John 20:9 “for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.”

It has been said that Christians of today read the Bible backwards. We expect the Resurrection, we see it coming in the Bible; but those who attended the first Easter didn’t. John Chapter 20 provides a picture of the first Easter; a dark morning of tears, confusion and a little race between John and Peter. Mary Magdalene came first and saw the empty tomb. She thought the body of Jesus had been stolen. Peter actually goes into the tomb and sees the grave clothes nicely folded. However, Peter didn’t understand it was because the grave clothes – and the grave itself – were no longer needed. His disciples only knew one thing —- the body of Jesus wasn’t there.  

That Jesus would be alive again after death seemed so impossible it didn’t even cross their minds. Peter and John went away confused and distressed. Mary was so upset she remained at the grave, mourning not just Jesus’ death, but the absence of his body. Here is when everything changes; Mary looks into the tomb and sees two angels. They ask her the reason for her tears: “’They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ When she has said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there…then Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord!’” (John 20: 14, 18).

Mary didn’t rejoice at the empty tomb; it was in seeing Jesus that she celebrated. A couple things for us to consider as we get ready to begin celebrating Holy Week – starting tonight with the Passover – tomorrow Good Friday – then our 2 weekend Celebration services….(1) Jesus’s death is a sacrifice for us, (2) the empty tomb proves to us and the world that Jesus is God.  Easter culminates in us having a personal experience with Jesus; that is why Mary ran off proclaiming with joy to share the news with others.

Have you seen the Lord?
Today, how will you proclaim this good news with others?

PASSOVER MEAL                          Thursday @ 6:00 PM          Church Auditorium

GOOD FRIDAY                                Friday @ 6:00 PM                Church Auditorium

EASTER SERVICE                         Saturday @ 5:00 PM           Church Auditorium

EASTER SERVICE                         Sunday @ 10:00 AM           Church Auditorium

What an exciting time we are living in – as our church is pumped – looking forward to 3 powerful services – all remembering Jesus Christ – following Him from Him triumphantly into Jerusalem – through His several trials – then His crucifixion – concluding with the great miracle of RESURRECTION…………..Thanks to everyone who remained last Sunday to assist Shirley’s D-Group in setting up the auditorium for our Passover meal this evening….Isn’t it wonderful when people see a need and meet it – and have a desire to help instead of seeing how quick they can exit the auditorium.  May your tribe increase…………..The week is busy enough – and when you throw another meeting in – (D-Group) we might find ourselves coming and going….we had such a wonderful meeting with the men on Wednesday – great study – open reflection- tons of worship all reflecting who Jesus was – what He accomplished – and how much He loved every one of us…….Solomon brought a guest – which was beyond great………….It was wonderful to worship again with Dave and Lynn Bowman – they have been on a world cruise this year – visiting 17 countries – they will be with us 2 more weeks then will head to Alaska to spend the summer…………Jackie had her 2nd interview yesterday (Wednesday) – our prayers is that this will result in immediate employment – working with the linen department at the University………….I’d like to ask for some prayer — busy this AM – out of pocket – but must get two separate sermons by Saturday night…sure appreciate you interceding on my behalf that I can bless you with challenging information – and at the same time glorify Jesus Christ on this special weekend…..Thanks brothers/sisters

Knowing where Paul had been in his pre-Christian days – then hearing and seeing the Risen Christ – the CROSS was primary with him throughout his life.  He spoke of glorying in the CROSS – it was his motivation for living.   When we begin to understand all that Jesus did for us at Calvary, we, too, can receive fresh motivation to live for Him. For instance, we can…

Walk humbly before God. Since the power to live the Christian life is supplied by Christ, there is no room for pride. When Jesus died, our “flesh” nature was crucified with Him so that we could live in newness of life. Any success we achieve in living righteously or walking in obedience is possible only because He is working through us.

Serve the Lord faithfully. At the cross, we were placed “in Christ,” and He is in us (Gal. 2:20). We are now His body on earth, created for good works which God has prepared for us to do (Eph. 2:10). Jesus wasn’t crucified so we could sit in pews each Sunday and listen to sermons. He has specific tasks for each of us to achieve during our lifetime.

Share our faith. Knowing all that Jesus accomplished at the cross should motivate us to share the gospel with others. This world is filled with hurting people who know nothing about salvation. Since their eternal destiny is at stake, how can we keep our mouths closed?

Too often we view the cross only as a past event that secured our salvation, and we fail to see how it can motivate daily choices and activities. Stop and think what God is doing in your life because of the CROSS & let that motivate you to live 100% sold out for Jesus Christ!!!!

·      By your invitation & God’s word that says – if I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me – we will experience a church full of seekers of His grace

·      Mary Noble had a successful operation — thanks for your prayers – and we continually pray that her body will heal itself now correction is made

·      Everyone will receive the spiritual application of our services during our Holy Week

·      Those who have lost their 1st love – will find it this weekend

·      Jackie will be employed soon

·      Our youth will be strong in Christ – encouragers to those they might know who are being bullied – and an evangelist at their respective schools

·      Our D-Groups will continue to meet needs – bless members as each grow in Christ likeness

The Bible Vss  our D-Groups will study next week…..

2 Corinthians 3:17-18  For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

2 Cor 4:1-6   Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way,[a] we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.