At about 1 AM this morning I turned off the TV after watching the movie “Die Hard 2” for probably the tenth time! It’s an old Bruce Willis action movie about a heroic but unconventional cop who saves the day, overcomes evil and avoids death over and over again (ergo the “Die Hard” title). After I did my nightly ritual of closing windows, locking doors, turning lights out, etc. I realized we were about an hour into the day known as Good Friday so I decided to read through the story of the crucifixion then head to bed. As I read John 19, it hit me that what makes Jesus so unique is that (unlike Bruce Willis) He didn’t just avoid death, He overcame it in order to win over sin and defeat its sting. That’s what brings glory to the story of Easter and it’s why we and billions of others around the world celebrate this event.
This weekend we will come to a new appreciation of the price that was paid (Good Friday) and the war that was won (Easter). The journey of Jesus is the ultimate good news story which is why I want you to join us this week at North Ridge. Our Good Friday services are today (March 30) at 4:00 pm, 5:30 pm and 7:00 pm in the Ridge Cafe. Our special Easter service times will be 8:00 am, 9:30 am, 11:00 am and 5:00 pm on April 1st. I am convinced that the God who raised Jesus from the dead has something huge in store for us this weekend but we do need your help. We need you to: (1) Pray for hearts to be soft and God to move in a big way; (2) Invite your friends and neighbors to join you; and (3) Extend special grace and kindness to all who come and especially to our guests. In that regard be sure to greet a stranger and you may want to attend one of our less crowded services (8 AM or 5 PM) or park in the school parking lot to our south so as to free up space for our guests.
I absolutely love celebrating the hope that comes through the resurrected Jesus and love celebrating that hope with you and your crew. It’s going to be a wonderful weekend courtesy of the risen Christ. You are an amazing church family and I am so blessed to be on this journey with you. Have a blessed Easter.
Sure Do Love You,
P.S. Once again for the 6th year in a row we will be giving away 100% of our Easter offering. That means not one cent of our Easter offering will be spent on North Ridge ministries or ministers! Our missions committee has worked with a generous North Ridge family who conveyed their interest in doing a matching gift of up to $20,000 to purchase a Christ- centered ministry home through Destiny Rescue that will house, feed, educate and (best of all) disciple 8 young girls in India who have been rescued from the human sex trafficking industry. This Easter we want to give hope to the most hopeless and helpless because that’s what Jesus did for us. Can’t wait to see what the resurrected Jesus is gonna do this time!
Some Of This Coming Week’s Scripture Passages: (Your One-A-Day Vitamin)
John 20:26-29 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:30-31 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Matthew 28:4-7 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
Colossians 1:16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him
John 9:4-5 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”