Happy Easter / Resurrection Sunday... April 16 2017
For Holy Week, we're focusing our attention on Resurrection Sunday and the importance of honoring Christ. You can still shop in our store in the interim, view Our Blog, and we'll have our regular ads back up after Resurrection Sunday. This week, let's spend a little extra time in prayer, consecrating ourselves, fasting and praying to God. Churches are open all week and most churches have a Good Friday service and early Resurrection Sunday service...
Early Sunday Morning
Luke: 24 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. 8 And they remembered his words, 9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. 50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
Holy Saturday is the time between Good Friday and Easter / Resurrection Sunday. Some Christians recognize Holy Saturday, the seventh day of the Holy Week, as the day Jesus rested from His work of providing salvation. As Jesus died, He called out, “It is finished!” There was no further price to pay; Jesus was the propitiation for our sins.
After His death on the cross, Jesus was placed in a tomb, and His body stayed there all of Holy Saturday (Matthew 27:59-60; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53-54; John 19:39-42). Churches that celebrate Holy Saturday use the day for reflection to thank God for sending Jesus.
Without Christ resurrecting we would still have to make sacrifices before God. If Christ had never been raised, “your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). The disciples scattered out of fear when Jesus was arrested (Mark 14:50), and they hid on Saturday, fearing their arrests, (John 20:19). Saturday would have been seen as a day when all hope appeared to be lost. It would also be a time of shock and disbelief at Jesus's murder.
The Biblical reference to Holy Saturday is found in Matthew 27:62-66. After Jesus's crucifixion on Friday, the Pharisees and chief priests visited Pontius Pilate. This visit was on the Sabbath which starts Saturday night because the Jews see the day starting at sundown. They asked Pilate for a guard to stand in front of Jesus’s tomb because they were concerned about him rising in 3 days, (John 2:19-21) and they wanted to prevent His word from coming true. We know that the Roman guards could not stop Christ's resurrection and when the women returned to the tomb Sunday morning, they found it empty. Christ had risen.
Stations of the Cross:
Jesus Stands Trial Before Pilate
(Matthew 27:11-14; Mark 15:2-5; Luke 23:1-5; John 18:28-37)
Jesus Sent to Herod
Jesus Returned to Pilate
Jesus is Sentenced to Death
(Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15; Luke 23:23-24; John 19:16)
Jesus is Led Away to Calvary
(Matthew 27:32-34; Mark 15:21-24; Luke 23:26-31; John 19:16-17)
9 a.m. - "The Third Hour"
- Jesus is Crucified on the Cross
Mark 15: 25 - It was the third hour when they crucified him. (NIV). (The third hour in Jewish time would have been 9 a.m.)
Luke 23:34 - Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (NIV)
The Soldiers Cast Lots for Jesus' Clothing
- Jesus is Insulted and Mocked
Matthew 27:39-40 - And the people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. "So! You can destroy the Temple and build it again in three days, can you? Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!" (NLT)
Mark 15:31 - The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. "He saved others," they scoffed, "but he can't save himself!" (NLT)
Luke 23:36-37 - The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" (NLT)
Luke 23:39 - One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" (NIV)
- Jesus and the Criminal
Luke 23:40-43 - But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." (NIV)
- Jesus Speaks to Mary and John
John 19:26-27 - When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, "Woman, he is your son." And he said to this disciple, "She is your mother." And from then on this disciple took her into his home. (NLT)
Noon - "The Sixth Hour"
- Darkness Covers the Land
Mark 15:33 - At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. (NLT)
- Jesus Cries Out to the Father
Matthew 27:46 - And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (NKJV)
- Jesus is Thirsty
John 19:28-29 - Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, "I am thirsty."A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. (NLT)
- It is Finished
John 19:30a - When Jesus had tasted it, he said, "It is finished!" (NLT)
Luke 23:46 - Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last. (NIV)
3 p.m. - "The Ninth Hour"
Events Following Jesus' Death
- The Earthquake
Matthew 27:51-52 - At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. (NIV)
The Centurion - "Surely he was the Son of God!"
(Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:47)
The Soldiers Break the Thieves' Legs
The Soldier Pierces Jesus Side
Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
(Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42)
Jesus Rises from the Dead
(Matthew 28:1-7; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-9)
Jesus Christ made seven final statements during his last hours on the cross. These phrases are held dear by followers of Christ because they offer a glimpse into the depth of his suffering to accomplish redemption. Recorded in the Gospels between the time of his crucifixion and his death, they reveal his divinity as well as his humanity. As much as possible, given the approximate sequence of events as portrayed in the Gospels, these seven last words of Christ are presented here in chronological order.
