Easter is the most profound event in human history. It’s the event that changed the entire world. It was the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Often times, we become so familiar with the story of Easter that we forget how profound it really is. Let’s take some time and to remind ourselves of the significance of Easter.
Alright everybody, welcome to Valley Creek Church. I am so glad that you are here with us. Here’s what we’re going to do today. We’re going to welcome all of our campuses and we’re going to celebrate each one. So, come on, let’s give it up for our Denton Campus, wherever you are. Come on, let’s give it up for our Lewisville Campus, come on, let’s celebrate Lewisville. All right, come on, let’s give it up for Flower Mound, wherever you’re at, come on, come on. Come on, do more. Let’s give it up for The Venue, wherever you are, celebrate The Venue, and one more for our extension sites, and everybody who’s watching online, wherever you are in the world, come on. We are so glad that you are here with us at whatever campus that you are at, and we love what God is doing in each and every one of our campuses. We love being one church that meets at multiple campuses, that carries the hope of Jesus to thousands of locations. And we really believe we are better together.
That together, we can do things that none of us can do on our own. And so, it’s so good to be one church that meets all in different places, bringing the hope of Jesus to this world. Because we are a movement of hope, that’s our vision, that’s our heart. To take the hope of Jesus so that ever person that lives in our region or within our vicinity has repeated opportunities to see and experience that hope of Jesus for their lives. And so, sometimes, it’s just fun to celebrate each other and remind ourselves of what we’re doing. That right now, at all those different cities and places, the people of God called Valley Creek Church family are meeting together, lifting up the name of Jesus, finding and refreshing hope in our own lives, and helping people who don’t yet know God, have an experience and an encounter that forever changes their lives.
I am excited about what God is doing in this place, and who we are, and the privilege and the opportunity that God has entrusted to us as the Valley Creek people. And so, here we are, we are one week away from Easter. Can you believe that it’s already Easter? Like, man this year is flying by. It’s next week, it’s the biggest event that we have as a church all year long. It’s our biggest service. We usually more than double on Easter weekend. The amount of people that come, and Easter is a really big deal because it is the most profound event in all of human history. The reason Easter is a really big deal is because it’s the event that changed the entire world. It was the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and it changed everything. The problem for us is oftentimes, we become so familiar with the Easter story that we forget how profound it really is. See, familiarity causes you to forget.
The more familiar you are with something, the more you forget how significant it is. Like when you become super familiar with your friends, you forget what a gift they really are in your life from God. When you become really familiar with the gifts and the blessings that God has poured out in your life, you forget how good God has been to you. And when you become really familiar with the Easter story, and maybe this year will be your 15th , your 30th, your 50th, your 80th time of going through an Easter, we forget how big of a deal it really is. And so all I want to do today is kind of prepare our hearts for this week. I want to walk you through just a couple thoughts to help you remember so you don’t forget, so we get rid of that familiarity, and be reminded by how significant that Easter reality is in our lives and in the world around us so we can be prepared. And then we’re going to do something kind of special together at the end of the service. Are you cool with that?
Okay. So, three things I want you to remember, or so, that you don’t forget. The first one is this, for this Easter, don’t forget Jesus came for you. You see, one of the biggest problems, I think sometimes, if you’ve been in church for a period of time is we make Easter about everybody else. Everybody else needs Jesus, and so we got to create a lot of services and do a lot of invites, and get a lot of people here and while that’s all true, do not forget that Jesus came for you. Even if you were the only person in this earth, Jesus would have still come for that Easter. He would have still died, been buried, and rose again from the grave for you. See, I love what the Apostle Paul says — I love what the Apostle Paul says, he says, “This is a trustworthy saying, and every one of you should accept it: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ – and I am the worst of all of them but God had mercy on me.” Here’s what the Apostle Paul was saying, he’s saying, “This is a trustworthy saying and it should be true of your life too.” He’s saying, “I never want to forget that Jesus came to save me.”
