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Easter is for Everyone!

April 11th, 2009 Posted in encouragement, holidays, Pastor's corner

Happy Easter Weekend, everyone! I trust you all had a blessed Good Friday.

I wanted to let you know that we will be having four services at Harvest Christian Fellowship on Easter Sunday. We will be up at the crack of dawn for our sunrise service at 5:45 A.M., then we will have our normal service times of 7:45 A.M., 9:45 A.M., and 11:45 A.M. Our 9:45 service will also be broadcast live on KWVE (107.9 FM) in Southern California.

I hope you can join us in person or watch online. Easter is a great time to bring out those “C.E.O.” Christians (you know, Christmas and Easter only).

I read an article that said two-thirds of Americans plan on attending church this Easter. That’s a lot of people who are basically waiting for an invitation to church from someone like you!

So take full advantage of this, and bring people to Easter services with you this year.

Some thoughts on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Easter is for everyone, but it is not about bunnies or brightly colored eggs. It is about Jesus, and it is specifically about Jesus crucified and risen again from the dead.

I don’t know how you might describe your life this Easter. Maybe you are full of faith and looking forward to joining your family and friends at church and perhaps a special meal later in the day. If everything is going well for you, then praise God for that.

For others, it might be a different story. Easter might be a reminder, like Christmas, of someone who is no longer with them. And with every year that passes, they are remembered and missed. So, for some, Easter is a bittersweet day.

Death can seem so cruel, so harsh, and so final. And that is exactly how the disciples felt when they saw the beaten, bloodied body of their Lord hanging on a Roman cross. Then, in addition to the crucifixion, a Roman soldier took his spear, thrust it into Jesus’ side, and out of it came blood and water.

A hard day for the disciples

There was no question about it. Christ had died. If the crucifixion hadn’t killed him, certainly the spear of the Roman soldier would have. The disciples thought it was over. They thought death had finished it.

If they would have thought back, they would have remembered this was the same Lord who had raised people from the dead. He raised the daughter of Jairus. He raised Lazarus after he already was in the process of decomposition.

And, if they would have thought back, they would have remembered that on the day that Lazarus was raised, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25 NKJV).

But it is hard to see through eyes that have been blinded by tears. So the disciples were shocked to find an angel waiting for them with the good news: “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him” (Mark 16:6 NKJV).

They thought He was dead. But He was alive again

Hope for our futures

Because Jesus has died and has risen again, it means that we as believers do not have to be afraid of death. As 1 Corinthians 15:20 tells us, “But the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again” (NLT). Jesus has gone to the other side, He has returned, and He has the keys to death and hell (see Revelation 1:18).

It’s hard for us to accept that our bodies are wearing out. Yet the Bible says we will have new bodies one day: “We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us” (Romans 8:23 NLT).

You see, my body is not the real me. The real me is my soul, my spirit. This body will die. But my soul will live on.

One day, you may open up the newspaper and read that Greg Laurie has died. But don’t you believe a word of it, because at the moment you read that I have died, I will be more alive than I have ever been before–in the presence of God. And the same can be said for every believer.

Here is the message of Jesus: You are going to see your loved ones again. You will be with them. Not only are they a part of your past, but they are also part of your future.

He is the resurrection and the life, and if we believe in Him, though we were dead, yet shall we live.

12 Responses to “Easter is for Everyone!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:

    The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee.

    The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

    God Bless You, Pastor Greg!

  2. Farouk says:

    Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Christ whom to know is life eternal. As Christ has said, “Man must not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedth out of the mouth of God.” I thank you and your ministry for the support given to the spread of the gospel by the supply of CDs that were sent to me upon my request. May God continue to bless all those that are involved in the gospel commission. Grace and Peace to you all.
    yours in Christ

    Farouk Karim

  3. Debbie says:

    Pastor Greg,

    Thank you for reminding us that love hopes all things. I pray you are well. See you Thursday in OC.
    He has risen, yes indeed!
    God’s blessings to you and your family always.

