Posts Tagged ‘ Easter ’

Easter Sunday at Awestruck

Easter was an amazing day at Awestruck Church.  We definitely set an all time attendance record.  We worshiped for the first time in our new location in downtown Gibsonville.  More importantly, many people indicated that they accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.

You can click Right Here to watch the video of the Easter sermon.

(Apologies for the sound and image.  We are working out some kinks that come with a new location.)

Here are my sermon notes for anyone who wants to follow along…

As prisoners … People are restricted in their time, conversations, opportunities, thoughts, hopes, dreams, and future

If I was ever really in this situation then all I would dream of is the day that these chains were to come off

If I were locked away my only hopes would be the day that the Prison doors were opened up and I was able to walk away a free man.

In all 4 Gospels of the New Testament we hear about a prisoner by the name of Barabbas

He was locked up and had lost all of his freedom

He was a revolutionary against the Roman government.

Mark 15 : 7  One of the prisoners at that time was Barabbas, a revolutionary who had committed murder in an uprising.

Pilate allowed the crowd to choose between two inmates

The “Notorious Prisoner” Barabbas and Jesus of Nazareth

On that day the Crowd shouted “Give us Barabbus”

Pilate argued with them and tried to convince them to take Jesus

Going against his better judgement…Pilate granted the crowd their wish

Because of the sacrifice of Jesus … Barabbas did not have to face his punishment

Barabbas was set free because of the suffering and death of Christ

***Jesus Christ Unlocked the Chains that held Barabbus Captive***

Jesus Christ took the punishment that was intended for the Notorious Prisoner

The name Barabbas appears nowhere else in the New Testament,

All we know is that he was in Prison for murder and…

Barabbas was the first person in History that felt the immediate Freedom From the Sacrifice Jesus made for this world!

And the effects of what Jesus did are still changing the world today!

Hebrews 13 : 8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

John 3 : 16  “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17  God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Ephesians 1 : 4  Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5  God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6  So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7  He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8  He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

I am Barabbas!  You are Barabbas!

All of us are made a prisoner and have a death penalty because of our sin…

Romans 6 : 23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus came to set us free and take our punishment!

For many the Easter is about Plastic Eggs, Baskets, and Creepy Bunnies…

Today is a day to celebrate the Resurrection of of a Risen Savior

We don’t just celebrate a man that was brutally beaten and put to death

We have reason to celebrate that His tomb was empty!

The Empty Tomb is our Source of a life that is Full and Abundant!

The resurrection of Jesus means that He conquered death and hell…

We are no longer a prisoner to Sin because Jesus has the power to set us FREE!

Jesus, the Son of God, was sent to earth to take on the sins of the world.

He died a physical death and came back to life!

The Resurrection is the source of our Faith and our only Hope!

The Empty tomb is the hope for all Humanity!

2 Cor 5: 14 Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.  Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. 15  He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. 16  Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look.  We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know.  We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. 17  Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new.  The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! 18 All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. 19 God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing.  (Message)

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (NLT)

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  (KJV)

Just like the freedom and excitement that Barabbas must have felt…

Chains removed, Future Renewed, Hope Restored

Jesus suffered and died so that we could be experience true freedom!

Today we choose to celebrate our Risen Savior who has victory of death.  

The ending of his life was brutal, violent, ruthless, savage, And undeserved.

His flesh was beaten, his blood was shed, His heart was broken

But his capacity to love never surrendered.  

His human body failed him … But his amazing love for you and me carried him all the way to a cross where He was tortured till his death.

But that’s not the end of the story.  

It would be grotesque for us to worship a God who would put His only son through such useless abuse and misery if there were no better conclusion to the story.

–He no longer lays lifeless in a cold tomb.

–He sits and reigns in Heaven, beside His father.

Jesus is the sacrificial lamb that took on our sins so that we could know God personally.  

Jesus is the one who speaks on our behalf, even in the face of our betrayal.

He is the bridge that allows us passage across the great separation from our God.

-It was His humility that put him on the Cross.

-It was His love that brought us Forgiveness.

-It was His sympathy that provides us grace.

-It was His suffering that heals our pain.