That I was the least deserving, least expecting person. This is Paul, the guy who writes most of the New Testament, who moves in signs and wonders, who lives the resurrection life and yet, he’s saying, “I have never forgotten who I used to be.” Yeah, I’m not a sinner anymore, I’m now a beloved son in Christ Jesus, but I never want to forget what my life was like without him because he came for me. He came for you. You are the least deserving, least expecting person of the grace of Jesus, and yet you are the one that he came to bring it to. This is what I love about what Peter says — Peter says this, “Jesus personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. Once you were like sheep who wandered away, but now you have turned to your shepherd, the guardian of your souls.” In other words, Jesus came to bring you home. So don’t forget. I mean, I love in Luke chapter 15, Jesus tells us three stories of three lost things, and he tells them real quick. All right, back to back. And he tells us first about a shepherd who has 100 sheep. And he says, one of those sheep wanders off, and that shepherd left the 99 and searched everywhere until he found that one sheep and brought it back home.
And then he says, there was a woman who had 10 silver coins, and she loses one of the silver coins, and so, she lights a lamp and she searches everywhere in her house until she finds that coin. And when she finds it, she celebrates and rejoices. And then he tells a story about a father who lost two sons, a rebellious son and a religious son. And the father went out to go get his rebellious son and his religious son, to bring them back home, so they could one again be a part of his family. And when Jesus tells us those three stories, what’s fascinating is the first one is about a shepherd, representing Jesus. The second one is about a lamp or the light, the Holy Spirit, the fire of God. And the third one is about a father, God the Father, which means, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. What Jesus is telling us is that all of God came for all of you.
That he — he didn’t leave you as a leftover, he didn’t put you at the bottom of the list. Your name was at the top of his list and he didn’t send some one winged angel, he brought all of God for all of you. So don’t forget this Easter that Jesus came for you. Like, so don’t forget this next verse. “Don’t forget that he has rescued you from the dominion of darkness and brought you into the kingdom of the son he loves.” Don’t forget the next verse. “Don’t forget that it is by grace you have been saved through faith. This is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Don’t forget, you’ve been saved by grace through faith, that it was not what you did, it’s what Jesus has done. And then, do not forget, that if you’re in Christ, you are a new creation, the old is gone and the new has come. Do not forget that Jesus came for you.
I’ve been thinking about this all week. I’ve been thinking about this all week. Last week, we finished up our series on blind spots and we talked about a lot of the brokenness that we all have in our own lives. How we’re often super unaware of it, that it knocks the people down that we love, and oftentimes we’re so prideful that we’re not even aware of it. I’ve been thinking about that in my own life, and I’ve been thinking how grateful I am for the grace of God for me. Like I spent my life trying to tell everybody else about the grace of God for them, but the truth is that the grace of God is for me. It’s for my sin, and my shame, and my guilt, and my brokenness, and my pain, and the places where I’ve wandered in life, Jesus came to restore my identity, to reconcile my relationship with him, and redeem my purpose.
And he did the same thing for you. So, have you forgot? When was the last time you actually acknowledged and thanked God for salvation? You’re like I got saved when I was 12, that’s awesome. When was the last time you reminded yourself of how profound that really was? That you were dead, you’re now alive. That you were lost but you’re now found. That you are wandering out there in death, in brokenness, in despair, and he brought you home, so you could be free. Don’t forget that Jesus came for you. And you want to know how you know if you forgotten, you want to know if it’s become too familiar for you? Look at what he tells us in Peter, “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” Pause.
