Resurrection Sunday is such a pivotal day in our Christian calendar. It has been throughout the many generations of God’s Church. It will continue to be. Yet like any annual event, our hearts can easily slip into a superficial state of pseudo-celebration. If we are not careful, our proclamation that “He is risen indeed” can easily slip into a low hum instead of a joyous shout.
Think about the difference between how you celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day this past week vs. how you celebrated Christmas morning. This is a “holy day” of incredible significance, and yet it is easy to overlook.
That being said, every local church has the opportunity every year to be intentional with this sacred celebration. Jesus rose from the dead. He rose from death! Did you catch that? Someone actually died, in every sense of the word, and then came back to life—and that after three days! That is a marvelous thing to consider. Why wouldn’t we shout that from the rooftops? Why shouldn’t we celebrate with a “Christmas morning” kind of joy? No, this holy week we are about to enter is no humdrum of routine. It is a precious and sacred season of celebration. It’s not that it needs to be rescued but that we need to rescue our awareness in the midst of it.
To that end, all of our resources as a church family are being targeted. I hope you are able to take advantage of these opportunities to remember, reflect, and celebrate together.
I want to be sure you are aware of the corporate gatherings being planned for next week. First up is the Covenant Thursday service (March 29, 6:00 pm). Our objective in that time will be to remember Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples through hymns, prayers, and the Lord’s Table.
The following evening will be the Good Friday service (March 30, 6:00 pm). We will sing, read Scripture, and reflect on the crucifixion of Christ.
This will lead into Resurrection Sunday (April 1, 10:30 am). I look forward to this time every year. It is amazing to worship again—as we do every Sunday—our powerful God who conquered death with a single blow. (Also note that there will be no Connection Hour classes on Resurrection Sunday—only the corporate worship gathering.)
Our time in God’s Word these next two Sundays will focus on the atonement in Romans. Full disclosure: the book of Romans is my favorite book in the whole canon. It has influenced me in pivotal ways and continues to do so. The atonement of Jesus, his death as payment for our sins, floods this essential book. The benefits that come through Jesus and his gospel are front and center.
This Sunday, we will focus on Romans 5:12-21. In this passage, Paul explains the reign of sin and death. This reign is powerful and has existed since the beginning, and those in its grasp are imprisoned with no ability to escape. But enter Jesus, who ushered in the reign of grace—and with it, the gift of a right relationship with God.
On Resurrection Sunday, we will focus on Romans 6:1-11. With the reign of grace came new life. In Jesus’ resurrection life, we experience new life as well because we are united to him. Yes, we were at one time imprisoned under the reign of sin and death. But now, by faith, we have been liberated to new life in him. On Resurrection Sunday, we not only celebrate Jesus’ great victory over death, we also celebrate that he has shared that victory with us. Christ’s joy is our joy because his life is our life.
Join us next week as we anchor our hearts in this great celebration!