The Rock Covenant Church

The Rock Church Worship Service

Our God (Our God is greater our god is stronger)
Crown Him With Many Crowns
Oceans (You call me out upon the waters)
Find Rest (Life was formed in your hands)

It’s Holy Week!
Palm Sunday today
Jesus began his ministry with a miracle at a wedding
After service tonight we’ll be celebrating the wedding of Katie and Bryan
Stations of the cross this Friday by the youth group (6-6:30)
This Easter we’ll be doing another 9am morning service
Then Easter egg hunt on the playground for the kids
Continuing the Lenten thing of going through some questions in small groups


Who is someone in your life that you would like to see thrive?
What is one way that you can bless them and remind them that they are loved?
Is there someone you feel God has been calling you towards?
How can you extend help, friendship, and care towards them?

1 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.
Genesis 1:1-2

52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!”
Luke 22:52-53

33 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” 36 And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”
Mark 15:33-39

Lots of talk of darkness and descriptions of darkness
In Genesis we see God bringing creation into uncreation
God wants us to be light
Jesus even brings the concept into the new community that he is forming
The sun is central in our solar system
If one of the planets decided that they wanted to call their own shots, we would have chaos
In Genesis 3 the story of Adam and Eve
We don’t like the fact that God has to be central
We want to be in the center
A problem of spiritual darkness
This story keeps repeating itself
We keep putting something else in the center
Where we draw our hope and meaning
Turning backward towards uncreation
What happens when we remove God from the center?
When you’re moving away from God, you life will begin to experience so spiritual disorientation
A friend of mine convinced me to go spelunking
I get very claustrophobic, but she convinced me anyways
Our only source of light was the LED light on our yellow helmets
At once point we got to a little cave and decided to turn off our lights and experience true darkness
First this fear started closing in, but then I locked it down and felt disorientation
I mean what if we the lights had gone out unintentionally?
I was only in that darkness for a little bit

If you live for money or for your career or for love and romance
Here’s the scary thing: those things actually work. Even more scary? They only work for a period of time
They provide you with what they think you need
Those good things become absolute definitions of YOU
The Bible describes God and Jesus as the ones who hold all things together
These other things are not THE THING that we center ourselves on
When something or someone else begins to control our desires and attentions, you become really fragile and insecure
How well you perform
Disintegration will happen (eds note: against Vaders will)
As you move toward uncreation, you become more isolated
Disintegration breaks down your heart
Disorientation and then takes us deeper into spiritual disintegration
In the Genesis story we are told that God triumphed over darkness with light
If you move away from this light, disorientation and disintegration
When I read verses like this, I think, “Am I moving back to uncreation and darkness (where things cannot grow)?”
I’ve been preaching for 12 years now
I want to be a good preacher, I want to bring life here
What happens if that becomes my center?
Everyone has opinions and can lead to criticisms
If my preaching is what makes me say “I’m okay”, criticism will tear me down
Or how about this: you’ve fallen in love but then you fall in love with the love
And you begin to center yourself on those desires
Fights become major fights and major fights become devastations
You can’t handle the discouragement of that person
Returns us back to uncreation and darkness
Let’s look at Jesus in Mark 15
Look at the darkness Jesus received in verse 34
Crucifixion is a NASTY way to die
What strikes me about this passage is what Jesus doesn’t say
He doesn’t mention his friends or his family or his ministry
He says “my god”
I’ve spent years meditating on this, about what was going on in this moment
I think what Jesus experienced on the cross was true spiritual darkness

Jesus is taking all sin and abandonment and all our hells upon himself in that moment
The scriptures talk about Jesus being there in the beginning
The God of the universe is being unmade, taken apart
This God humbles himself enough to take on all of creation
You hear that in his cry
Now we can truly deal with spiritual darkness
Look at Mark v 38
The temple curtain was amazingly thick to protect visitors from what was on the other side: the Holy of Holies, the dwelling place of God
Just outside the city is Jesus being killed
The temple is full of blood from all the sacrifices for Passover
Mixed with water on the white marble floor
What’ pouring from Jesus’ side? Blood and water

Everyone is welcome now
Mark tells us now that any person can go in and have access to God
And also how the centurion gets it
Go back to the beginning of Mark, what does he say? Jesus Christ the son of God
To be a centurion, you have to declare that Caesar was god
He had already bought in to being a Roman citizen, considered an enemy to the Jews
By witnessing Jesus’ death, he experienced transformation
The centurion had seen crucifixions before
Might even have taken part in beatings prior to crucifixion
His declaration is a severance of his career
It’s unbelievable
Why was this death different?
As we go through this Holy Week I want to leave you with this question: have you heard the cry of Jesus and have you seen him take on all the sins of the world?
If you have, you can start to partake of this new creation
Jesus took on true spiritual darkness, all of it, so you could experience life
The centurion, this hardened Roman citizen, was transformed
What can this do for you?
Let it melt your heart so you can understand and experience new life in Jesus
This is the son of God

O Sacred Head Now Wounded (O Sacred head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down)

Jeami will be going to Southeast Asia and working with women who are recovering from being pushed into human trafficking
I want us to pray with and for Jeami

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