-It was His Sacrifice that brought us Freedom from our curse

-It was the empty tomb that assures us of a life on earth that is abundant and overflowing…

And an Eternity full of worship and praise to God in Heaven.

Let us worship the sacrifice and Let us Celebrate the victory of our Savior today!  

We are Free!  He is Alive!

“Mysterious” (Week 2 Sermon)

The mystery of the cross is expanse.  Jesus as fully human and fully God chose to die the way he did.  He didn’t have to, but He chose it because of His love for us.  We don’t celebrate the way Jesus died, but Why and What happened a few days later.  Jesus Christ rose from the Dead!  Our victory and hope in life is in the fact that we serve a Living Savior!  How does the Cross affect your life?  We should celebrate the love and grace of God everyday.

Click HERE to listen to “The Death of God”

Monday Download

1.  I won 7 out of 10 categories in my first week Fantasy Baseball matchup!  I’m sure it was a fluke and will change, BUT it happened and I’m pumped!  🙂

2.  Let’s talk about our first Easter at Awestruck Church.  I was blown away by how many people showed up, but more importantly the stories of our first time guests.  

3.  I was most impressed and humbled by how strongly God revealed Himself through our service.  There was a sweet spirit in the room…I didn’t want to leave.

4.  Now that you know the outcome, let me explain the morning leading up to that result.  This was an continuation of God teaching our team that it is all about Him and has nothing to do with our plans and ability.

5.  Saturday Night:  I’m laying in bed talking w/ God about Awestruck and remembering how anxious and excited we all were the night before our first service in Sept ’08.  I asked God to return that same sense of expectancy and dependance to our team.  Little did I know…

6.  He’d already planned to do that!  When we arrived early Sunday morning…with all our own plans and strategies…we discovered the school had placed 6 large wrestling mats on the stage we normally use!!!  Impossible to move!

7.  Our only alternative was another room, which is used mostly for storage and…well, junk!  It was not ready to use for our service that morning.

img_08488.  That said, here’s the incredible part of the story…our Team stepped up Huge and we cleaned that room out, swept the floor, brought in a bunch of chairs, removed all the trash, changed the entire stage set up, draped off the big stuff, and made it into a beautiful place to Worship!

9.  Why is that so incredible?  God restored our sense of expectancy and dependance on a day we needed it the most!  Then He showed up and made some major changes in the lives of the folks attending!  Booyah!

10.  The past two Monday Downloads have been mostly about what God is teaching us through some struggles at Awestruck and not my week.  I feel like this has been the important stuff that I wanted to share the last two weeks.  Hope it has been helpful to you.

You Can’t Hunt Eggs with a Full Basket

egg-hunt-2.jpgEaster was a busy day for the Parrish family!  We went to church, ate with Shannon’s family, and then Adyson’s Birthday party.  It was late Saturday night when I came to the realization that I had forgotten the reason we celebrate this day in the first place.  Well, I did not forget, but it had been pushed to back of my mind in the shuffle of all the other events taking place.  Sunday morning my wife, in all of her brilliance, subtly brought this to my attention with an astounding revelation about easter baskets.  It is always interesting as a pastor when God uses your wife to speak spiritual truth into your life.  I have learned to listen intently and apply directly when she speaks up.  This is what she said: “I have to clean out the kids easter baskets so they will have room for the egg hunt.  They won’t be able to get any eggs with all this stuff in it.”  Then she said, “When we go to God with all our own stuff in our lives He doesn’t have any room to put in what He wants to put in.”  Wow!  My wife has turned into me, but better and wiser!  Such a simple concept that I fail to apply so many times.  I bring God all my ideas, plans, dreams, and my schedule and then ask Him to bless it and put some of His stuff in if He can find room.  You would not go to an Egg Hunt with a full Basket!  We should not come to God with a life full selfish things and expect Him to magically make our basket bigger.  When God begins to bring His ways and His plans into our life, it will only be limited by the amount of space we have consumed with our own stuff.  In Luke 17:33 Jesus tells us how to gain all that He wants to give.  He warns that if we hold onto our own stuff then we cannot possess His.  I believe we spend way too much time filling our life basket with all the eggs that have the crappy candy when God wants us to be making room for the Golden Egg!?!?  He possesses the Grand Prize and all we have to do is come with an empty basket.