Overflow Church
4/21: Easter 2019
      • Download

        Secret Church

        April 26, 2019 - 5:30 PM - 5:30 PM
        The objective of Secret Church is not just to come and learn for one night but to take what we’ve learned and pass it along to others. We want to use what we’ve learned during this gathering to make disciples of Christ—both locally and globally.
      • Bible Trivia
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      • Isaiah 53HCSB

  • When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
  • My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less
  • All Glory To Christ
      • Download

        Secret Church

        April 26, 2019 - 5:30 PM - 5:30 PM
        The objective of Secret Church is not just to come and learn for one night but to take what we’ve learned and pass it along to others. We want to use what we’ve learned during this gathering to make disciples of Christ—both locally and globally.
  • Intro

    This week marks the final week of Lent. It is the height of suffering we remember our Lord going through. As you will recall and are reminded each week, a significant event that marks Lent is when our Lord and Savior, Jesus, is in the wilderness. When he is tempted by Satan, after having fasted 40 days and 40 nights. But that was not the end of his suffering, we recall that the end of his suffering was when His work was accomplished on the cross. This week is what is known as holy week. Not because this week is somehow any better than any of the other weeks of the year. It is not as though we are any closer to God. Holy week, or sometimes called Passion week, is the 6 days that lead us to the cross.
    Included within Passion Week are Palm Sunday, Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, Spy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. And it all ends on Easter Sunday. The Bible never labels these days and the events within the Gospels were not necessarily arranged chronologically. So it is important that we do not become dogmatic about these days or strict about holding on to when the events leading up to Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection occurred.
    Palm Sunday - Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem
    Holy Monday- Jesus cleanses the temple
    Holy Tuesday- Believed to be the day when Jesus faced his several challenges from the Pharisees and Sadducees on marriage in heaven, paying taxes, and the source of his authority. The day when the 8 woes were spoken against the Pharisees.
    Spy Wednesday- Thought to be the day when Judas conspired against Jesus. It would have been the day when Jesus was anointed with spikenard during his meal.
    Maundy Thursday- The day of the Last Supper. Maundy means command. What command? The command to love and serve one another. We are reminded of Jesus’ humility.
    Good Friday- Was the day when Jesus was betrayed and he was crucified on the cross. It is good because in his death, our sins are atoned for.
    Holy Saturday- Reminds us that we live in a world of darkness. A world that killed the Son of God. Only biblical event on this day is that the chief priests and pharisees visit Pilate to guard the tomb of Jesus.
    Easter Sunday- Christ is risen from the dead. His resurrection ought to be celebrated daily. Beware of letting fun and games distract us from what the day is all about.
    That is what this week is leading up to. That day, when Jesus defeats Satan and death is what Lent is pointing us towards. Redemption!

    Body

    But before we get to that, I want us to take one final lap through memory lane.
    We began in Gen 3, seeing that the world that we live in is not a perfect one. It has been corrupted in the fall and it began with a rebellion against God. And we were all rebels like Adam and Eve, and we participants even in their sin.
    We looked at Psalm 38 next to be reminded that, when we sin, the proper response is repentance. Forgiveness is offered by God to those who come to him in godly repentance. That means taking responsibility and acknowledging your sin. Not simply blaming others for your sin nature.
    We looked to Matthew 4, and looked at that first temptation. After we looked at our own sins, we looked to Christ. And we saw that in the first temptation from Satan, not the first temptation that Jesus had ever faced, that Jesus truly is the Son of God. He was not a fraud, he was the real deal. And he showed us that there is a way to defeat the tempter, a way that is right to live. It is to be in dependence on the Spirit and trust in God’s Word.
    In Exodus 14, we walked through the grumblings of God’s people at the Red Sea. And we saw how God was able and did deliver them. We are also people who are in trouble. We have the wrath of God on one side and death on the other. And no one will escape either. But those who put their trust in Him will find salvation. The people of God could not do anything and were not required to do anything. In the same way, we do not contribute anything to our salvation. We cannot even do anything to earn it. Just like the cry of Jonah, we acknowledge that Salvation is of the Lord.
    In Matthew 15, we remember that we are all worshippers. And God is not looking for vain, superficial worship. In fact, His children will bring true worship and we are able to do so because we have hearts that are renewed. We do not continue to walk in darkness, but in light, because we have hearts that are of flesh and not of stone.
    Finally, last week we read of how brokenness is not a sign of weakness but, rather, is what God desires. And so, we come humbly before our God, repenting of our sins to walk in righteousness.
    Which brings us to today’s message which continues on in our sermon series theme.
    Let’s say it together, “Lent leads us to repentance and that repentance produces in us sanctified and grateful lives”