We would all agree that sounds like a really good life, doesn’t it? That if you’re growing in faith, in goodness, in knowledge, in self-control, in perseverance, in godliness, in kindness and love, man you got — you got something cooking, like your life is going in a good direction. Your relationships are healthy, you got peace, you are flourishing in life, “But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.” In other words, what Peter — Peter is telling us is, “Hey, if you’re not growing in these things, you forgot what Jesus did for you.” He’s saying, “The way that you know that you’re living in the light of the resurrection today is that in your life things like faith, and goodness, and self-control, and perseverance, and kindness, that they’re beginning to grow. So the question is, are those things growing in your life? Because if they’re not, he’s not mad, he’s trying to bring your attention back to say, “Don’t forget that I didn’t just come for them, I came for you.” This is why John 10:10, Jesus says, “I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect life in its fullness until you overflow.” Let’s not forget this Easter that Jesus came for you. Okay. Are you with me on that first one? Okay, because I could keep going if you want me to, but don’t forget that He came for you. Second thing is this, “Don’t forget to invite them.” This Easter, don’t forget that it is about you, Jesus came for you, but it’s also about them, and we need to invite them to come and experience what Jesus did. Remember, our vision is to be a movement of hope for the city and beyond.
To be a movement of hope means we literally actually have to move. We can’t just sit hope for the city and beyond. We have to move hope for the city and beyond and be hope carriers. And there’s something about Easter. I read this week that people are four times more likely to accept an invitation around Easter than they are at any other time in the year which means God is supernaturally preparing their hearts. Why? Because Easter was the greatest moment in all of human history, so it’s supernaturally wired in our soul to desire the resurrection. So people are open to it and god’s drawing them and you’re called to it. Like Matthew 28 says, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.” We’ve been commissioned by God to go out and get people and bring them into the presence of Jesus. Or how about Acts 1:8? It says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” When you believe in Jesus, he fills you with the Holy Spirit. “And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth.”
In other words, the city and beyond. So here’s what he says. You are supernaturally empowered to be a witness of the story of Jesus. So witness. And you say like, “That means I got to go like do bible verses to people?” No. Listen. You are not the judge. You are not the prosecutor. You are not the jury. Please do not be the executioner. Just be a witness. And what does that mean? It means to just tell people about what Jesus has done for you. Don’t go tell them what they should do and how bad they are and how much they need all this stuff. That’s the judge or the executioner. Let’s just leave that be. Be a witness and say, “I don’t know all the right verses. I just know this. I was blind and now I see. I was lost and now I’m found. I was hurting and my life was falling apart and Jesus came and he saved me. And I think he wants to do the same for you.”
Just invite them. I mean, if you read the bible, you’ll find that people are constantly bringing people to Jesus. It’s amazing. All kinds of different people, they’re bringing paralytics. They’re bringing sick people, deaf people, blind people. They’re bringing people who are dying. They’re bringing dead people to Jesus, literally dead people. They’re carrying them like, “Jesus, help us.” You know, like, all kinds. So I think the people in your life would qualify to be brought to Jesus, that they’re not too far beyond what he can do. You see, I really believe that there is hope for whoever in your life. There’s hope for your mom, your sister, your husband, your kids, your teacher, the neighbor, that person you run into at the Starbucks or the grocery store. There is hope for every person in your world and in your life because of the resurrection power of Jesus. It’s our job to simply invite them.
This is why I love this next verse. It says — talking about the first thing that Andrew did when he met Jesus. The first thing Andrew — he went and go out find his brother Simon or Peter and he told him, “We have found the messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus and Jesus looked at him said, “You are Simon — Peter son of John. You will be called Cephas.” Okay. I love this. Andrew has an encounter with Jesus and the first thing he does is he goes and gets his brother and says, “Bro, we found him. You got to come meet Jesus.” And he brings him to Jesus, but here’s what I want you to see. Jesus looked at him and gave him a new name. When you bring people to Jesus, he sees them exactly as they are and he wants to give them a new identity and speak a new life over them that they might become a new creation in Christ Jesus just like he did for you. Or how about this next one, talking about the woman at the well.
