The Grave is Still Empty!

“Jesus’ Gospel isn’t about getting into heaven when you die;
it’s about how to get into heaven before you die.”

Dallas Willard
While Easter, or Resurrection, Sunday is distinguished as one of our largest gatherings of the year, this past Sunday was particularly unique.  We hosted one of our biggest crowds ever – 1,048 in attendance across two services – which was overwhelmingly beautiful to behold!  However, this is not what made this particular Resurrection Sunday unique.  It was that the Gospel and the Resurrection was seen, felt, experienced and heard at almost every turn.  As one of my friends shared later that day, “If someone didn’t hear, see or feel the Gospel this morning, it wasn’t because it wasn’t there.”  I have to agree.

In addition to celebrating 5 more baptisms, over 100 of our covenant members and regular attenders joined the effort to extend the warmth, belonging and hospitality of the Gospel that is to define the community of Christ.  In some cases, they gave up their seats to accommodate others.  The morning finished with a symbolic proclamation to ourselves and to the world around us – that death has given way to life through the Cross of Christ.  We are a people who have died with Christ by willingly laying down our lives in surrender to Him, and by His Resurrection power, have been raised (not of ourselves, but of Christ) to new, true life in Him; life that begins here and now.

One of the main points of emphasis in the sermon last week as this:

Empty Tombs are the best evidence of Resurrection. 

Just as it was our goal last Sunday for people to see, feel and experience the power of the Resurrection through a people whose lives have now been defined by the resurrection – Resurrection Sunday is a reminder to us all that the resurrection is not something to be celebrated One Sunday a year, but something that is meant to be lived every day of the year by those who have placed their faith and hope in Jesus!

Borrowing from the words of one of the songs our worship team performed last Sunday:

“If you left the grave behind you, so will I.”

May we continue to leave the tombs behind us, to leave the graves empty, and walk in the power of the Resurrection today…and every day.  And may we continue in our efforts to demonstrate the Resurrected Life through the warmth and inclusiveness of Gospel Hospitality every time we’re together.

“But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
Romans 8:10-11

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