April 4, 2010 Speaker: Paul Ortlinghaus
Topic: Jesus Christ Passage: Matthew 28:1–28:9
(The following is the transcript of Pastor Paul's Easter message delivered in downtown Santa Rosa during SOMA's Easter Brunch for the homeless 2010.)
28:1 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” 8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.
Happy Day... Happy Easter... Happy Resurrection Sunday! He has risen, as He said.
This is why we are here this morning. This is why we have come to serve brunch. Jesus is alive and He has loved us and changed our lives and we want to show that love in a real and practical way.
In a moment I am going to pray and then invite you that have come for brunch to line up and be served. But first let me read one other passage.
1 Peter 3:18
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.
Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection... What He did in suffering and dying for sins... He the perfect and righteous one in place of you and me the guilty ones... He did so that He might bring us to God.
Easter is about God. About us embracing God through Jesus. This IS the Good News... This IS the Gospel.
"Salvation is not good news if it only saves from hell and not for God.
Forgiveness is not good news if it only gives relief from guilt and doesn’t open the way to God.
Justification is not good news if it only makes us legally acceptable to God but doesn’t bring fellowship with God.
Redemption is not good news if it only liberates us from bondage but doesn’t bring us to God.
Adoption is not good news if it only puts us in the Father’s family but not in his arms.
This is crucial. Many people seem to embrace the good news without embracing God" (John Piper, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came To Die, p. 62).
Wanting salvation is good and right. Wanting to be forgiven is good and right. Wanting to be justified and redeemed and adopted into God’s family is good and right.
But all of these things have their ultimate purpose in us wanting and having God and the JOY that comes from Him and a relationship with Him.
I want to invite you today to trust in Jesus and His work to bring you to God. You simply need to turn to Him and admit that you are a sinner and need Him to forgive you and save you and bring you to God. You can simply do that by believing on Him and invite Him to be take over your life. If you make such a commitment today please tell me or someone wearing a name tag. We want to celebrate and pray with you in this amazing decision and response.
Please pray with me and then you can line up for brunch and we’ll play another couple of songs.