Celebrating Easter…Jesus’ sacrifice for us…the Father’s love for us…and the beauty of the Jewish Passover ceremony from Exodus 12:1-13.
We had a number of "firsts" yesterday:
- 1st Live Animal On-Stage — We can thank Ci Dawn Farms for generously loaning us the 3-week old, jet-black lamb for the day. The lamb did great in rehearsal & the 1st worship, but started to lose it a little in the 2nd & 3rd services.
- 1st Time My Son Helped Me — I was so proud of him. Two weeks ago, after I asked him to help me on Easter, he was asked if he might be scared. He replied, "I won’t be scared. Now that I’m baptized, I’m not afraid to get up in front of a bunch of people."
- 1st Time Over 1500 — Historically, whenever we add a 3rd service, God fills that service & adds 50% to our attendance for that week. God did the same again by bringing an extra 500 to hear about Christ. Yea God!!!
- 1st Time I Was Physically Hit In Church — An elderly lady grabbed me after 3rd service to give me a piece of her mind. When I would even begin to reply to her questions, she would literally cry out in disagreement & hit me in the arm. (I think she disagreed.) 🙂 Anyway, it ended very cordially & I told her I hoped she would visit Grace again.
Here are a few other thoughts from Easter:
- Celebrating in Heaven — We had people give their lives to Christ in EVERY service!!! We gave a Max Lucado devotional to everyone that declared they had received Christ by raising their hand.
- The Lamb’s Color — Before I started studying, I thought the Passover lamb had to be white. I was wrong. They just have to be whole. (I think I’ve seen too many flannel graphs that planted that false image in my mind.) 🙂
- The Prophetic Similarities — There were more ways that the Passover lamb foreshadowed Christ than I could cover.
- What I Covered — Both were male lambs, in the prime of their lives, ripped away from their flocks, laid on the ground, & killed at the hands of sinners in late afternoon. Both shed their blood to protect people & free people, regardless of their religion, nationality, ethnicity, or good works.
- What I Couldn’t Cover — The fire pictured God’s wrath that burned against sin. The fact that no water could be added foreshadowed Christ saying, "I thirst." The issue with firstborns foreshadows how our 1st births are flawed & we need a 2nd birth.
- A Cool God Moment — Got this email yesterday. "Today’s service was AWESOME! The combination of the lamb and your son on stage really made me just get it. Thank you! It made it really easy to go home & and talk to [someone] about Easter and Passover."