Easter 2008

So another Easter Sunday has come and gone. We had two full services yesterday with lots of guests. Our worship team did another great job of pulling off what I call a “typical Cedar Ridge Sunday service with a little extra punch.” A huge tomb complete with rolling stone was the centerpiece for our stage. Though the focus was on Jesus’ resurrection, I actually preached from John 11 where Jesus raised Lazerus from the dead. Our theme was “Come Alive” – just as Jesus gave Lazerus life, he wants to give us life too. We finished the service with Harold and our band doing the song, “Come Alive” by The Foo Fighters. Here are some of the lyrics:

Every sound monotone
Every color monocrome
Life begin to fade into the black…
I could hardly feel me anymore
Desperate, meaningless
All filled up with emptiness
Felt like everything was said and done
I lay there in the dark, I close my eyes
You saved me the day you came alive

Certainly not your traditional Easter song, but it sure fit our message on Sunday. There’s a part of the song, toward the end, when the words “come alive” are repeated with building enthusiasm, at which point the stone rolled open and Jesus emerged from the tomb. I loved the spontaneous applause and cheering.

For many, though, the most meaningful part of the service was when people filed out from that open tomb with signs representative of their struggles, but on the back side, how God had given them life in that area. One wrote about overcoming an addiction. Another wrote about finding peace after a bitter divorce. Another just mentioned the certainty of heaven in midst of failing health. Personally, I needed to be reminded that God still changes lives. Just the week before I found myself asking, “Is God working in our ministry here? Are people truly experiencing life transformation.” Sunday’s answer was a resounding yes. and even though I had seen our team practice this several times in the days before, Sunday was still for me a moving demonstration of God’s power.

Easter has come and gone, but the message still rings true, God raised Jesus from the dead to give you life beyond the grave, but more than that, to give you life beyond the daily grind of this life. Happy Easter!

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