03-20-16 The Last Words of Christ (Part 3)

Man, a bunch of our FCCers are going through the wringer right now, with emotional and physical needs!  I’ve got a nasty cold, and I still feel decidedly fortunate compared to so many others in our church family right now.  There are too many specific needs to try to go into here and now, but if you could be lifting up Gary, Harry and Janet, Sara, Nikki, Michael and Kim, Ken and Peggy, Amy, and anyone else whom the Lord lays on your heart, I know that they’d really appreciate your prayers.

I was a little out of it on Sunday, but it seemed like a really nice day overall to me.  Linda shared about Covenant World Relief, and we continued encouraging people to make use of the special envelopes to give to that very worthy ministry that touches so many lives and communities worldwide. 

We also encouraged people to be making the most of “Holy Week” this week -- not only by joining us for prayer on Wednesday evening, or our Good Friday service on Friday evening, or our Resurrection Sunday service this coming weekend (complete with our annual Easter Breakfast in lieu of our Sunday School hour -- please even come join us a little early to help us set things up, if you can), but also by making the most of every opportunity that the Lord gives you this week to share with the people around you why it is that you’re looking forward to Sunday.

The clerk at Wal-Mart knows that you’re buying Easter candy -- but does she know that you’re celebrating more than a bunny?  That guy that you bought the ham from has probably figured out that you’re having a family meal on Sunday -- but does he know that Easter is more than just a fun, family holiday?  Everyone around you knows that Easter is on the calendar as a holiday for this weekend -- but has anyone ever really explained to them why it’s such an important holy day?  Don’t let this Easter slide by without actively being Christ’s ambassador this week...

We talked a little bit about that in our sermon this week, finishing up our look at “The Last Words of Jesus” on the cross.  There were a lot of people who were morally responsible for their actions on that first Good Friday -- the Jewish leaders for demanding that the Romans crucify Jesus, the Romans for actually doing it, the thief who mocked Jesus on the cross, etc.  But the person who ultimately made the decision for Jesus to die that day was... Jesus.  He expressed in prayer that He didn’t want to die, but that He was willing to.  He told His disciples that He -- and only He -- had the authority to lay down His life and take it up again (a sentiment that He repeated when He spoke with Roman governor Pontius Pilate).  And when He died, He didn’t die from asphyxiation or exhaustion -- He died when He chose to commit His Spirit to God.

Who had the authority in all of that?  Jesus Christ did. 

So why did He do it?  To save you and me. 

And why have we been saved?  To have eternal life, to serve the Living God, and to act as His ambassadors to a lost world.

So how do you want to live those purposes out this Easter season?