  4. Gracie says:

    Dear Pastor Greg:

    Your message about Easter being for everyone reminded my of an Easter 30 years ago. My husband, young toddler son, and I were on our way to the sunrise service your church held back then at Jurupa Narrows Park. We noticed a young lady in a dress walking along the side of the road. We worried about her being alone on a dark street (North Main Street, Riverside/ late 1970′s), so we stopped and offered to give her a ride. She accepted, and when she entered our car, she reeked of alcohol. She told us she had been partying the night before but was on her way to the sunrise service at Mt. Rubidoux. When we told her that we were going to a sunrise service at Jurupa Narrows Park, she said she’d join us. At your sunrise service, she listened intently to your message, and while she didn’t respond to your invitation, she told us she enjoyed it. We made sure we got her to her home safely, and have never seen her again to this day. Still, I wonder about this young girl, and where she is today? I have no doubt that this was a divine appointment from God for her to be taken to church, right from where she was (still drunk from partying) to receiving God’s Word. Easter truly is a wonderous occasion!

  5. Sunday says:

    Greg,

    Thank you and bless you. May God pour out His blessings upon you and your family. I had that darn sickness for, dare I say, nearly three weeks. But the good news is that I’m alive and well. No coughing, sore throat, phlegm, etc.

    What a blessed Easter service! I have to say that we have not gone to Easter service for years because we save those seats for the CEOs. But we just had to go this year! We also did a Passover seder dinner (Christian style). Wow!

    Is God good or what! As usual, you were great, but also the way the praise songs and readings from pastors were done. Moving and spirit-filled! May you be healed this moment from your illness. In the name of our risen Lord Jesus!

    Question: Should we abstain from Easter and Christmas services if we are not bringing someone? I know it seems like a stupid question, but the seating can be limited and I am already saved (thank God)!

    Again, thanks and bless you and yours!

    Sunday Barreto

  6. Sharon says:

    Praise the Lord! Amen Brother!
    I would like to tell you my husband, who is 70 years old, accepted Christ as his Savior on April 5. I am so happy! I have been praying and witnessing to him for years! One is never too old!

    Sharon Pippin

  7. Edna says:

    Happy Easter to all.

    I also lost my brother 6 months ago. I am still not over it, and perhaps I never will. I miss him a lot! But if it weren’t for my faith in our Lord, I’d be gone too. I read Pastor Greg’s blogs all the time and that also gives me confort.

  8. Kimberley says:

    When my old man died 14 years ago, leaving me with no insurance, no job, closing on a home, & pregnant w/baby #5, I went to Easter Sunrise Services. I knew Christ walked beside me then, as door after door opened for me and I was blessed with everything I could possibly need to raise my kids on my own. Christ walks beside me every day. The best part of all is that now He walks beside each of my five kids individually in a way that has nothing to do with me as a parent. It is a true seperation for them leading into their adult faith with success. God bless you, Pastor Greg, for always being there with just what we need to hear.

  9. Geoffrey says:

    Dear Pastor Greg,

    I listen to your radio show almost every day, and it is such a blessing. Thank you for all that your ministry does to help others reach the Lord.

    I pray for you and your family.
    Geoffrey Jacks

  10. Connie says:

    Dear Pastor Greg,

    Thank you very so much for this blog this morning. I did not really understand Passover, or the true meaning of Easter, until reading this blog and listening to KWAVE every morning & afternoon on my way to & from work.
    Happy Easter to you and your family.

    Connie Martinez

  11. Jennifer says:

    I love this picture of your family, Greg. Happy Passover and Easter.
    Jenny Goetz

  12. Kimberly says:

    Pastor Greg, back in 1987 my aunt heard that there was a church in Riverside called Harvest Christian Fellowship and suggested that we should try it out on Easter. Since I guess that is what “Christians” do on Easter, go to church, and since I thought I was a Christian, I went. I had never been to church with my family before and I was 18 years old. I heard the gospel message and pondered it in my heart for the following week. The next Sunday, I found myself back at Harvest but this time accepting the call of Christ! Ever since, this has been a very special weekend for me. Praise God for saving me and calling me His daughter!

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