    Scripture Reading

    Charles Spurgeon said: “Here we come to the Holy of Holies of our Lord’s life on earth. This is a mystery like that which Moses saw when the bush burned with fire, and was not consumed. No man can rightly expound such a passage as this; it is a subject for prayerful, heart-broken meditation, more than for human language.”
    Another writer said, “Surely this is a passage we must approach on our knees.”
    D.A. Carson said, “As Jesus’ death was unique, so also was his anguish; and our best response to it is hushed worship.”
    So let’s read this text, as David Platt said, “discloses the center of all history and the reality that determines every single one of our eternal destinies.”
    Matthew 26:26–29 HCSB
    26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is My body.” 27 Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 But I tell you, from this moment I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it in a new way in My Father’s kingdom with you.”
    All of Lent is pointing us to Christ, just as the Scriptures themselves are centered on Christ. In our time of self-denial and fasting and prayer, we are looking to bring down the high places in our lives through the aid of the Spirit. Because there shall be no other gods before Him. We turn from all of our idols and our sins, and we know that God is faithful, always, even when we are faithless. And that is marvelous.
    I mean how many of us, when we are wronged are looking and scheming on how we are going to get back at the other person. That is all of us. Someone cuts us off on the road, we are waiting for an opportunity to return the act. When someone is rude to us in the office, we look for ways to undercut them. When our sibling mistreats us, we hold it against them. When our significant other speaks ill towards us, we devise our perfect comebacks. How ungrateful we present ourselves to God.
    He has bought our redemption with His blood. And we are faithless. And even in our faithlessness, we read of Jesus before the day when he would drink the cup, bear the full wrath of God because of our sins, he is sitting with his disciples having his last meal. And he says, knowing completely what he is saying, “For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
    In light of our sin and rebellion against God, He still chose to die on the cross for us. This causes us to gain a better understanding of the mercy and grace that He has given to us. Completely undeserved, but freely given. We know that we will face trials in our lives. We will be tested, but we understand the grace we have received. As Paul put it...
    Romans 6:1–2 HCSB
    1 What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? 2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
    We cannot go back to the way that we were living, and we do not desire it any longer. And we need to be honest with ourselves. The sad truth is that there are many who believe that they are saved, even some who are listening to my message right now who think that they are saved, but your life speaks volumes. How can you who died to sin, still live in it?
    Paul puts it pretty strongly...
    Romans 6:6 HCSB
    6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin,
    Romans 6:11–13 HCSB
    11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. 13 And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness.
    My prayer is that you do truly examine your life, have you truly repented from your sins? Have you really placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Lent brings us back to focus. We hate our sins. And so we continue to lean on Him for strength to keep ourselves from idols. Depending on Christ, who also faced temptations just as we do, but overcame them through the power of the Spirit and the Word of God.
    As we end our journey through Lent this Holy Week, we look to the nature of our redemption in Christ. Notice how Jesus redefined the Passover meal in a radical manner as the new covenant meal. And we see that he even substitutes himself as the elements of the Passover. Christ himself is the replacement for the Passover lamb.
    The Passover was the significant event in the story of redemption for Israel. For Jesus to take the meal and say I am going to redirect your focus and attention. He was telling these Jews “I am going to redefine this whole thing that you are doing and direct it toward My work on the cross” That, of course, would have been blasphemous to them, unless of course He was truly the Savior of God’s people.
    Then there is significance to what he is saying and there are some real implications if you reject what it is that he is establishing. There are real consequences if you deny Him.
    “Take, eat, this is my body”- His body was the final sacrifice that would atone for sins. As we have seen in our study throughout Hebrews, there aren’t any longer any sacrifices that we continually offer up each year after year after year. Just as the Passover lamb signified atonement for the people’s sins every year, Christ was the lamb for sinners.
    And then he says, “Drink, this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for many for the remissions of sins”.
    And then they sing the hymn, most probably it was the last Hallal, somewhere in Psalm 116-118, which If you read this triumphant psalms you will read verses like:
    Ps 116:8: "You have delivered my soul from death ..."
    Ps 118:17: "I shall not die, but live, and recount the deeds of the Lord ..."
    Can you imagine them singing that knowing that Jesus would die very soon. Jesus singing that out as he knows he will be heading to the cross!
    And then he goes to the garden and is eventually, through a series of events, led to the cross.
