We preached five weeks through a series highlighting the major developments between the betrayal of Jesus and his resurrection. Here were the sermon titles:
- Easter: Arrested (March 3)
- Easter: Sentenced (March 10)
- Easter: Friday (March 17)
- Easter: Saturday (March 24)
- Easter: Sunday (March 31)
I was asked two questions about this series that are important to share:
- Someone said to me, "How are you going to preach a whole Sunday message on the the Saturday between the crucifixion and the resurrection?" I love this question because of the importance of Saturday in the story of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. There is a reason we don't call it the "crucifixion-resurrection" or the "crucio-resurrection" or some other kind of hybrid term. We don't refer to them as a single event with no distinction. The AND between "crucifixion and resurrection" is important and necessary. Without the AND, the crucifixion is a holding-of-breath, a divine "just kidding". With the AND--the Saturday--the crucifixion is undeniably final! It is a completed crucifixion, a completed sacrifice and offering (Isaiah 53:10, John 1:29), a completed atonement (Romans 5:11), a finished work (John 19:30). Without the AND, the resurrection is a resuscitation, a good recovery, a divine "paramedic rescue". But because Jesus fully died and was buried, the resurrection is a complete and definitive victory over death--it is a conquering of death itself (Romans 6:9).
- Another person asked, "Why is the cross not part of our Core Value?" The short answer is: IT IS! First, there's no resurrection without death (on the cross), and second, if the resurrection didn't occur Jesus is STILL in the post-crucifixion grave. But we don't worship a "tomb" Jesus, a Jesus that ultimately lost to the Roman empire. No! We worship a Christ that was resurrected and lives, a Christ that won (John 11:25). I believe with the Apostle Paul we can say that the resurrection gives the cross ultimate meaning (1 Cor 15:17).
That was pretty wordy, don't you think? Let's make it simple. (For all those who skip to the end of a these newsletters, this is where you want to pick up again.)
WE ARE A RESURRECTION PEOPLE because...
- …the crucifixion of Jesus defines our faith but is not the end of the story of God's redemption.
- …after the cross, death was overcome and conquered by LIFE.
- …through the resurrection, the guilt of sin and bondage of death lose their "grip" on our lives.
WE ARE A RESURRECTION PEOPLE because God's redemption and power over death and bondage must be our mission and our message on the Big Island of Hawaii.
CORE VALUE #3: WE ARE A RESURRECTION PEOPLE
Celebrating God's victory,