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Easter Sunday 2021


Recorded on April 4th, 2021

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Pastor Alissa Rothschild concludes Bogart UMC’s Easter Sunday with a passionate sermon on change, faith, and the state of the world.

Transcript of Sermon:

Thank you tom he is risen amen we are going to be in mark chapter 8 verses 27 through 33 it’ll be it’s in your bulletin and also be on the screen behind me or on the screen in front of you if you’re at home jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around caesarea philippi on the way he asked them who do people say i am they replied some say john the baptist others say elijah and still others one of the prophets but what about you he asked who do you say i am peter answered you are the messiah jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him he then began to teach them that the son of man would suffer many things and be rejected by the elders the chief of priests and the teachers of the law and that he must be killed and after three days rise again he spoke plainly about this and peter took him aside and began to rebuke him but when jesus turned and looked at his disciples he rebuked peter get behind me satan you don’t have in mind the concerns of god but merely human concerns this is the word of god for the people of god thanks be to god indeed i wouldn’t judge you if you have ever wondered in your life why in the world it is a god who is all-knowing all loving and all-powerful would require a death in order for there to be life i wouldn’t judge you because honestly i have wondered that in my faith journey myself i have wondered why it is that jesus had to die a painful death in order for all that needed to be accomplished to be accomplished why did somebody have to die why is that the solution if god is god why can’t there be a better solution why did there have to be death jesus says here to peter you know they’re in the beginning in the middle of their relationship we have been working through mark and we just happen upon this verse right here on easter really not just happen god is good and jesus is teaching them about what is to come jesus is trying to prepare them for what is to come although what is to come should not be a surprise to them because all of the prophets have prepared them for hundreds of years before jesus came that this is what was going to happen yet still they are surprised and yet still today we struggle sometimes to truly understand why there has to be life given in order for life to be fulfilled i have struggled with that in my faith journey i’ve told you i didn’t grow up in church i didn’t grow up in a christian family and so when i started to know god and started to have a relationship with god i had my own understanding of who god was and there were times when i would say well my god my god my god would not ask that my god would not require that my god is better than that and as you dig into scripture and as we grow in faith i think one of the things that god does in us and through us is grow our understanding of what this death means and why it was so necessary and why it’s so beautiful because you have to wonder sometimes how can pain and death be beautiful but it really is and one of the things that i first started to be able to grab hold of when i was doing this digging in my own faith was the understanding of sin you see sin in this world today is something that we don’t even want to talk about we don’t even want to label things as sin because guess what we’re just going to live life the way we want to live life and whatever is good for you is good for you and whatever is good for me is good for me and i’m not going to label what you do and you’re not going to label what i do and we’re not going to have any sort of brokenness because everything’s okay as long as it’s okay for you but the reality is that we do behave in ways that cause brokenness in this world and when we behave in those ways we are sinning we are creating sin in this world and when we do that we are the perpetrators of the brokenness and the darkness that we experience in this world you see sin is a very real thing and it has very real repercussions you know sin from the smallest of little white lies like we like to label them white lies because they’re not realized if they’re just white lies right if they’re just little itty bitty teeny tiny little fabrications or just little end rounds around the truth right they’re not real big deal or if it’s just a little gossip i just wanted to tell what i heard today you know if it’s just a little gossip it doesn’t really do anything that bad it doesn’t hurt anybody or if i if i just fudge a little on my taxes it’s just the government they already have enough money right it doesn’t matter to anybody else nobody’s going to be hurt by me doing this so we have all these reasons for living the way that we live and we justify living the way that we live but at the same time when we look at the way others live we’re full of condemnation as much as we like to say you can live the way you want to live and i’m going to live the way i want to live we still judge others by the way they live and we still want others to be held to account for the way that they live when somebody hurts you you want other people to know you want them to be held responsible for that pain that they caused in your life and the reality is that regardless of sin my sin or your sin or their sin it creates ripple effects in this world that are real ripple effects that extend beyond my lifetime your lifetime and our children’s lifetimes even if it’s just the smallest of sins in our mind sin is real and it has powerful effects on the way that the world works today and because sin is real you and i need a way out we need a way forward because we have to be held accountable for our sin and nobody likes to talk about that it is my least favorite thing to talk about as a pastor my least favorite thing to to share with people who love god or who are interested in god or who might be seeking out god the last thing you want to say is well guess what sin is something you’re really going to have to deal with in your life because we all have it i have it and we don’t want to talk about it or deal with it we don’t want to label it or name it but it is real and it is powerful and we will be held accountable for it god knew that the moment we were created and god in the trinity the father the son and the holy spirit together made all of creation god in the trinity together created you and created me created every single israelite represented in scripture every people every person that came before us and every person that will come after us were created by the hands of our maker knowing knowing that sin would be a reality in this world because they were not going to force love they were not going to choose for you and for i for i for me whatever however that grammar works out