7 Last Words of Jesus on the Cross
1) Jesus Speaks to the Father
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (NIV)
In the midst of his excruciating suffering, the heart of Jesus was focused on others rather than himself. Here we see the nature of his love—unconditional and divine.
2) Jesus Speaks to the Criminal on the Cross
"I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." (NIV)
One of the criminals who was crucified with Christ, had recognized who Jesus was and expressed faith in him as Savior. Here we see God's grace poured out through faith, as Jesus assured the dying man of his forgiveness and eternal salvation.
3) Jesus Speaks to Mary and John
When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." (NIV)
Jesus, looking down from the cross, was still filled with the concerns of a son for the earthly needs of his mother. None of his brothers were there to care for her, so he gave this task to the Apostle John. Here we clearly see Christ's humanity.
4) Jesus Cries Out to the Father
Matthew 27:46 (also Mark 15:34)
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (NKJV)
In the darkest hours of his suffering, Jesus cried out the opening words of Psalm 22. And although much has been suggested regarding the meaning of this phrase, it was quite apparent the agony Christ felt as he expressed separation from God. Here we see the Father turning way from the Son as Jesus bore the full weight of our sin.
5) Jesus is Thirsty
Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, "I am thirsty." (NLT)
Jesus refused the initial drink of vinegar, gall and myrrh (Matthew 27:34 and Mark 15:23) offered to alleviate his suffering. But here, several hours later, we see Jesus fulfilling the messianic prophecy found in Psalm 69:21.
6) It is Finished
... he said, "It is finished!" (NLT)
Jesus knew he was suffering the crucifixion for a purpose. Earlier he had said in John 10:18 of his life, "No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." (NIV) These three words were packed with meaning, for what was finished here was not only Christ's earthly life, not only his suffering and dying, not only the payment for sin and the redemption of the world—but the very reason and purpose he came to earth was finished. His final act of obedience was complete. The Scriptures had been fulfilled.
7) Jesus' Last Words
Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last. (NIV)
Here Jesus closes with the words of Psalm 31:5, speaking to the Father. We see his complete trust in the Father. Jesus entered death in the same way he lived each day of his life, offering up his life as the perfect sacrifice and placing himself in God's hands.
Praise God: May The Spirit Of This Holy Week be a Reminder of God's Love For Us and Christ's Sacrifice. Lord, We Lift Up Your Name With Hearts Full Of Praise as We Declare, "Hosannah in the Highest and Glory to God in the Highest." We Wish You All A Joyous Palm Sunday and Happy Spring to You & Your Family...God-Driven-Designs.com
From Our Blog
At church last Easter, there were practically no palms left when I arrived. People had taken stacks of them to make intricate crosses and braids. The church was also packed and standing room only. I managed to find a few palms and gave some to a lady next to me and a woman who worked at a nursing home. With a few palm strips left, when I reached my building a young boy held the door for me. He was waiting for his family and sat patiently in the lobby. I took one of the strands of palms and holding it in the air, asked him if he understood what it represented. He didn't know.
As I briefly told him about the significance of today, I carefully folded and manipulated the palm into a cross. Upon seeing it, he said, "Wow!" He was astonished that something that looked like nothing could become a powerful symbol, and his reaction was a reminder for me, too that Jesus came as nothing, but through the power of the cross, transformed our lives forever. "Wow! Look at what Christ has done for us!" Salvation for all of us and the world never recognized Jesus's authority. In your own life, don't worry when people overlook you, despise you, hate or resent you. Do the work God asks and pray for their eyes to be opened and ears to hear that they might turn to God, repent and seek Him while He may be found...Glory to God in the highest... God-Driven-Designs.com
Easter Bible VersesJohn 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "
Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
Easter Programs, Specials and Concerts
Here are the shows, specials, messages and concerts. Please Note: These are all listed in NY/EDT.
Saturday ABC 7pm - 11:44 pm The Ten Commandments
Thursday: 11:30 pm The Easter Experience
Friday: 5:00 pm & 8:00 pm Easter Special: No Wonder They Call Him the Savior
Saturday: 8:00 pm The Greatest Story Every ToldSunday: 12:00 am King of Kings, 7:30 pm Easter from New Creation Church, 9:30 pm Easter Special: No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, 10:30 pm Apostle Peter & the Last Supper
Friday: 8:00 pm 7 Last Words with Dr. Jamal Bryant
Friday: 9:00 pm Easter at Gateway Church
Saturday: 7:00 pm The Thorn: Jesus's life, death, and resurrection