Friday, April 15, 2011

Prepare to Celebrate

...that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3b-4 Ever wonder what is so good about Good Friday? The reality is that for Christians, we celebrate the crucifixion as good news! Indeed it is the best news we have ever encountered. To understand this, we need to move from the historicity of Jesus' death to the theological meaning of the event. The passage above records the most succinct summary of the Gospel and provides theological insight into the meaning of the cross. Germaine to our discussion, from the passage is the word for. That word, in the orginal Greek language, can be taken two ways, "for the benefit of" or "because of." As you think about it, Jesus didn't die for the benefit of our sins. His death did not help them at all! He died because of our sins. We sinned; He died. Jesus was substituted for us on the cross and atoned for our sins through His sacrifice on the cross. We celebrate such an excruciating (derived from the word crucifixion) experience because by His wounds, we are healed! (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24) Praise be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15) Are you prepared to celebrate? For the next ten days, here's what I would ask of you:

  1. Pray daily for the next two weekends and look for divine appointments to invite people to Palm Sunday and Easter. Pray for a soul harvest and for many to receive Christ.

  2. Consider attending the Good Friday Reflective Worship Service at 7:30pm to calibrate your heart and mind for the weekend. We have put much thought into the design of this worship gathering, and I believe we will all be moved from this experience.

  3. On Good Friday, during the day, we will have our Prayer Labyrinth open and staffed in Fellowship Center 11:00am - 3:00pm, and the outdoor Sacred Spaces prayer stations ready and guides available in the Fellowship Center. The Worship Center will also be open as a place for quiet reflection and prayer.

  4. On Easter, pick your Sunday gathering. Just a reminder, we will maintain the heart language focus in each of the three Easter gatherings: 8:00am Traditions, 9:30am and 11:00am Contemporary. If time is not an issue for you, plan on coming at 8:00am.

  5. Park as far away from PCC as you can on Easter, so as to leave the best parking spots for our hundreds of guests who will be joining us that day.

  6. Plan on not just attending on Easter, but looking to serve. Be on the lookout for guests, and prepare to meet people and interact with them.

I fully expect to see God move in remarkable ways in the coming days. We need you to come with a servant's attitude and not a consumer outlook. If, with our life and words, we all endeavor to serve people to the glory of God, only He knows what we will experience together.

I love being your pastor!