection came to us!
5) We live in a world where a man really died and then really rose, just like He said. Resurrection happened, is happening and will happen again!
When the Son of God empowered His human body to come back to life it not only changed Him, but it changed us - for eternity! We have a living Savior. What God promises, he delivers!
Overlooked and Underappreciated
In the Passion History and Easter events, the burial of Jesus is often overlooked and underappreciated. But this event is powerful and gives us the boldness to get our hands a little dirty!
1) The God who created the earth was buried in the womb of the earth.
2) When we witness a baptism we actually step into the tomb of Jesus and are connected with the body of Christ
3) In that tomb we find the fullness of God in Christ and Christ is given to us. The dead body lying there of Jesus is a testimony of God's love
4) For Easter to mean anything, that death and burial needed to mean everything.
5) His death gives us courage to praise the God who laid down His life to give us life.
The feeling of failure can be one of the worst feelings in the world. But this weekend, we study Mark 15:33-41; when it looks like failure - it turns out that God is up to something amazingly significant with "ELOI, not Alias!"
Time to Let Go!
When we look at Jesus on the cross we see more than just a dark scene of suffering. We see God giving us every reason to "Let Go" with Him.
1) God doesn't make us do things His way. He will let us go our own way if we choose and will let us experience the consequences that come along with it.
2) The ultimate consequence of our going our own way was let go on Jesus instead of us.
3) Jesus let go of His final breath because He had exhausted the power of sin and paid the debt that we owed.
4) When Jesus let go of His life, everything that separated us from God was let go as well! He is now up close and personal with us!
5) We get to let go of doing things our own way, of thinking we know what we need and how God should work. We get to let go and let God do it His way!
The Center of Our Story
What Jesus accomplished when He was crucified on the cross is at the center of all of history!
1) Jesus took the worst this world has to offer head on.
2) We were created to be in the image of God but sin disassembled us.
3) Jesus took on Himself the undoing of humanity that sin caused.
4) Jesus' greatest act of ruling occurred on that cross.
5) By not saving Himself, He saved us!
More Than Relatable
Our God entered our story. He suffered alongside us and for us. He understands us and rescues us. He is "The People's King."
Picture A Powerful King
If you were to picture a powerful king, you likely wouldn't picture the scene in the lesson we studied this weekend. But after studying Mark 15:16-20, we may begin to see things a bit differently.
A King That Changes How You See Everything!
We all have expectations of how a king should look and what power looks like. But it's amazing how we can begin to see things differently when you "Consider Your King."
1) People expected Jesus to be a political leader who sought power like other kings. As such, when He was handed over to be crucified, they saw a failure.
2) We need to check our expectations of what our King looks like and how His power looks with Jesus Himself.
a. God can work through political nations, but Jesus refused to be a political leader.
b. Jesus did impressive miracles but in the hands of the soldiers it looked like nothing good was happening.
c. Jesus attracted crowds of thousands but then the crowd cheered for His death.
d. Jesus transforms us but His death on the cross took place because we needed Him to save us.
3) The One crowned with thorns is the King of Kings. The One who looked like a failure was winning the greatest victory. This changes how we see everything!
a. No matter what is happening in the world, the Kingdom of God is advancing.
b. No matter what is happening in our lives, God's purpose is prevailing.
c. No matter how impactful we seem to be at the time, God is working through us.
d. No matter how we're doing on the inside, Jesus came to rescue us!
How does it feel when someone accuses you of something? Pretty awful isn't it? Now consider how often we live like we're being accused. Whether it's in the ways that we suspect that people are unhappy with us or if it's simply the accusations that play in our own heads. But Jesus was also accused. When we look to His response and what He achieved we can have peace and confidence to say to our accusations, "I Rest My Case."
Love Working Through Injustice
It's tough when we're misjudged by someone. But it was through the greatest act of injustice that we get to experience real love.
1) There is a strong desire for justice in our world today because God placed a desire for justice in our hearts.
2) We'll never achieve true justice by passing a law or digging deep down inside of us because we all have a flawed standard of justice.
3) If we're going to work for true justice we all need to also admit that we stand guilty of breaking God's law and God's world.
4) God tells us over and over again that His choice was to have the innocent One, Jesus, die in our place.
5) Only God can be real justice and through His justice, we are able to experience real love.
There may be times that we talk and act like we don't know Jesus. But Jesus has always known us. We are totally known and completely loved. It's amazing how everything changes when we ask Jesus, "do You know me?"
Looks can be deceiving. Thankfully what really matters isn't how things look on the surface!
1) It's not about what or how much we give, it's about what's going on inside of us.
2) God doesn't need anything from us for Him to be God. He simply wants our hearts.
3) God simply wants us to trust Him.
4) If God is first in our lives, everything else falls into place.
5) It's refreshing to stop worrying about appearances, to know that God isn't about looks, He's about hearts.
Blessings in the Blurry
Something can be right in front of us and still we can't see it. Thankfully God can give us a new perspective!
1) People are often looking for the wrong kind of Messiah. Jesus didn't just come to make life a little better. He came to give us eternal life with Him.
2) When Jesus fulfilled a physical miracle, it showed that He was here to do a greater miracle.
3) Jesus knows that sometimes, if He were to give us full sight all at once, it would be too much for us. He knows what we need.
4) We're living in an awfully confusing time. When we find ourselves confused, it is an opportunity to trust God. Letâ€™s celebrate this opportunity!
5) When our vision is blurry, let's focus on what is clear. Jesus came to give us exactly what we need and continues to work according to His plan.
Blurred Vision Meets A God Who Sees Perfectly!
We often struggle to see what God is really up to but God always sees exactly what we need and how it needs to be done. Take a look at how God works in our lives as we ask, "What Are You Seeing?"
There is one universal topic you can discuss with just about anybody - the weather. Either it is too hot, too cold, too dry, to wet, etc. Everybody has an opinion about the weather. But the real hot topic is storms. How much rain did we get? Is it going to snow? Did you hear that thunder last night? Storms always get peoples' attention, especially the big ones. But what about spiritual storms? How many of us discuss the spiritual storms we need to weather? This week we have that discussion with our next "I Quit" lesson: Mark 4:38 “When the storm isn't really the problem!"
What does victory sound like? On Good Friday we studied Mark 15:37 & Luke 23:46 and listened to Jesus' "Victorious Voice."
Does it sound like guilt or grace? As we continue our "Sounds of the Passion" Lenten series we study Mark 14:72 and learn how the passion of Christ turns what would normally sound like guilt into sounding like grace!
We begin our 2018 Lenten worship series "Sounds of the Passion" with our Ash Wednesday message "Singing Psalms" from Mark 14:26