Based on Biblical Text Acts 10:43 (KJV)
To him [Jesus] give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
This time of year always conjures up memories of some of the wonderful times I experienced with my daughters when they were young. There would always be the Easter eve dying of eggs and filling baskets with candy. There was always good candy available at this time of year. I remember the trips to the mall to purchase beautiful little dresses and hats. When they were very young, I recall they would have to have the little anklet socks and the little shiny black shoes. They would be just gorgeous on Easter Sunday morning.
Of course Easter morning, between sunrise Service and the traditional morning service would be the time my little girls and all of the children would present their Easter Speeches. I was always so proud of all of the young people as they had memorized such lengthy pieces.
I think it is safe to say that the Easter Sunday morning activities would be included in how most of us would define the meaning of Easter. In fact, many non-believers would say that Easter is a time to celebrate the arrival of spring, to buy a new outfit, and to binge on fine chocolates. I have heard it said that Easter is a time to treat ourselves for having come through another rough winter and to celebrate the new life that the spring season symbolizes.
But for the believer, Easter represents so much more! Interestingly, many believers still fall prey to the media’s merchandising onslaught and involve themselves in the commercial aspect of the Easter celebration. However, hundreds make the correct first step by making their way to the house of worship. You can always count on the church being packed on Easter morning. The question is, “What is the reason for our celebration?”
I know that not too many people think of Easter in terms of gift giving and receiving. Usually Christmas is thought of as the holiday more about gift giving. The truth is that Christmas is about the promise of a gift, and Easter is about the time of its delivery! Easter offers us a gift.
In Acts 10, we find a few verses that summarize the gift of Easter. Peter delivers an impressive sermon. In this sermon that is more than likely his first as the bishop of the New Testament church movement, Peter focuses on the meaning of Easter. He reminds us that Easter is about the gift of forgiveness of sins.
We need forgiveness as sin separates us from God. Sin cannot stand in the presence of God. We cannot pray, meditate, or even worship the Lord as a sinner. Until Easter, the governing law maintaining the covenant God had with mankind was the Ten Commandments and all its “Thou Shalt Not’s.” The Ten Commandments were designed to be the foundation of all obligations. Specifically, they listed man’s duty to God and man’s duty to man. However, the Bible shows us where time and time again man disobeyed the Law. Man, then, could not and we, today, can not fulfill the laws of the covenant because of disobedience.
We need forgiveness because we have no power in our own strength to overcome sin. In fact, in far too many instances we appear to be comfortable in our sin. That just may be why there is so much of it.
Sin presents quite a dilemma for us as it separates us from God, who is holy and perfect. As a matter of fact, we were God’s precious creation, and we were born into this world to worship Him. But we could not because we were overpowered by our sin. God and we were like oil and water; we could not mix because sin cannot stand in the presence of God. We could never fix our broken relationship with God on our own. We needed help! We needed the help of a Savior.
We need forgiveness because man is doomed for eternal death without it. We need forgiveness because we can not save ourselves! The power of sin is too great an enemy for us to fight alone. Eternal death is nothing to play with! Mark refers to is as a fire that shall not be quenched. John calls it a “worm that never dies” and a “bottomless pit.” The apostle Paul understood the great dilemma man faced. That’s why he cried, “O wretched man that I am; who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24). And the answer that came back from Heaven was Jesus!
Thank God that His Omniscience revealed to Him at Creation that an out of the ordinary covenant would be necessary to save us. Easter is the fulfillment of that unconventional method! Jesus came to our rescue. He came to rescue us from the source, the scope and the sorrows of sin. An even greater blessing is that Jesus came to rescue us from the sentence of sin!
Jesus came to reconcile us to God. He accomplished that by taking our punishment upon Himself! Jesus took on all the torture, pain and suffering. Jesus took our place, and we are forgiven. We are saved from the hell of punishment as He took it all upon Himself so that we could stand in the presence of God and worship Him! Nobody but Jesus could do it!
Christmas is about the promise of a gift, and Easter is about the time of its delivery!
As we approach the Sabbath
Sunday, April 20, 2014, is Easter Sunday.
Join our Sunrise Service at 6:00 am, or our Traditional Easter Service at 11:00 am.
Church School begins at 9:00 am.
Scripture Lesson for this Sunday*
New Testament: Acts 10:34-43
Epistle: Colossians 3:1-11
Gospel: John 20:1-9
*Please note that there is no Old Testament Scripture. Easter represents the beginning of the New Covenant with God ushered in through the Blood of Jesus.
There is a Word from the Lord!
Sermon Text for the 6:00 am Sunrise Service: Luke 24:2-3
Sermon Title for the 6:00 am Sunrise Service: Because He Lives!
Sermon Text for the 11:00 am Service: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Sermon Title for the 11:00 am Service: Three Nails and a Cross We Made