Following Jesus’ atoning death and triumphal resurrection, the final chapter in the emergence of God’s Kingdom began Easter afternoon and continues until Christ’s return. Its heart is Holy Spirit-empowered proclamation of repentance in Jesus’ name to the ends of the earth. Like Eden’s garden and Old Testament Israel, today’s Church is where God’s laws are established, where His presence is known, where the heavenly realities of love and forgiveness and salvation are experienced. We welcome to our pulpit this Sunday, Lee DeYoung who brings us this week’s message as an extension of Pastor Mark’s Lenten series “The Darkness Before the Dawn” and Easter’s jubilant culmination “Dawn Has Come.”
Easter Sunday message “Dawn Has Come” the culmination of the Lenten series, “The Darkness Before the Dawn.”
Jesus extends love, grace and compassion even in His suffering.
The Darkness is closing in on Jesus. Everyone seems to be against him. The Religious Leaders of His own people, The Roman Government represented by Pilate, Herod, and even the Crowds gathered for Passover. But in the midst of all that, Jesus is at peace! In fact, in our scripture reading (Luke 23:1-25) Jesus only speaks four words. Jesus is a non-anxious presence in the middle of a tightening noose of darkness. How? And what can we learn for our lives today.
After Jesus was mocked and beaten they blindfolded him and said many insulting things to him (vs. 63-65). At the “Blind Trial” before Pilate and Herod religious leaders are simply corroborating what they already believe.
How’s your prayer life? Have you ever prayed to God and received silence? Sometimes it seems like God isn’t listening. In those moments or even seasons, it can feel like the darkness is closing in and becoming heavier and heavier. Yet God is always with us, and God hears every prayer. In those moments Jesus set the example for us with His “Garden Prayer,” even as He told His disciples to pray so they wouldn’t fall into temptation. Our Heavenly Father loves us all the time, even when we fail and don’t understand what He is doing. Join us this Sunday as we go with Jesus into the darkness of Gethsemane.
The second message in our Lenten series, “The Darkness before the Dawn”. This week we will explore the warning Jesus gives of coming darkness in (Luke 22:7-34). Even as Jesus gives His disciples the hope of His new covenant represented in the bread and wine of His Last Supper, Betrayal and Denial loop.
Pastor Mark Kleinheksel begins our Lenten journey “The Darkness before the Dawn” tracking the growing darkness that leads to Jesus’ Death on Good Friday and ultimately His resurrection on Easter Sunday (April 4, 2021). On this first Sunday of Lent we will look at what makes Judas Iscariot a willing participant in Satan’s plot to snuff out the light of the World, Jesus!