Sunday, April 8, 2012

C3 Church: Easter

Pastor Matt Fry, Lead Pastor at C3 Church, celebrates Easter with a message on Jesus' death and resurrection.

Opening Scripture
Early on Sunday morning,[a] as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.
Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”
The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him.10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.” 
The Report of the Guard
11 As the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and told the leading priests what had happened. 12 A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. 13 They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ 14 If the governor hears about it, we’ll stand up for you so you won’t get in trouble.” 15 So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today. 
The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted! 
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[b] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:1-20 (NLT)
What does Easter mean to you? As a kid, it was about getting up early, Easter eggs, baskets, and chocolate bunnies. It was also about getting dressed up in a suit, tie, and going to church.

What is Easter? Easter is about a man named Jesus who died and was raised from the grave. Easter is about what Jesus can do for us. It's a celebration. Every day is a celebration because Jesus is ALIVE!

The Resurrection Is All About Life

Jesus was dead. It looked like there was no hope, but then something happened...the power of God was stronger than death. Our God is a mighty and awesome God. He is the King of Kings.

Easter and the resurrection is about life, not death. Jesus came so that we can have life.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (KJV)
The Devil is a liar and thief, but Jesus wants to give you an abundant life, which can ONLY come from God.

Some people believe that God wants us to live a boring and religious life. Pastor Matt says that is not true.

Looking at paintings of Jesus, he looks robotic and boring. However, if you look at the Bible, Jesus was a radical guy. He healed people, ate with sinners, walked on water, brought people back from the dead, and made other awesome miracles happen.

Jesus came to set us free from our past.

Death Is A Reality Of Life

Death is a part of life. One out of every one person will die. (Audience laughs)
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment Hebrews 9:27 9 (NJKV)
Unless Jesus comes back first, we will all die once. Where will you go after you die?

Earlier this week, Matt received a phone call. He learned that Pastor David Foster passed away last night in his sleep. At 58 years old, he preached his normal service, went jogging, went to take a nap, and passed away.

Pastor Matt was looking forward to hanging out with David at an upcoming conference. It's sad. We miss those we lose.

There Is Life After The Grave

Just as Jesus rose from the grave, we will one day rise to have life after death. Heaven can be our home forever and ever. Life after the grave is what "resurrection" means.
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 (NIV)
Because of Adam, we will all die, but through Christ, we will have eternal life.

Adam and Eve were the most handsome and beautiful people in the world (audience laughed). They were living in paradise, but because of their sin, we all were given a death penalty.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord. Roman 6:23 (NIV)
Death = No Hope BUT The Gift = Eternal Life in Christ Jesus our Lord

In thinking about all the gifts that you have received over your lifetime, how many of those do you still have?

Real life ONLY comes through Jesus. Some of us think that we don't deserve that gift. It's true, we don't. However, through Jesus we have received that free gift.

God says, come as you are.  You don't have to fix yourself before you come to Jesus. He said that if you come to him, HE will fix you.

Does this mean that I can believe in any god and go to Heaven? No.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (NIV) 
Some may think that it's narrow minded. No, it's the truth. Pastor's prayer is that you choose life.

A missionary in Brazil came across a tribe in the jungle. People were dying in the village. Across the river was a hospital, but the tribe believed that if they crossed the river, they would die.

The missionary tried to convince the people that the water was fine, but they were not convinced. They said that the water had evil spirits.

Finally, he dove in the water and swam to the other side. When he reached the other side, he said, "See, all is well!" Finally, the tribe went one by one across the water for healing.

This story is a lot like the story of Jesus. Jesus went first into the depths of Hell and conquered the grave. Trust and follow me and I'll give you LIFE.

Do You Need A Fresh Start?

If you need hope or help. God wants you to know that he loves you. Jesus died and rose from the grave. If you would like to know Jesus as your savior then pray this prayer.
Dear God, I realize I've sinned and I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross and rising from the grave. Come in to my heart and save me. Thank you for giving me eternal and abundant life. Help me to live for you, for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.
To share your story, want more information about next steps, or just in need of prayer, please contact Pastor Matt Fry.


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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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