After she has her encounter with Jesus, remember, we talked about this woman a few weeks ago. She’s been married five times, living with the sixth guy, loads of blind spots. She has an encounter with Jesus, changes everything. It says, “Leaving her water jar,” because she’s no longer thirsty in her soul. The woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come see a man who told me everything I ever did.” That an interesting way to pronounce Jesus, don’t you think? I’m not so sure you want me to meet that guy that’s going to tell me everything I ever did. “Could this be the Christ?” You know what she’s saying? She’s saying, “Come meet a man who knows everything about me and yet still loves me. Come meet a man who knows every one of my failures and all of my brokenness and all of my pain and still accepts me just as I am. And he doesn’t leave me there. He wants to change me.” And you can hear it almost in her question.
She’s almost like, “I can’t even believe that this is true.” But she invites them and look at what it says, “They came out of the town and made their way toward him.” When you invite people, they will come and they will start making their way towards Jesus. They might not put their faith in him in the first service that they come to, but they’re making their way because the human spirit is designed to have that kind of love in its life. Come on, man. I can tell you story after story. This is how this church grows. This is how it happens. People invite people. I heard a story. These are all stories. I’ve just heard them just the last few weeks, a story about a student that was ready to take his life. He had a plan and a date. Everything set. He knew exactly how he was going to do it and someone invited him to hub and he met Jesus and it changed everything. I can tell you a story recently about a family that lost their daughter. No family should have to lose their daughter, but they did.
They’re broken. They’re hopeless. They have no idea which is way is up and someone invites them to Valley Creek and they come and they experience the hope of Jesus. I could tell you about a businessman who has everything the world says you should have, all the stuff out here yet he has nothing in here. And someone invited him to church and he was so proud that it was hard for him to even accept that invitation, but he was so broken in here he was looking for something and then he came and found the hope of Jesus. I could tell you about a woman whose husband recently left her and the kids and she’s a new single mom trying to figure out which way is up, has no idea how she’s even going to take care of her family and somebody loved her enough to just say, “Why don’t you just come to church with me?” and she’s found Jesus and he’s become her hope, her anchor, and her rock. And she learns how to lead her kids into a new season of freedom and life in Jesus. That’s how it works. And if you’re sitting here and you’re like, so I’m just supposed to say, “Bro, you want to go Easter with me?” Well, first of all, I wouldn’t say it like that.
But second of all, here’s — I know we get like so nervous and we’re not sure how to do it. Here’s one of the super simple things you can do. Literally, just like the people in your life, just strike up a conversation. All of you have to do is say something like this, “Hey, do you believe that it’s Easter already next week. Like, what are you and your family, what are you guys doing for Easter?” Just ask that question. Most likely they’re going to say something like, “We’ve got a soccer game,” or, “We’re having dinner here,” or, “We got this.” And then you can look back and be like, “Man, we’re going to the church we go to, Valley Creek. Man, they do these great Easter service every year. It’s fresh. It’s relevant. It’s super inspiring. Man, I would love it. If you guys would want to come with us, we will love to bring– we’ll go to any of the –there’s a ton of services on different days. We’ll go to any of them. Do you want to do that and like hang out together?” You’re looking at me like I would never do that. And I would say, “Well, why not?” Because sometimes just asking people a simple question opens up the door for then you to be able to say, “Man, why don’t you just come with me?”
“Like, let’s go do this thing together.” Like, that’s the power of an invite. Have you ever not been invited to something you wanted to be invited to? It’s the most important invitation we ever extend. In fact, look at this verse in Romans. I love this. “For everyone who calls on the name of the lord will be saved.” I mean salvation is available for anyone and everyone. But how can they call on the one they have not believed in and how can they believe in the one whom they’ve not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them and how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news.” That means that anyone who puts their faith in Jesus will be saved, but how are people going to know if no one invites them to hope? And so God has sent you. Your feet are purposed and beautiful when you go out and invite people to have an encounter with the living God of the universe. Come on.
