By Pastor Jack Hartman
Scripture: Matthew 16:13-18
Before I read the text, I want to set it in its context. Jesus is nearing the time of his death, and he is giving instructions to his disciples. In this passage, he is talking about the future coming of the church. The church at this time is not a reality. The church does not exist. The church comes into being at what we call Pentecost when God’s spirit came upon and among the people.
Let’s do a timeline. Jesus is speaking with his disciples in this text about the church. Some weeks pass, and Jesus is crucified and is resurrected from the dead. Then Jesus spends forty days in his resurrected power and at the end of those forty days ascends back into heaven. Ten days later, Pentecost happens, and the church is born.
Jesus – before his death and resurrection –wanted the disciples to know ahead of time about the church and what the foundation of the church would be. So hear the words of the gospel writer Matthew.
By Pastor Linda Dolby
Scripture: Acts 2:1-21
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker go to a Chinese restaurant for lunch. They order, and when the food comes, Obi-Wan digs in with his chopsticks, while Luke sits there and tries to maneuver the chopsticks, and although he tries many times, he is unable to get any food into his mouth. Obi-Wan looks up and says, “Use the fork, Luke, use the fork.”
By Pastor Jack Hartman
Scripture: John 12:27-36
There is an incredible statement in the text for today. The words in that text can literally change your life. Did you catch it? Jesus said, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people[a] to myself.” The words – “.. when I am lifted up from the earth ..” – refers to his death on the cross. How does the cross have drawing power for you, for all of us? That is what we want to explore today.
The foundation of the drawing power of the cross is the love that Jesus demonstrates by giving his life in love. The cross is all about the love of Jesus. One of the fundamental questions is why did Jesus have to go to the cross? Theologians and biblical scholars have been asking that question ever since it happened. How would you answer the question, why did Jesus have to die on the cross?
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