Tag

Easter

Finding the AMAZING in the GOOD

By | Ministry

What are we to make of Good Friday? Why is it called “good“? And why are we to celebrate a death? These are some of the questions we need to ask ourselves as we approach this day. Heritage is committed to remembering the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and the tremendous price He paid, once for all, for our sins. On Friday night, March the 25th, Heritage will be having a Good Friday Service. We would love for you to join us in remembering the Body and the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The Service will last approximately one hour starting at 7pm.

Pastor C.H. Spurgeon from his sermon, “Sad Fasts Changed to Glad Feasts,” on the significance of celebrating Good Friday.

The Lord of life and glory was nailed to the accursed tree. He died by the act of guilty men. We, by our sins, crucified the Son of God.

We might have expected that, in remembrance of his death, we should have been called to a long, sad, rigorous fast. Do not many men think so even today? See how they observe Good Friday, a sad, sad day to many; yet our Lord has never enjoined our keeping such a day, or bidden us to look back upon his death under such a melancholy aspect.

Instead of that, having passed out from under the old covenant into the new, and resting in our risen Lord, who once was slain, we commemorate his death by a festival most joyous. It came over the Passover, which was a feast of the Jews; but unlike that feast, which was kept by unleavened bread, this feast is brimful of joy and gladness. It is composed of bread and of wine, without a trace of bitter herbs, or anything that suggests sorrow and grief. …

The memorial of Christ’s death is a festival, not a funeral; and we are to come to the table with gladsome hearts and go away from it with praises, for “after supper they sang a hymn” [Matt 26:30, Mark 14:26].

Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.  (Luke 23:46)

Pastor James Montgomery Boice pointed out in  Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter, (pp. 99-100):

From very early in the history of the church, preachers have noted that Jesus’ last words show that he was in total control of the situation, as he had been in every moment of his life.  For these are not the words of an exhausted man, as if Jesus merely died from dehydration, loss of blood, shock, extreme fatigue, or suffocation.  Not at all.  They record a deliberate act of dismissing his spirit…

This shows what Jesus was doing on the cross, particularly in these last moments.   He was reflecting on Scripture… Four of the seven last words were from the Old Testament.  Only Jesus’ direct addresses to God on behalf of the soldiers, to the dying thief, and to his mother and the beloved disciple were not.  This means that Jesus was filling his mind and strengthening his spirit not by trying to keep a stiff upper lip or look for a silver lining, as we might say, but by an act of deliberately remembering and consciously clinging to the great prophecies and promises of God.  If Jesus did that, don’t you think you should do it too?  And not only when you come to die.

You need to fill your head with Scripture and think of your life in terms of the promises of Scripture now.  If you do not do it now, how will you ever find strength to do it when you come to die?  You must live by Scripture, committing your spirit into the hands of God day by day if you are to yield your spirit into God’s loving hands trustingly at the last.

Broken for the broken

By | Ministries

Why does God have to punish sin? Because he’s so good. Why does God want to forgive sin? Because he’s so good.” Tim Keller

On friday night, Jewish people around the world started celebrating the Passover. On the same evening Christians remember Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Scripture is clear that God carefully planned the timing of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The high priest’s practice of killing the Passover Lamb had been in force for hundreds, perhaps a thousand years. On Friday of the year Jesus died, the Jews celebrated Passover and killed a lamb for the temple sacrifice. Jesus, the Lamb of God, died at that same time in order to take our sins upon Himself.

This Friday,  Heritage will  celebrate the Lord’s Supper as a Church Body, remembering that it was instituted at the last meal our Savior enjoyed before His death (Matt. 26:26–29). This sacrament is central to the life and worship of Christ’s church, but, it didn’t start in the upper room and it doesn’t end with us leaving with a hymn. To understand the significance we remember what came before.. Just as our view of baptism is informed by its link to circumcision (Col. 2:8–15), so too does the link between Passover and the Lord’s Supper, which was instituted at Passover, help explain the purpose of eating the bread and drinking the wine.

At the original Passover, the Lord said the firstborn of every house would die unless the doorframe of that house was covered with the blood of a perfect lamb. That night, the Lord “passed over” the homes with blood on the door frames. God would tell the people to remember Passover for generations to come. And years later Jesus ate remembered the Passover with His disciples. He even said that He eagerly desired to eat this Passover with them before He suffered (Luke 22:7-16). Jesus was crucified as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The Lord’s Supper is a remembrance of His sacrifice as the perfect PAssover lamb and the fulfillment of the new covenant between God and man.