    Now why is this passage so important? What is the significance of this passage? Well for one, it speaks to the condition of man. If man, and when I say man I mean humanity as a whole, if man is not bad, or totally depraved in the sight of God, then this passage is a bit unnecessary. There is really no need for Him to establish this new covenant. There is no need for all of the claims that Jesus makes. There is also no real need for him to go through the suffering on the cross IF we are not totally separate from God.
    But you see this passage, and many like it, are declaring something. And I think it needs to be our main focus. That God is Holy. And as we have been fasting in this season, do you not see His holiness as we cast out any sin or weight that so easily ensnares us and fix our eyes on Jesus. Do you not see the holiness of God?
    And if you understand the holiness of God, do you not then see the sinfulness in yourself? And that we deserve the wrath of God! But don’t we forget that too often? Or worse, we start to think that God is unjust.
    But God is not unjust, he is fair and we are the ones who have disregarded His wrath. We have pretended it is not there. We have questioned, mocked, and ultimately ignored the wrath of God to our detriment.
    Romans 3:5–6 HCSB
    5 But if our unrighteousness highlights God’s righteousness, what are we to say? I use a human argument: Is God unrighteous to inflict wrath? 6 Absolutely not! Otherwise, how will God judge the world?
    And so we are reminded of the holiness of God, our condition as man, and the justice with which God will deal with us.... for His own glory!
    We have heard the gospel presented as God’s answer to human problems—and it is that in many ways. But first and foremost, it is God’s answer to a divine problem. It is God’s vindication and declaration of His glory—God demonstrating His justice and His righteousness.
    And this is what drove Jesus to the cross. The glory of God drove Jesus to the cross. Look in John 12; John 12:27–28: “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!”
    And in remembering His holiness, you cannot but stand in complete disgust of your wretchedness. In this narrative we see that played out.
    1. Jewish Leaders: Rejecting, Arresting, Accusing, and Judging the Son of God
    They bring false witness after false witness. Hypocritical in their judgment, they say we want justice, but at the same time they cast a blind eye to it.
    Deuteronomy 19, verses 16 to 19. “If a malicious witness rises up against a man to accuse him of wrongdoing, then both of the men” – that is, the one accused and the accuser – “who have the dispute shall stand before the Lord, before the priests, and the judges who will be in office in those days.” In other words, the Lord will bring about His will through that group. “And the judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother; thus you shall purge the evil from among you,” Deuteronomy 19:16 to 19. You get rid of false witnesses if they realize that that which they seek falsely is what they’re going to get if they’re caught, because obviously the system of justice depends so much on true witnesses.
    What were they doing?
    Matthew 26:63, where the high priest is sitting in judgment upon Jesus and he says, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” And Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
    Jesus says, “You are sitting now in judgment of me, but one day you will see Me sitting in judgment of you.” This pushed the high priest over the edge: he tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What is the judgment?” And the Jewish leaders answered, “He deserves death.” Then they spit in His face and struck Him. Jewish leaders judging the very Son of God.
    2. Roman Leaders: Sentencing and Crucifying the Son of God
    Pilate tries to wash his hands of the manner, but ultimately his fear of man he sends Jesus to his death
    3. Soldiers: Stripping, Scourging, Mocking, Beating, and Spitting on the Son of God
    One writer said,
    “Crucifixion was unspeakably painful and degrading. Whether tied or nailed to the cross, the victim endured countless paroxysms [pereks- isms] as he pulled with his arms and pushed with his legs to keep his chest cavity open for breathing and then collapsed in exhaustion until the demand for oxygen demanded renewed paroxysms. The scourging, the loss of blood, the shock from the pain, all produced agony that could go on for days, ending at last by suffocation, cardiac arrest, or loss of blood. When there was reason to hasten death the execution squad would smash the victim’s legs. Death followed almost immediately, either from shock or from collapse that cut off breathing.”
    4. Crowds: Ridiculing, Reviling, and Shouting at the Son of God
    The very people who were earlier in the week praising and rejoicing over him are the same ones saying let his blood be on us and on our children.
    5. Disciples: Betraying, Denying, Disobeying, Scattering, and Deserting the Son of God
    They all desert and abandon him.
    When you think of the passion narrative, who do you identify with most? We like to think of ourselves as better. We are the good guys in the stories. Oh no, that wouldn’tve been me. Certainly not I. I would’ve been Simon of Cyrene—carrying Jesus’ cross for him. I would’ve been the thief—asking Jesus to remember him in His kingdom. Or the Roman centurion, who after Jesus died, shouted out, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” You know who I identify with? I identify most with the angry mob screaming, “Crucify Him!”
    It’s who we all identify with. Because apart from the grace of God, we’d all be standing there, and in the words of C.J. Mahaney, “We’re only flattering ourselves to think otherwise.”
    This is key—John Stott said: “Until you see the cross as that which is done by you, you will never appreciate that it is done for you.”