That’s what we’re talking about. So invite people this week. Invite them. Have the courage to step out of your comfort zone. Go across the room. Go across the neighborhood. Go across the hallway. Go across the office. Go across the schoolroom and just say, “Ma’am, would you come to Easter with me?” Like I love this — and that’s the whole point. It’s so easy. It’s fresh. It’s relevant, super engaging. It’s super life giving. They won’t expose you or make you feel bad. You will feel better when you leave than when you come because that’s what Jesus-focused, spirit-filled life giving is all about. Come on. But you got to have the courage to do it. Who in your life needs Jesus? You’re our outreach strategy. So what happens next week is totally dependent upon how you engage this week. You’re like, “No. It’s up to you, bro. You got the message.” I’ll make you a deal. I’ll do the preaching. You bring them here. How about that?
Okay? And here’s what I want to encourage you to do. This is the greatest technological communication device that’s ever been created. So use it this week for the kingdom of God. Send some texts. “Hey, man, thinking about you. Man, I want to just invite you to come to Eastern service with me.” Like use it. And then we got all kinds of social media resources for you in the website. Like post one. Here’s what I’ll encourage you. If you have a social media account, you should post something about inviting people to church. You’re like, “Oh.” Okay. Listen. If we want to be a movement of hope for the city and beyond, let me just tell you how this thing works. There’s somebody at the Denton campus. They listen to this message and you’re like, “All right, I’m going to by faith do it, put it out there and invite people.” All of a sudden, they’ve got a friend on Facebook who sees it and they see it. And then someone from the Louisville campus, they post something on Instagram, same thing, inviting. And the same person that somehow randomly connected with them and sees it on their Instagram. And then, this person drives by the Flower Mound campus and they see the giant banner outside and they’ve seen three of them. And then their friend from the venue campus is having lunch with them.
Sits down at lunch with them, says, “What are you doing for Easter?” And they say, “Really nothing,” and pulls out an invitation and says, “Would you like to come with me?” and the person goes, “Dude, this is a weird coincidence. I’ve seen that thing like four times in the last like three days.” Coincidence or the people of God being the people of God letting Jesus do what only Jesus can do. Come on. Are you with me on that? Listen, Romans 1:16 says this, “I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes.” If you’re ashamed to put something about Easter and Jesus on your social media account because it’s going to damage your brand, you need a new brand. Jesus is our brand. Come on. What if you didn’t get invited? What if they don’t get invited? So invite them this week. Come on. Invite at least one person. Every one of us, invite one person and watch what God will do. And the last thing is this, do not forget we’re throwing a party.
Come on. Everyone wants to be invited to a party. You say, “This is a party.” Yeah. Easter is a party. It’s a celebration service. When dead things come to life, I don’t know about you, I celebrate. I party. There’s a lot of celebration to be happening. In fact, I love what Jesus says. It says Jesus talking about the kingdom of God. He’s in a conversation. It says, Jesus followed up and he says, “Yes. There was once a man” talking about the father “who threw a great dinner party and invited many. When it was time for dinner, he sent out the servants, us, to invite the guests, them, saying ‘Come on in. The food is on the table.’” You know what the food on the table is – Jesus the bread of life. Come on. It’s time to have a party. And so we’re throwing a party. You’re like, “No. You’re throwing a party. No. You’re throwing a party.” This is a family party that’s not for us. It’s for them. We don’t forget what Jesus did for us, but Easter is a party for them.
