40 Days of Hope
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The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the oldest celebration in the history of Christianity. Believers began acknowledging the miraculous nature of the resurrection as soon as it happened. Immediately, in the first century, followers of Jesus began to worship on Sunday just to express their belief in the centrality of this event.
Eventually, the celebration of Easter developed into a season of preparation. Followers of Jesus began to use this time on the Christian calendar to better prepare themselves to be committed disciples. In that spirit, we will seek to use this time to prepare ourselves to more truly appreciate and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Our journey of preparation begins on Ash Wednesday. We will gather in the Sanctuary for a special time of worship. I will be preaching a message entitled, The Great I Am from John 8. Jesus made a bold claim about Himself in this text. He famously said, “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58). Wow!
We will use the next 40 days to enrich our understanding of what Jesus meant. John’s Gospel contains the famous “I Am” statements from Jesus. Each week, we will focus on a different truth revealed in these declarations. Each day, we will highlight a particular portion of Scripture that will assist you in further exploring the truths we discuss on Sunday morning.
I am praying for us as we join our lives together on this pilgrimage of faith. As we begin, think about those original disciples who had followed Jesus during His earthly ministry. Think about the darkness of the first Good Friday for them.
Imagine them gathered together through that weekend. Huddled somewhere in Jerusalem, their hearts were heavy. What did all this mean? Had they wasted the past 3 1/2 years of their lives? Wasn’t Jesus the Messiah? Imagine their pure joy when the empty tomb became a reality and the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead became a part of the narrative! These men and women were suddenly infused with hope! They would never be the same. Praise God!
May you and I be captured by that same hope this Easter Season. Catch the joy of the angelic declaration on Easter Sunday morning, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen!” He is risen indeed!
Welcome to 40 Days of Hope!