the choice was not to be made for us we were going to have to choose for ourselves whether or not we would follow jesus whether or not we would follow the way of love whether or not we would to follow the path that god had before us and as we see in the first humans adam and eve it took very little time before they exerted their own will on the life that they were leading and so from the beginning of time god in the trinity not just god the father but god in the trinity the father son and holy spirit had a plan to bring wholeness back to the earth a wholeness that was existing in the very beginning but got broken by our actions my actions your actions the actions of the people that came before us through our sins as small or as big as they might be they had a plan from the very beginning to bring us whole and that plan was through jesus by sending the son to come and live with us to be with us to teach us but ultimately ultimately to pay the price for the sin that we created if there was any other way do you not think that they would have found a way if there was any other way that we could have our sins be forgiven that we could have justice in this world because justice is important just as as important as god is good god is also just and when we want somebody else to be held accountable for their sin we also have to recognize that we also need to be held accountable for ours and so on that good friday and we call it good friday for a reason jesus was nailed to the cross and with jesus every single one of our sins was nailed with him not only our sin but the shame and the guilt along with it was nailed to the cross and when jesus died for those of us who choose to allow jesus to be our savior if you choose to let jesus be your savior every sin that you put on that cross with jesus goes away it is forgiven because the savior stood in your place it wasn’t an accident it didn’t just happen to happen it was intentional on purpose planned for since the beginning of time since that first sin with adam and eve but not only that you see as humans without jesus are also slave to our sin we are slave to the power of sin in our life but when jesus died and dwelled in heaven with or in hell with the devil for three days before he was resurrected he went to battle for us and in being arisen on this beautiful easter sunday jesus won the day the bad doesn’t get the final word evil doesn’t get the final word our sin doesn’t get the final word jesus resurrected in perfect form gets the final word and for us when we choose to allow jesus to be our savior our messiah it says here who do you say that i am you’re the messiah but what they thought a messiah was was somebody to come and save them from roman oppression their current day-to-day oppression they couldn’t think bigger that that they just wanted a king an earthly king who would save them from their day-to-day troubles what they should have been looking for was what scripture told them all along with someone who would save them from eternal struggles from the struggle that we’ve never had power over before but in jesus in jesus you and i have a hope that is never ending you and i have a hope that will last eternity you and i have a hope that we can always rest in jesus didn’t come to be an earthly king jesus came to be one that saves saves us from the power of sin in our life from the guilt and shame and sin in our life and comes to save us so that we can have eternal life with god in heaven john 3 16 that that verse that probably most non-christians know better than any other verse and actually probably the verse that most christians know more better than any other verse for god so loved the world that he sent his only son to save us so that whoever believed would have everlasting life in him and the question we have to ask ourselves today the question that gets put before us on easter sunday is who do you say jesus is who are you gonna allow jesus to be to you you know in here peter couldn’t understand why jesus had to die just like i struggled and just like i think a lot of us struggle sometimes why did jesus have to die why would a god do that who was good but jesus said to him you are thinking about human things you are thinking the way humans think you see in order for the fullness of jesus to be known in your life you have to choose to let jesus be your full savior not just an earthly savior not just a good teacher of good lessons but one who can come and rescue you from your slavery to sin in my life my life before jesus was filled with a lot of things i was well into my 20s before i accepted jesus into my life i was pretty prideful i was pretty certain that i knew what was right and what was wrong not that i did what was right or wrong i know that i lived a lot of life that wasn’t life-giving and i carried a lot of the weight of that with me for a lot of years but in accepting jesus into my life because somebody had the courage to ask me to church invite me to join them and when i started to let jesus have a voice i started to understand what resurrection looked like not because i could understand jesus but because i could see jesus working inside my life i started to see my life become resurrected you see that’s the beauty of resurrection it’s not just something that happened thousands of years ago it’s something that happens every single day of every year when people accept jesus into their lives they too experience resurrection resurrection can be something that can happen for you in your heart and your soul and in your mind even people who have been christians their whole lives can experience resurrection the sense of becoming of blossoming of flowering of becoming something that you were always meant to be but you haven’t quite gotten there yet because you’re still holding on to that thing that jesus wants you to leave at the cross so my friends the question to you today is whether you’re a brand new believer a seeking person or somebody who’s believed your whole life who do you say that jesus is and what do you need to nail on the cross in order for you to experience resurrection in your soul today because resurrection is not a one-time event it’s a daily event available to every single one of us in all of our lives let us pray god we thank you for doing something that seems almost impossible for us to understand jesus we thank you for for following through for living through the pain that we deserve for carrying the burdens of our sin and our shame and our guilt for bleeding for us so that we could be free free not only of our past sins but free from the weight of sin and guilt in the future from the power of sin in our lives lord speak to us today show each one of us how to see you as lord and messiah in our lives show each one of us what it is we need to put on that cross so that we can experience resurrection daily it’s in the name of our savior our messiah jesus that we pray amen

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