So here’s the family rules for next week as we throw the party, three really simple things, just serve. Whether you’re on a serve team or not, just serve. Like, park outside and inside out. We tell you this every big event, park as far away from the building as you can and sit as close to the front as you can. You’re like, “But I don’t want to walk far and I don’t like the front.” I know, they don’t either. So, don’t make them park way far away and don’t let the last seats available, be in the front row. Come on. Just serve them. Hold the door open for them. Shake somebody’s hands. Somebody looks lost, walk up to them say, “Hey, can I help you with anything?” Just… just be… just like, serve people the way you actually believe Jesus served you on the cross. Come on, if we do that that changes everything. Second thing is, let’s just be kind. Like, just be kind to people. Don’t be mean next week. Hopefully you’re never mean but if you are sometimes, next week is not the week to be mean. Be kind in the parking lot. Be kind in… don’t do that, like, you’re sitting in my seat. I didn’t know we had assigned seating. Yeah, we do and yours is in the front row. Just be kind to people. Kindness leads people to repentance and then the last thing is… the last thing is this… is engage your faith. Engage your faith. Next week is not the week to cross your arms and lean back.
Next week is the week to engage your faith and lean in. What does that mean? It means, raise your voice, raise your hands, worship, Amen. Engage in the message. Engage in the whole experience, why? Because passion is the great apologetic. Passion, more than anything else proves that Jesus is alive to us. We don’t want to invite people to a miserable party. Death funeral service. Come on, we’re inviting people to a celebration of life. They’re expected from the staff. They experience it from you. That’s when it matters. And remember, behaviors reveal beliefs and people know this. so they’re looking to see how you behave to see if you actually believe it. Have you ever been to an event and everybody’s supposed to be excited but nobody’s excited?
What do you think about that product, that group or that thing? You’re like, this is a disaster. Okay. That’s the sad part that I think a lot of people have on church on Easter. They go to this church and everybody’s grumpy and, you know, whatever. Engage your faith. Come on, Jesus goes to his own hometown and he wants to do some amazing things. And it says, because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them. Except, place his hands on a few sick people and healed them and He was amazed at their unbelief. That means that Jesus walked in and out of that service wanting to do great things but because people wouldn’t engage their faith, he couldn’t do anything and he left. That is literally one of the saddest verses to me in the entire Bible.
Okay. But since we’re life giving people and we like looking at the positive side, flip it. You know what that means? If people would have engaged their faith, what could he have done? If they’re saying… if this is saying, the negative… the only things he could do was heal some sick people. What would have happened if everyone would have been like, “Jesus.” Come on, that’s us next week. We’re going to engage with faith. We’re going to lean in. We’re going to worship for other people. Because we want to do it for them. Because we want to do it for Him. Because they’re his lost kids and he moves through us to help them believe. Listen, one of my favorite stories in this whole scenario of when you talk about this kind of things is in Acts chapter 16, Paul and Silas, they’re setting people free.
They’re doing amazing things. Kingdom is coming and they arrested and beat up and persecuted for just advancing the Kingdom of God. They did nothing wrong. And so, they get thrown in jail and it says, around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns, they’re worshipping. And the other prisoners in jail were listening, not participating just listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open and all the all the chains of every prisoner fell off because two guys were willing to worship in a really difficult and trying situation. The entire prison got set free. If you will worship next week. The presence of Jesus comes. The prison doors fly open and chains get released off of the prisoners that walk into this place.
Hear me. People… people are going to come next week and they’re in all kinds of prisons. Prisons of pride, shame, guilt, brokenness, cancer, sickness, pain, despair, and when the presence of God comes the people get set free. And God comes where He’s wanted and welcomed. And He inhabits our praises and He moves through our worship. So, hear me, somebody in this place may bring in their dad who they’ve invited for 20 years. And they’re sitting in service and all their thinking is, dear Jesus, please let it be a good experience. Dear Jesus, please let him listen to you. Dear Jesus, please let people be nice to them. Dear Jesus, I hope we get a front row spot. Dear Jesus, please let the message be good. Dear Jesus, please let somebody worship and you say, well, they should worship and they should be like, “Jesus,” you know, in front of their dad. “Jesus we love you,” you know, like the whole thing. They’re so afraid and like in their head that they can’t even do it. So, you do it for them.
