Our Easter weekend kicked off with an open house of prayer, as our church gathered to ask God together to move in people’s lives around the community.
The weekend continued on Saturday morning when we had between 400-450 children (probably 750-800 people with their parents) brave freezing weather (a low of 18 degrees) to hunt for Easter Eggs at Grace. So many people prepared so diligently for people…and God didn’t disappoint.
Finally, on Sunday we added a third service for Easter. Over 1200 people showed up to worship on Resurrection Sunday (we have been running around 800 on the weekends recently).
I shared a message I have shared in different forms for years…the story of the 2 thieves on the cross. We were able to track down an incredible drama that perfectly illustrated the message too! After communicating that everyone is like a thief (i.e. one went to heaven and one went to hell), I told people what made the difference. Though neither attended synagogue/church, neither was good, neither was baptized, neither kept the golden rule, neither kept the 10 commandments, etc., one thief prayed directly for Jesus to help him and declared Jesus his Lord. That was it.
It’s almost seems too simple! But that’s the good news of the gospel. It’s not about what we can do for God (we can’t do much). It’s about what Jesus has already done for us on the cross.
In our first service, we had several people raise their hand to indicate they prayed with me to receive Christ as Savior. In our second service, I was told that, just in one corner of the church, around 15 people raised their hands. But in the third service, out of 200+ people, half or more of the people raised their hands. I was overjoyed, stunned, and awed by God.
There was some serious rejoicing in heaven.