Sunday, April 16, 2006

He is ALIVE!

This morning, we attended the annual Sunrise at the Shore Easter service. It is estimated that 5,000 - 8,000 people were in attendance. It is held in an ampitheatre at the beach. The theatre and extras chairs placed throughout the grounds were filled to capacity. There were people four feet deep lined up all along the upper sidewalks, as well as several hundred lined up along the pier.

The guest speakers were terrific. We enjoyed hearing from Katie Harman, Miss America of 2002. Her story of being named with her title just days after the 9/11 tragedy kept the audience riveted. She shared how she traveled an astounding 20,000 miles per month spreading words of encouragement during her reign. At a time of great national tragedy, she saw how the Lord helped her use her title to bring His tremendous message of hope to a hurting nation. What a strong woman of faith!

Next, we heard Scripture and words of steadfast faith from news anchor Bill Griffith. He shared that when confronted with life-threatening cancer, it was his faith in Jesus Christ that carried him through the storm.

Almost everyone knows who Ladainian Thomlinson is. As the San Diego Chargers running back, he is considered the most versatile and top premier running back in the NFL. He is now in his 6th season and holds numerous NFL records. He has been invited to the Pro Bowl the last two seasons.

But LT didn't talk about his accolades.


He shared how much he loves Jesus Christ and what the Lord has done in his life. He shared how his mom used to take him to church every Sunday and how this laid the foundation for him to be born again in Christ. His humble demeanor and unashamed pledge of love and faith in Jesus was truly refreshing and wonderful to hear from a star athlete.

Although he didn't say the same exact words, I was reminded of a statement that was said by the runner Eric Liddel in the 1924 Olympics (played by actor Ian Charleson in the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire), when he said, "When I run, I can feel His (God's) pleasure."

LaDainian isn't afraid to share his faith and is grateful to God for the ability that he has been given in this life. He wants to use his abilities for His (God's) glory. What an awesome thing.

Pastor Shawn Mitchell's (Pastor of New Venture Christian Fellowship and San Diego Charger's Chaplain) message was terrific, as usual. He shared the chief causes of life's lowest moments, including difficult experiences, devastating loss, destructive thoughts and destroyed dreams and how such things can rob us of hope.

He shared the gruesome details of Christ's scourging and crucifixion on the cross on our behalf to pay the penalty for our sins and be reconciled with God.

He shared why we can steadfastly believe in the truth and reality of the resurrection of Jesus from the grave; how that one incredible morning changed history forever.

One statement that tells us the extreme significance of this day over 2,000 years ago is this:

Christianity is not based on the Life, Teaching, Compassion, Ministry or the Death of Jesus, but all of these things culminating in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Occasionally, I will refer to Easter Sunday as Resurrection Sunday. Sometimes, people give me an odd look when I say it. However, the statement in italics above explains why I will use that term.

It also serves to take the focus away from all the materialistic activities associated with "Easter" and put the emphasis on the true meaning of that day. All of the things listed are very important (Life of Jesus, Teaching, etc.) but the culmination of all of these events points to the Resurrection power of Jesus Christ and his promise of our taking part in a future resurrection when we believe in Him.

Easter's power for victorious living is BECAUSE of Jesus' Resurrection from the grave...

1. God's PLAN Gives Me the Opportunity to START OVER.

"...a clean slate and a fresh start come from God by way of Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 1:30

"You must be born again." John 3:7

2. God's POWER Gives Me the Strength to KEEP GOING.

"Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the power of the Father, we can also live a new life." Romans 6:4 (NVC)

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phillippians 4:13

3. God's PROMISE Gives Me the Assurance of ETERNAL LIFE.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever would believe in Him, would not perish but have life everlasting." John 3:16

4. God's PURPOSE for Raising Christ Was to Raise My HOPES OF A BETTER LIFE - Starting Now!

"Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we've been given a brand new life and everything to live for, including a future in heaven - and the future starts now!" 1 Peter 1:3, 4

"We have been restored to friendship with God by the death of His Son. Now just think how our lives will be bettered because of His resurrected life." Romans 5:10

Visit Becoming a Christian.

Visit Michelle Malkin's Easter & Passover Messages blogpost.

1 comment:

Susan Smith said...

Well done, Christine. Happy Passover, my friend. Love from the Holy Land to the West Coast. (ss)