This was a big weekend at Gateway Community Church. On Good Friday, we met to sing and pray and hear a message from Pastor Alex York out of Zechariah 13:1 about Jesus as a fountain cleansing us from sin and impurity.
On Saturday, we had a memorial service for elder Tom Bellino, who went home to be with the Lord on March 24, after a battle with cancer. We celebrated his life in the context of Easter and belief in the Resurrection.
On Easter Sunday, we began a new schedule of two services on Sunday morning at 9:00 and 11:00 - and both services were packed!
Pastor Ed Allen spoke to us from John 14:1-9, answering the question Why Jesus? Why do Christians keep insisting that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life? We took an honest look at the exclusive claims that Christians have made over the centuries.
Jesus' story is remarkable, and there are strong, rational reasons to believe it. We went over those briefly.
-- The Empty Tomb
Alternate explanations are very weak, and where did this idea even come from if it wasn't true?
-- Early Witnesses
Paul wrote less than 25 years after the event that Jesus had appeared after his death to more than 500 witnesses - and most of them were still alive.
-- Lives of the First Followers
Their lives were completely changed. They suffered and died over the next 40 years without changing their story.
Okay, so What does it have to do with us?
We're starting with these foundational principles:
1) The universe was created with the greatest intention and care.
2) Humans were made to occupy the pinnacle of creation and relate to God.
3) The universe has an intrinsic moral framework.
4) When that framework is violated, existence is altered; sin leads to death.
So we're in trouble. And we know we're in trouble. We see the effects in our lives.
Romans 3:23 - "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
2 Corinthians 5:21 - "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him."
The sacrificial system of the Old Testament pointed to Jesus, and Jesus fulfilled that system.
So - "Do not let your hearts be troubled." If you know Jesus, you know the Father.
Jesus is the Way!
Jesus is the way God relates to us. We need a Saviour.
Jesus is the Truth!
The Truth is a person. If you want to know the Truth, know Jesus.
Jesus is the Life!
Real life is through Jesus. The tomb is empty!
It's difficult to hold onto our faith at times. But Jesus told us, "Don't be troubled. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."