That’s what I’m trying to say. Like, worship next week the way that you would want someone else to worship if your lost loved came to service. Because we want the prison doors to fly open and people to be set free. And this is what we do together. This is why in John, Jesus says, when I am lifted up I will draw everyone to myself. If we will just lift up Jesus together. He’s going to draw them to him. This is a movement of hope. This is you being a hope carrier. This is us living like Jesus is alive, not buried in the grave. That’s what we’re doing together, okay? So, here’s what we’re going to do is we’re going to go ahead in all of our campuses now and we’re going to take communion together to get ready for Easter week.
So our ushers are going to get up and they’re going to start distributing the elements of communion. And as it gets to you, this for — man, this is for anyone and everyone who believes in Jesus. And if you’re here and you haven’t put your faith in Jesus yet, man, today is your day. Today is the day of salvation, the bible says. Today is the day to reach and take a hold of that truth that Jesus came for you. That He was broken and buried and raised from the grave so you could be made alive, forgiven and set free. And so as the elements get to you and you grab a little cracker and you grab a little bit of grape juice, this is just a picture of the broken body and shed blood of Jesus.
And what Jesus tells us is that we do this in remembrance of Him. In other words, what Jesus is saying is don’t forget. You say, and I until I come back again, don’t forget that I came for you. Don’t forget to invite them to the table. And don’t forget that we’re throwing a party because righteousness, peace, and joy has come. You see, every element of the death and burial and resurrection of Jesus has meaning. When they put the scarlet robe on Him, it was a picture of the deep shame and stains of our lives being placed on Jesus so we could have the robe of righteousness and be clean. When they beat Him and whipped Him and struck Him, it was a sense of a — it was a punishment for our sins and our failures and by His stripes, we were healed.
When they nailed Him to the cross, they nailed the requirements of the law to Jesus on that cross, all of the things that were required of us were now nailed to that cross so we could live in the freedom of His grace. They put a crown of thorns on His head. Thorns, representing fizzles and the thorns of the fall of man, the curse that we were under and because Jesus took the crown of thorns, we could now live under the blessing of life. He cried out, “I thirst,” and became thirsty so you could be forever satisfied. He cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” in other words, Jesus was forsaken by the Father so you will never have to be. The Father became a distant God to Jesus so He could become a loving Father to you. And then they put a hard spear into His soft heart, so your hard heart could be made soft.
And he cried out, “It is finished,” so our life could begin. And when He breathed His last and they buried Him in the tomb, you breathed in and rose to new life with Him. So don’t forget. Don’t forget this week that Jesus came for you. Whatever sin, whatever shame, whatever guilt, whatever brokenness, whatever prison, whatever baggage, it’s for you. And don’t forget that Jesus says, “Please invite them because I did it for them too.” They need the broken body and the shed blood of Jesus so they can be free. And don’t forget that this isn’t a somber, sorrowful, sad experience. This is a celebration of life. This is heaven on Earth. This is representing the Kingdom of God to the world around us and the foundation of the kingdom is joy. So we’re going to celebrate and we’re going to party because what do you think God’s going to do? What do you think God is going to say? How do you think He’s going to move? Who do you think He’s going to set free? Let’s raise our faith this week. And believe that He’s going to do something in us. And He’s going to do something in all those people we invite to come to the party. You see, on the night the Lord Jesus was betrayed after He had given thanks, he said, “remember, remember that I did this for you until I come again.”
He was broken so you could be made whole. Can you by faith let something be made whole again your life, right now? And in the same way after the supper, He took the cup. He said, “This is my blood which is going to be poured out for you.” He said, “I’m going to pour out my entire life so you can be poured into.” What is that thing that’s been holding you back? The blood of Jesus has cleansed you, healed you, and freed you. And so, in Jesus’ name, by faith, let’s remember what He did for us. Thank you, Jesus, that you came for me. Give us the courage to invite them and we may throw You a party that’s worthy of You. In Your name we pray, amen.