Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, April 5, 2015

I can only imagine what the disciples of Jesus thought when he died on the cross. They may have looked on as his body was taken down and buried. They had followed him during his ministry. Each day with him their trust, faith and hope in him only grew. They probably began to think to themselves ‘could it be that this is actually the long awaited messiah?’ Then it happened. He was taken from them, hung on a cross and killed right before their eyes. It must have seemed to them that their hopes were dashed. They had allowed their hearts to trust him so fully and now he was gone. They must have been afraid and lonely. They may have felt that they had been fooled and were now ashamed at themselves for believing that he was the messiah. 

As I write this on Good Friday I can sense the weight of that weekend, where the disciples felt alone and devastated. There is so much in life that we put our hope in and are always left disappointed. One illustration I can think of is sports teams. When a team, especially during this time in March madness, begins to build momentum the fans of the team grow with excitement and anticipation as the run continues. However, in most cases the team eventually loses and the fans are left to pick up the pieces. They think to themselves what if they had not called that timeout or if they had only not taken that shot. Imagine a group of fans who find out the next day that their team had actually won the game! They would be jubilant and excited. Their hopes would begin to grow again.

This is an illustration of what has happened with Jesus and his followers except that it is infinitely more amazing. They had trusted their whole lives to Jesus. Most of them, if not all of them, did not understand the fullness and wonder of everything he was actually doing in dying on the cross. When they saw that the tomb was empty and were told that he lives they must have been blown away. I am sure we have all heard good news in our lives. Whether that is getting into the college of your choice, getting proposed to or being offered the job of your dreams. But this is the best news! You were once estranged from God because of your sin, but Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross and is now resurrected at the right hand of the Father. Your sins have been paid for and when you place your faith in him you receive eternal life. As devastating to the disciples as it was to hear that their Lord had died, it is now that much more amazing to know that he lives! Let us celebrate like those 1st century Christians in proclaiming and worshiping the living Lord Jesus Christ. 

THE WORD

Scripture: John 20:11-31
Sermon: Believe and Live

SONGS

Christ the Lord is Risen Today (arr. Traditional)
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Christ is Risen (arr. Matt Maher)
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Before the Throne of God Above (arr. Sovereign Grace Worship)
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Worship Christ The Risen King
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Song of Preparation: See What A Morning
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Song of Response: Christ Is Risen He Is Risen Indeed
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