    Conclusion

    Christ knew this. He new of the rejection, injustice, the beating, the ridicule, and the betrayal and abandonment that he would endure. He understood that he was going to bear the complete wrath of God on our account. And yet, he establishes a covenant with His people to redeem them.
    Matthew 26:26–29 HCSB
    26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is My body.” 27 Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 But I tell you, from this moment I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it in a new way in My Father’s kingdom with you.”
    He establishes a covenant with a promise. Not only would he die for our sins, but we would be with Him in Heaven. How good is that?
    Lent yes is a time of ever increasing darkness as the light of the world is killed as we see the wickedness of man. As we examine this man of sorrows being celebrated in his entry into Jerusalem and then not even a full week later, being despised and rejected. It gives us pause. Lent is a season that really brings pause into our lives. It is a time of examining and repenting of sin.
    And by God’s grace we can reflect on His Word and on what Christ has done for us completely on the cross.
    William Henry- Hymn
    There’s salvation full and free, At the cross; Sinner, come and pardoned be, At the cross; Lo, the Savior waiting stands, See His bleeding side and hands, He will break sin’s awful bands At the cross.
    May the lamb who was slain, receive the glory, honor, and praise which is His.
    Let us pray.
  • Scripture Reading

    Psalm 57 HCSB
    For the choir director: “Do Not Destroy.” A Davidic Miktam. When he fled before Saul into the cave. 1 Be gracious to me, God, be gracious to me, for I take refuge in You. I will seek refuge in the shadow of Your wings until danger passes. 2 I call to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me. 3 He reaches down from heaven and saves me, challenging the one who tramples me. Selah God sends His faithful love and truth. 4 I am surrounded by lions; I lie down with those who devour men. Their teeth are spears and arrows; their tongues are sharp swords. 5 God, be exalted above the heavens; let Your glory be over the whole earth. 6 They prepared a net for my steps; I was despondent. They dug a pit ahead of me, but they fell into it! Selah 7 My heart is confident, God, my heart is confident. I will sing; I will sing praises. 8 Wake up, my soul! Wake up, harp and lyre! I will wake up the dawn. 9 I will praise You, Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. 10 For Your faithful love is as high as the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches the clouds. 11 God, be exalted above the heavens; let Your glory be over the whole earth.

    Intro

    In this morning’s passage we read, not of a triumphant David, but one who is despondent. As someone who is with very little hope. Of someone who has low spirits. David is on the run right now and it is not because he is a criminal, it is because Saul, in his paranoia, is seeking to kill David. David has been wildly successful in battle, conquering all of the enemies of Israel for Saul and Saul fears David because he knows that God has left him and is on David. And so in his jealousy and his anger, he attempts to kill David multiple times.
    In chapter 18, the first attempt is interesting, because Saul promises Michal to be David’s wife if he will go and slay 200 Philistines and bring back proof of his accomplishment. I’ll leave out the proof, but you can read it in ch 18. He is hoping that the Philistines will rid him of his problem. But that fails because David comes back, unharmed with the bride price.

