Think of a time when something exciting happened for you. Who was the first person you wanted to tell? Was it so exciting that you felt almost compelled to tell everyone you met, even perfect strangers?
Jesus promised to be with us always – to the very end of time. But He ascended into Heaven. He’s no longer physically present on earth. Even though that sounds like bad news, Jesus said it’s actually really good news because He would send His Holy Spirit to comfort us, to guide us, and to gift us for the purpose of His mission. And He sent His Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This weekend we’re diving into that incredible story and what it means for our lives today.
As you look at your church, are they doing good works? Do you like being a part of a church that helps the community and provides multiple resources? Do you realize, as a follower of Jesus, that you are the church?
Peter swore he would NEVER deny knowing Jesus – even if it cost him his life. But when Jesus was arrested, Peter began to fear that he, too, would be arrested. So, he denied knowing Jesus – just as Jesus predicted he would. Jesus was crucified that day and Peter must have wondered if he’d ever have a chance to repent. But he did! After Jesus was raised from the dead, he and Peter had breakfast on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and Jesus totally forgave Peter and gave him an important role in building His church.
Think of your best friend. What makes them your best friend? For me, it is our relationship; the ability to pick up where we left off no matter how long it has been since we last saw each other. It is also because I know I can count on them. If ever I need them, they’re right there for me just as I am there for them.
Jesus came for a purpose. He was on a mission. And that mission was to rescue us from our sin. That’s what we celebrated last weekend! But He invites us to accept His forgiveness – He doesn’t force us. The good news is that taking Him up on His incredible offer is as simple as ABC.
It’s finally here! It’s finally Easter! We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate. The story of Easter is the story of God stepping down from His throne to become one of us. It’s the story of Him living the perfect, sinless life that we weren’t able to live. It’s the story of Him dying – in our place – on the cross. It’s the story of Him rising from the dead to conquer sin and death and to offer us new life. Easter is good, good news!
Easter is an amazing time to celebrate. But what is it that we are celebrating? Easter is not all about eggs and bunnies and spring. While those are pictures of what the true story represents, new life or even rebirth, they are just pictures and can distract us from the real reason we should celebrate Easter.