Though it is right to remember those who fell in times of war, especially at the time of the ANZAC Centenary, it is even better to remember that Psalm 46 reminds us that the security of the nations depends not upon man and his machine, but upon the Lord of Hosts. Further to this, though Jesus’ words about ‘greater love has no man’, are often used to highlight the cost of freedom won by the sacrifice of many, they really refer to how we ought to understand His sacrifice on the cross for our sin. Then also, the Bible describes a war that we are all involved in and declares those who have faith in Jesus as the ones who are on the winning side.
The cross of Jesus Christ is central to the truths of Christianity. Understanding the cross helps us grow in our love for God as well as standing firm when false teaching comes our way. 1 Peter 2:24-25, Peter tells us that on the cross Jesus dealt with the penalty of sin by taking our place and dying for us. He also dealt with the power of sin by breaking sin’s ‘hold’ upon us. On the cross, Jesus also brought us back into the ‘fold’ of the His Father. Believers are like sheep under His care.
On Sunday April 26th, 2015, at our 10:30am service, we will pause to remember the important occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. Our readings, hymns and songs, prayers and message will follow all this theme. Join us as we give thanks to God for His protecting hand in times of war. Shared lunch will follow in the hall.
After Jesus had fed 5,000 in the desert, many followed him for another free feed. To this crowd, Jesus made the claim that he was ‘the bread of life’ and that he offered food that would really satisfy. By this claim, found in John 6:22-71, Jesus offered to those who would believe in and follow him, security, an eternal destiny and a true sense of identity. When crowds starting leaving Jesus because his words were hard to take, Peter said on behalf of his disciples that Jesus alone has ‘the words of eternal life’. We would be foolish not to follow him!
Our Bible Study (Home) Groups don’t normally meet during the school holidays, but we are this week!
Join us in the Upper Room (meeting room off our Hall) at 7:30pm for a brief look at the letter of Jude. All are welcome!
In this Easter Sunday sermon Matthew’s account of the resurrection of Jesus is examined. If the case were put before a court of law with a judge and jury, the claims of Apostles that Jesus was alive would have to be examined seriously. Historians of the day had no doubt that the facts were not in dispute. The tomb was empty. The prosecutor may argue that either Jesus was not dead or that his body had been stolen. The defence may argue in return than there were more than 500 eyewitnesses who all saw Jesus alive. The matter is of great importance. Eternity depends upon it!
The story is told that there was once a son of a wealthy family who was about to graduate from high school. It was the custom in this affluent neighbourhood for the parents to give their graduating children a car, but in this instance – the father – on the eve of the boy’s graduation – handed his son a gift wrapped Bible. The boy was so angry that he threw the Bible down and stormed out of the house and vowed never to speak to his father again. Not long after, the news of his father’s death brought the boy home again. As he sat one night going through his father’s possessions that he was to inherit, he came across the Bible his father had given him. He brushed away the dust and opened it to find a cheque, dated the day of his graduation – for the exact amount of the car he had told his father he would have loved to own.
That story perhaps highlights how many people treat God. The world constantly bombards us with the thought that, ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.’ So the result is that many are suspicious of anyone who promises anything. We view them and their words with the thought ‘what and where’s the catch?’ The good news of Easter Sunday is that Jesus is alive! And there is no catch! When they went to His tomb – they found nothing. Never has there been a more important discovery of nothing!
The story is also told that an eight year old downs syndrome Sunday school boy was given, with the rest of his class, a special project to complete for Easter. The teacher gave each child a plastic “egg” (the kind that pantyhose used to come in) and explained that they were to find a symbol for new life and put it into the egg. A couple of weeks later, the eggs were opened and in the first was a pretty flower; in the next a butterfly, while green grass was in a third. In another was a rock, which prompted laughter, then finally the last egg was opened with nothing inside. “That’s stupid,” said one child, ‘someone didn’t do it right!’ The teacher felt a tug on his shirt. It was the downs syndrome boy, who whispered, “That’s mine, and I did do right! It’s empty, ‘cause the tomb was empty.” (He was right – see Luke 24:3)
The good news of Easter is too good to simply let pass by – because if the tomb of Jesus was empty and if He is alive as He said He would be, then the only ‘catch’ will apply to those who will not come in faith and bow the knee to Him.
Join us on Easter Sunday at 10:30am!
In this message preached on Good Friday from 1 Peter 2:24, we are reminded of the lengths that our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, went in order to complete all that the Father had sent Him to do. He went to the cross Himself. He did not send another in His place, but went willingly. As He did that, He wore a crown of thorns, but one day when He returns in all His glory, it will be another kind of crown that He will bear.