    Body

    Saul gets a bit more anxious and in chapter 19, we learn that Saul has ordered his own son and the all his servants to kill David. Jonathan intervenes on David’s behalf but then soon thereafter he hurls a javelin at David. David goes on the run and just so you get a picture of how much running David does, here is a map of David’s travels.
    It is during this time where David is on the run where we he composes this psalm. Now there were two occasions for when he could have written this psalm, the first in , while hiding in the cave of Adullam after recovering the sword of Goliath. The second in , which records the very well known incident of David cutting off a piece of Saul’s robe when he is… “relieving” himself in a cave, a cave where David just so happens to be hiding in.
    The second occasion is more likely the event which inspired David to compose this lament and praise psalm. Acutely aware of his need, David brings a suitable prayer. He calls out to God for mercy while at the same time, displaying complete confidence in trust in God.

    Body

    He read of David crying out...
    Psalm 57:7–11 HCSB
    7 My heart is confident, God, my heart is confident. I will sing; I will sing praises. 8 Wake up, my soul! Wake up, harp and lyre! I will wake up the dawn. 9 I will praise You, Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. 10 For Your faithful love is as high as the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches the clouds. 11 God, be exalted above the heavens; let Your glory be over the whole earth.
    David, in his time of despair, is shown as a righteous servant. He trusts God to deliver him form those who were seeking to kill him. It was not just Saul, they Philistines were also after David. He describes himself as “surrounded by lions” (verse 4). And if in fact David is writing this from the cave in the wilderness near Engedi, then it is odd that he is saying these things. He could have ended Saul. He could have killed Saul, he had several chances to do so, but he does not sin, he does not attempt to take matters into his own hands. No, vengeance belongs to the Lord. And God will be faithful to accomplish His promises and God had set up David to be king and David was not about to take it by force or on his timing. David is shown to be a faithful servant to God.
    But what does any of this have to do with Easter?
    Easter is so significant, it is in fact what all of the Scriptures point to. Easter is the climax of the Christian story, the assurance of eternal life with God. Yet for many of us, all the joy and celebrations come to an end on Sunday, and by the time Monday rolls around, life goes back to how we left it.
    INTRODUCTION Easter has been and always will be significant in the life of the Church, regardless of tradition or denomination. Most who grew up in the faith probably hold memories of buying a new outfit, hunting eggs and eating a home-cooked meal with families and friends. It’s always been a big deal, as it should be. Easter is the climax of the Christian story, the assurance of eternal life with God. Yet for many of us, all the joy and celebrations come to an end on Sunday, and by the time Monday rolls around, life goes back to how we left it.
    And although, we are recognizing Easter today as a day, we do not just rejoice one day out of the year. And just because we have church seasons…Easter season leading up to June 9th when the last church season of Pentecost begins…does not mean that we only recognize the resurrection of Christ for a few months. No, our lives are centered around this very real event that has implications on how we understand God, our faith, and how we live our lives. This is a significant event. An event that brings us joy and hope.
    INTRODUCTION Easter has been and always will be significant in the life of the Church, regardless of tradition or denomination. Most who grew up in the faith probably hold memories of buying a new outfit, hunting eggs and eating a home-cooked meal with families and friends. It’s always been a big deal, as it should be. Easter is the climax of the Christian story, the assurance of eternal life with God. Yet for many of us, all the joy and celebrations come to an end on Sunday, and by the time Monday rolls around, life goes back to how we left it.
    Beginning with Easter Sunday, this season lasts seven weeks. It is marked by two main events: first and foremost the resurrection of Christ and then the ascension of Christ. A season of joy and hope, it is a time to celebrate these events and their implications for the Christian life, from being dead in our sin and raised with Jesus to our future hope of resurrected bodies and a new heaven and a new earth. As we remember and rejoice in the Resurrection, our eternal hope in Jesus is made anew.
    We live in a fallen world, and Lent surely reminded us of this truth. But we are not without hope! Easter, a story of hope and victory, runs contrary to the false stories of our world that would make us believe that there is no hope, that there is nothing more than this life.
    Beginning with Easter Sunday, this season lasts seven weeks. It is marked by two main events: first and foremost the resurrection of Christ and then the ascension of Christ. A season of joy and hope, it is a time to celebrate these events and their implications for the Christian life, from being dead in our sin and raised with Jesus to our future hope of resurrected bodies and a new heaven and a new earth. As we remember and rejoice in the Resurrection, our eternal hope in Jesus is made anew.