Ligonier Ministries explained it this way:

“Passover was established when God rescued His people Israel from Egyptian slavery. After nine plagues did not move the pharaoh to let the Israelites go (Ex. 7:14–10:29), God sent one final plague that provoked the king of Egypt to relent temporarily and free the Israelites. This plague, the death of all of Egypt’s firstborn sons (Ex. 11:1–10), gave only a short window in which to escape; thus, the meal preceding it had to be something that could be eaten in haste. Unleavened bread was essential to the Passover as the people had no time to wait for the dough to rise if they were to get away (Deut. 16:3).

The blood of the Passover lamb was also a part of the feast. Though the people did not consume the blood, they did spread it on their door posts so that the angel of death would “pass over” their households (Ex. 12:7–13). In so doing the Israelites marked themselves off as God’s people, saved from His wrath.”

Though God elected to save the Israelites, their sin did not make them any less worthy of death than the Egyptians. But the Lord provided a way for them to escape His wrath in those days. Ultimately, this looked forward to the time when the Lord would eternally save His people from judgment. We are saved from God’s wrath by God Himself. Let us never forget the righteous character of our Creator, who, despite our sin, mercifully chooses to redeem His people.

 

Come and Celebrate the Resurrection!

By | Announcements, Ministries, Ministry

Someone has said that Christmas is essential, for it is the beginning. But without Easter, Christmas would be worthless, forgotten not long after it had begun. Easter truly is the apex of the Christian faith. It is the day in which we celebrate the wonder of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ who gave us new life. Instead of viewing Easter as another holiday, those of us who believe should return it to being a holyday. 

This coming Friday night at 7-8pm our church family will gather to remember the sober side of Easter. We will commemorate the passion of Christ as He went to Golgotha and there became the substitute for sinners, bearing the wrath of God as the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. The service will be a rich tapestry of music, preaching and observing the Lord’s Supper together. Childcare is provided for children through the age of four, and we encourage families to come and remember this time together.

On Sunday Morning at 9:00am we will enjoy a wonderful time of fellowship together with a pancake breakfast in the West Wing of our facilities. After a time of prayer we will transition to our Worship Celebration at 10:30am where we will sing the songs of resurrection and hear God’s Word proclaimed that Jesus is alive. What a great time this would be for you to invite that neighbor or friend to join you for fellowship and worship! People are often eager to attend a worship service on Easter, and your invitation could be their opportunity to come and hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

At Easter we celebrate a great victory! We rejoice over the unspeakable deliverance that is ours through simple faith in Jesus Christ, who conquered sin and the grave and who has set us free. This victory deserves a wonderful and jubilant celebration, and we hope that you will be present this coming Easter Sunday to celebrate with us!

Act Your Age Not Your IQ

By | Ministry

Well, some things are easier than others, am I right?
Confession #1: This  IS said to me far more than I would prefer. Maybe this haymaker has been leveled at you as well. Every single week, often more than once a week, a certain person tells me “You are ridiculous.” I’m not sure I really know what to do with that type of edification.
Confession #2:Plenty of people, are acting their IQ. This should not catch us off-guard as it does. But it does…

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Confession #3: Acting one’s age is no plan for success, let alone christlikeness. It’s one thing to be childish, and one more thing to be acting “oldish
Confession #4: I’ve been wondering some things… I’m telling you, some things have been rattling around in my head. Maybe we need to act a little less like our age(s) in our approach to this Easter.
Confession #5: Easter is about more than dressing up, getting your family to come to church, the lunch after, candy, eggs, or whatnot… I love how Leslie Newbigin put it:

”_They resurrection is not the reversal of a defeat but the proclamation of a victory. The King reigns from the tree_.”

If we fail to get to the celebration, we have failed to get to the Gospel.

A Far Side Easter - Gary Larson

A Far Side Easter – Gary Larson

So let us worship with less pretense, less performance, and less polish. Let’s be a people who are looking to the cross with overwhelming joy, and gratefulness, awe, wonder, praise, and hope. And let us leave the Pez or the pageantry to someone else. Confession #6: I am leading a subversive movement to not act your age or your IQ, but rather act like someone who was purchased at a great price and raised from the dead!!!

I can see it now, in the Children’s Ministry on Easter Sunday

The children opened the plastic eggs and they were all empty! “See, kids, because the tomb was empty”. They all wept with understanding.” @ChetChurchpain