Easter Sunday – The Rock Church Worship Service


Christ The Lord Is Risen Today (Alleluia)
Sing Sing Sing (And make music with the heavens)


Greet those around you
Short thoughts on wht Easter means
I was always puzzled growing up by genesis and how adam and eve were told that eating the apple would kill them and then not dying when they eat the apple
1 Corinthians 15
First fruits of those who have fallen asleep
Death isnt just something that happens at the end of your life
No longer have to be driven by things that will matter after our death


Song Of Hope (Heaven Come Down)
Rescuer (You are mighty and strong to save)
Love Came Down (And rescued me, If my heart is overwhelmed)


Luke 15
As you’re doing that, open with a few thoughts
Its one trying to believe in the resurrection, that it happened 2000 years ago
Another thing to believe resurrection is happening every day
Some of you had dead parts in you that are being resurrected
It’s not just that it happened, it’s happening today
Leaning into it and living it and showing others what it’s like

Jesus says He is resurrection and everywhere He goes, it is happening
Bible tells us that it is God who raised Jesus from the dead
Which shows His character
Do you have dead bits? God can resurrect those

Question: ever received an unexpected gift from someone
Where it’s like that person knows the very core of who you are
Happy, understood, excited, appreciated, seen, loved, “brings another dimension to the relationship”, joy
Pleasure, gratitude
Makes you feel alive
Somebody gets me, there’s a new life birthing inside of me
I didn’t expect it, it was so personal
Not too many things that give more life than that
Parts of you left in the cold, dead and twisted and broken, are brought back to life
Wherever His people are, resurrection swirls around them
I see it every week in certain situations
Are there parts of you that need to be brought to life?

A statement at the end of this story says “my son was dead, but now he is alive”
Compassion wins

(Luke 15:11-24 ESV)
And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”‘ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

Give me my inheritance
I don’t want a relationship with you, I want what you can give me
Broken relationship, a fabric torn within that family
As far as we know this father is healthy and the son is premature in his quest for inheritance
Piercing the fathers heart
The dynamic of a relationship is something Jesus steps into, into the dirt
God came down in human flesh and moved into the newborn old
To see the good and the bad
This is a God who identifies with us and the pain that comes when someone says I don’t want relationship with you
As you wish, your request is granted
Culturally supposed to punish the son, make an example of this impertinent youth
I’ll give you what you wish, let’s see how it turns out for you
John 14:9
Is this an act of love? Grace? This relationship needs repairing, what is the father doing?
Son was given property, not money
Traveled away from Jewish culture and liquidates the property
For a Jew to loose his property, especially a gentile, is shameful
When word gets back to the village, his attempt to return would be met with coldness, rudeness, harsh words
Son who is considered an outsider
Outside of community
Jewish villages were very close knitted communities
What is God like? How does He look at the outsider?
Maybe God says “as you wish” to us when we have to go through painful stuff to illuminate some dead parts of us that need resurrection
When you’re desperate and in need, you think and do crazy things
This kid is beginning to experience real need, probably for the first time

When he came to himself
Most commentators agree that this is the first store of repentance
Repentance brings bad feelings that you have to work to make better
So you make a plan
The repentance Saving face plan
This man is repenting is to make himself feel better
Give, make, this is how it will go
The hired servant was an outside, had no interest int he doings of his master
He was a free man, not a slave
Still calling the shots
Going to suck it up, but I’ve got a plan on how to make it work for me
How does the son see the father?
It’s a relationship based on a transaction
I do this, dad does this
Does God want transactions with us?
Is this what He is like? How He works?
Let’s let Jesus show us what God is like
God is interested in relationship
The son can only be viewed in his old community as an outsider
A mans manner of walking says a lot about him in Eastern culture
Great men never run in public – Aristotle
How does God see the outsider?
What does He feel?
Anticipating the arrival
I think he might be dead, but if he’s alive I can store him
Shifts the humiliation from the son to himself
That’s the kind of God we server
Even though your repentance is pathetic, I’ll tak you, your mess, every bit of you
I can bring dead things in you back to life
Radical act of kindness and love

This is what God is like
Even before words are exchanged, the father runs
Substitutes kisses for words
Eyes speak for the tongue
In verse 21, there is no mention of the plan
Smothered by loving kindness
Met by graciousness and compassion
Maybe repentance is more than…pulling yourself up by your bootstraps
Maybe instead of trying harder we should come before Jesus and say I have nothing to give you but I want to be in a relationship with you

We want to bring your dead parts back to life by embracing
You do not kill the fattest calf, you do not selfishly have a small family gathering, but a block party
How does God look at the outsider?
In the beginning we used language to describe what it felt like to receive a gift we didn’t expect
All those emotions are what make us feel alive
Resurrection power brings joy
To know that we serve a God who offers us grace and peace
All I want you to do is receive
The father had gut level compassion when he saw his son
This is why the story concludes with my son was dead but is now alive
The resurrection happens

Paul, Shannon, and Kieran

song of response
Acknowledging how beautiful our savior is
What he’s created for us
Everything about You is beautiful
Beautiful (I see Your face in every sunrise)

Leave a Reply