    Easter, a story of hope and victory, runs contrary to the false stories of our world that would make us believe that there is no hope, that there is nothing more than this life. The stories of secularism and cynicism that run rampant in our culture shape us and jade us, robbing us of joy and belief in the miraculous. Easter, though, weaves back into our lives the one true story of the Bible—that Jesus was crucified, dead and buried but, on the third day, rose again. As we enter this story, remembering our future hope in Christ and our miracle-filled, supernatural faith, we are reshaped and reformed to be the hopeful, joyful, spiritual people that God has called us to be as His sons and daughters.
    The stories of secularism and cynicism that run rampant in our culture shape us and jade us, robbing us of joy and belief in the miraculous. Easter, though, weaves back into our lives the one true story of the Bible—what Paul summarizes
    1 Corinthians 15:3–4 HCSB
    3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
    1 Corinthians 15:3–7 HCSB
    3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. 6 Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. 7 Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
    1 Corinthians 15:3–9 HCSB
    3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. 6 Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. 7 Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one abnormally born, He also appeared to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
    hopeful, joyful, spiritual people that God has called us to be as His sons and daughters.
    1 Corinthians 15:3-7
    As we enter this story, remembering our future hope in Christ and our miracle-filled, supernatural faith, we are reshaped and reformed to be the hopeful, joyful, spiritual people that God has called us to be as His sons and daughters.
    at Jesus was crucified, dead and buried but, on the third day, rose again. As we enter this story, remembering our future hope in Christ and our miracle-filled, supernatural faith, we are reshaped and reformed to be the hopeful, joyful, spiritual people that God has called us to be as His sons and daughters.
    David, in his time of despair, is shown as a righteous servant. He trusts God to deliver him form those who were seeking to kill him. It was not just Saul, they Philistines were also after David. He describes himself as “surrounded by lions” (verse 4). And if in fact David is writing this from the cave in the wilderness near Engedi, then it is odd that he is saying these things. He could have ended Saul. He could have killed Saul, he had several chances to do so, but he does not sin, he does not attempt to take matters into his own hands. No, vengeance belongs to the Lord. And God will be faithful to accomplish His promises and God had set up David to be king and David was not about to take it by force or on his timing. David is shown to be a faithful servant to God.
    Easter is a moveable season, not set on a particular date but based around a system established by the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. In this system, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox, which means the date of Easter can range between March 22 and April 25, depending on the lunar cycle.
    Christians have celebrated Easter in a number of ways over the centuries, but the most notable is the Easter Vigil, a service between sundown on Saturday and Easter Sunday. Historically an event to baptize new converts, this service features a progression of light, starting with complete darkness, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the victory of light over darkness. When practiced indoors, churches will often time the service to take place as the sun rises and begins to shine through the windows of the building, or the lights will be turned completely up at the climax of the service.
    He is with hope in the midst of despair and yet what is his response? Complete trust in God. He has this advantageous opportunity to end his "vacation” in the desert but he refuses to kill Saul. And God delivers him and David responds appropriately.
    David is shown to be a faithful servant to God.
    While the Easter Vigil tends to be practiced in more traditional, liturgical churches, many other churches make music a focal point of Easter, specifically on Easter Sunday. In these settings, there will be special musical arrangements and songs focused on the resurrection of Christ. Some churches also display an empty tomb or flowering cross in the entrances of their buildings as prominent symbols.
    What does any of this have to do with Easter?
    There is a story of a man was hiking on a mountain. And as he is enjoying his trek, he loses his footing and begins to slide down the face of the mountain towards a cliff, a cliff which would be the end of him. As he is sliding he is frantically trying to slow himself down, but he knows there is nothing that he can do and so he lifts up a quick prayer to God to save him and promises that he would dedicate his life for him and give away all that he has. And miraculously, out of nowhere, his pant leg gets caught by a tree root that was sticking up out of the ground and it stops him right before he goes over the edge. The man gets up and walks away from the ledge and says, “Never mind God, I handled it.”
    David is not like that man. He did not think for even a minute that he had done something to bring himself salvation.
    Flowers and Greenery: white lilies, hydrangeas
    Verse 2-3 “I call to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me. He reaches down from heaven and saves me.” David put his trust in God. He does not develop amnesia and forget the peril that he was in. He does not reject that God was the One who brought him salvation. We can be like that at times, can we not? No, instead we read a completely different reaction from Him.
    David does not develop amnesia and forget the peril that he was in. He does not reject that God had saved him.
    Psalm 57:7–11 HCSB
    7 My heart is confident, God, my heart is confident. I will sing; I will sing praises. 8 Wake up, my soul! Wake up, harp and lyre! I will wake up the dawn. 9 I will praise You, Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. 10 For Your faithful love is as high as the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches the clouds. 11 God, be exalted above the heavens; let Your glory be over the whole earth.
    Does your praise pierce the morning? Could your worship awaken the dawn? David can’t contain the gratitude in his heart; it ripples out to awaken everything around him. He is determined not to let an opportunity for worship pass him by. He is steadfastly resolved to praise God for what He has done, despite his own sluggishness. When we are struggling to praise, we must be determined to remember.
    Remember what?
    Does your praise pierce the morning? Could your worship awaken the dawn? David can’t contain the gratitude in his heart; it ripples out to awaken everything around him. He is determined not to let an opportunity for worship pass him by. He is steadfastly resolved to praise God for what He has done, despite his own sluggishness. When we are struggling to praise, we must be determined to remember.
    does not develop amnesia and forget the peril that he was in. He does not reject that God had saved him.
    When was it that God reached down from heaven and saved us? When was it that he sent us faithful love and truth? When was it that the challenging one was trampled under foot?
    Easter brings us these answers. As I am sure you are all aware, today is Easter. It is the most significant event in the life of the Church because without the resurrection, we are as Paul describes us, pitiable fools.
    We are those who are without hope. Without the resurrection, everything that Jesus had done on earth, to include his death on the cross is meaningless. His words are just the ramblings of a man who is crazy. Someone who is a deceiver, claiming to be God and saying that he will rise again in three days would decisively conclude that he was a blasphemous, false prophet. His works would be difficult to explain, but would be reduced to simply tricks or the work of Satan.
    But what does any of this have to do with Easter?
    Easter is so significant, it is in fact what all of the Scriptures point to. Easter is the climax of the Christian story, the assurance of eternal life With God. Yet for many of us, all the joy and celebrations come to an end on Sunday, and by the time Monday rolls around, life goes back to how we left it.
    And although, we are recognizing Easter today as a day, we do not just rejoice one day out of the year. And just because we have church seasons…Easter season leading up to June 9th when the last church season of Pentecost begins…does not mean that we only recognize the resurrection of Christ for a few months. No, our lives are centered around this very real event that has implications on how we understand God, our faith, and how we live our lives. This is a significant event. An event that brings us joy and hope as we remember that God sent His son to save those who had not earned salvation.
    Romans 5:8 HCSB
    8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!
    We live in a fallen world, and Lent surely reminded us of this truth. But we are not without hope! Easter, a story of hope and victory, runs contrary to the false stories of our world that would make us believe that there is no hope, that there is nothing more than this life. That the lions that surround us and the net prepared before our feet is the end of us.
    We live in a fallen world, and Lent surely reminded us of this truth. But we are not without hope! Easter, a story of hope and victory, runs contrary to the false stories of our world that would make us believe that there is no hope, that there is nothing more than this life.
    The stories of secularism and cynicism that run rampant in our culture shape us and jade us, robbing us of joy and belief in the miraculous. Easter, though, weaves back into our lives the one true story of the Bible—what Paul summarizes in his letter to the Corinthians
    1 Corinthians 15:3–4 HCSB
    3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
    As we enter this story, remembering our future hope in Christ and our miracle-filled, supernatural faith, we are reshaped and reformed to be the hopeful, joyful, spiritual people that God has called us to be as His sons and daughters.
    In Easter, The Most High descended low. God has sent His Son from heaven to save you. In steadfast love, the immortal God took on mortality in Christ and was crucified and buried. But that’s not the end of the story. The cross does not have the final word. Because Christ humbled Himself to the point of death on the cross, God has exalted Him in the heavens (). David’s worship is passionate because his recollection of God’s mercy is fresh. On a day like this, we remember—with exploding thankfulness—that we have been rescued! The Lord is risen. Let your praise pierce the morning!

    Conclusion

    How can it be that on this day, when we, along with the whole world is reminded of the greatest news ever can we give little praise.
    1 Corinthians 15:50–58 HCSB
    50 Brothers, I tell you this: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and corruption cannot inherit incorruption. 51 Listen! I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. 53 For this corruptible must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal must be clothed with immortality. 54 When this corruptible is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: Death has been swallowed up in victory. 55 Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? 56 Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 58 Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
    1 Cor 15:
    As David trusted in the Lord to accomplish His promise to him, not taking matters into his own hands, and despite all of the danger in his life…may we also trust in the Lord and hold on to His promises. He is faithful. He is worthy of praise, not just on Easter, but all the days of our lives.
    But Easter is more than just a Sunday. While it centers around one specific event—Christ being raised from the dead—the Church has historically practiced Easter not as a day but as a season. It is a time to celebrate the glorious Resurrection and to consider the implications of that Resurrection, both for how we understand God and our faith and how we live our lives.
    Beginning with Easter Sunday, this season lasts seven weeks. It is marked by two main events: first and foremost the resurrection of Christ and then the ascension of Christ. A season of joy and hope, it is a time to celebrate these events and their implications for the Christian life, from being dead in our sin and raised with Jesus to our future hope of resurrected bodies and a new heaven and a new earth. As we remember and rejoice in the Resurrection, our eternal hope in Jesus is made anew.
    Easter, a story of hope and victory, runs contrary to the false stories of our world that would make us believe that there is no hope, that there is nothing more than this life. The stories of secularism and cynicism that run rampant in our culture shape us and jade us, robbing us of joy and belief in the miraculous. Easter, though, weaves back into our lives the one true story of the Bible—that Jesus was crucified, dead and buried but, on the third day, rose again. As we enter this story, remembering our future hope in Christ and our miracle-filled, supernatural faith, we are reshaped and reformed to be the
    hopeful, joyful, spiritual people that God has called us to be as His sons and daughters.
    HISTORY & TRADITIONS The history of Easter goes back to the very beginning of the Early Church. We see that in the book of Acts, Christians were gathering together the first day of the week, in honor of Easter Sunday (). In AD 321, after Rome became a Christian nation, Sunday was officially named the day of Christian worship. Easter was originally a part of Passover, but as the Church began putting a greater emphasis on Holy Week, early Christians started celebrating Easter as a separate, annual feast sometime in the fourth century, and it’s remained an annual celebration since that time.
    Easter is a moveable season, not set on a particular date but based around a system established by the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. In this system, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox, which means the date of Easter can range between March 22 and April 25, depending on the lunar cycle.
    Christians have celebrated Easter in a number of ways over the centuries, but the most notable is the Easter Vigil, a service between sundown on Saturday and Easter Sunday. Historically an event to baptize new converts, this service features a progression of light, starting with complete darkness, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the victory of light over darkness. When practiced indoors, churches will often time the service to take place as the sun rises and begins to shine through the windows of the building, or the lights will be turned completely up at the climax of the service.
    While the Easter Vigil tends to be practiced in more traditional, liturgical churches, many other churches make music a focal point of Easter, specifically on Easter Sunday. In these settings, there will be special musical arrangements and songs focused on the resurrection of Christ. Some churches also display an empty tomb or flowering cross in the entrances of their buildings as prominent symbols.
    Posture: celebratory, courageous, joyful, hopeful Colors: white, purple, gold Symbols: empty tomb, sunrise, lilies, flowering cross
    Flowers and Greenery: white lilies, hydrangeas
    DEVOTIONAL Does your praise pierce the morning? Could your worship awaken the dawn? David can’t contain the gratitude in his heart; it ripples out to awaken everything around him. He is determined not to let an opportunity for worship pass him by. He is steadfastly resolved to praise God for what He has done, despite his own sluggishness. When we are struggling to praise, we must be determined to remember.
    So, what did God do? Why is He worthy of praise? The Most High descended low. God has sent His Son from heaven to save you. In steadfast love, the immortal God took on mortality in Christ and was crucified and buried. But that’s not the end of the story. The cross does not have the final word. Because Christ humbled Himself to the point of death on the cross, God has exalted Him in the heavens (). David’s worship is passionate because his recollection of God’s mercy is fresh. On a day like this, we remember—with exploding thankfulness—that we have been rescued! The Lord is
    risen. He is risen indeed! Let your praise pierce the morning!
      • Psalm 57HCSB

      • Psalm 57:7–11HCSB

      • Romans 5:8HCSB

      • 1 Corinthians 15:3–4HCSB

      • 1 Corinthians 15:50–58HCSB

  • In Christ Alone

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