Between Two Thieves

Sermon Transcript

[Video]

Before Jesus rose on Easter morning, He died on the cross. But a lot of people don’t realize that He wasn’t crucified alone that day. He died between two thieves.

[End Video]

So, there was a pastor who had been ministering for over 50 years, and he had retired. He had founded this church and it had grown to multiple thousands of people that came and different locations. At 50 years, he retired. But, as he had gotten older, his health had declined. It got to the place where the doctor came in one day and said, “Pastor, I’ve got to be honest with you. You’re probably down to your last day here on the earth. You might want to say your goodbyes to people that really matter to you.”

So, as he was sitting there reflecting about that, he picked up the phone and he called his old secretary from the church that he had pastor for 50 years. She had been his secretary for 40 years. He said, “Hey, I’d like for you to get these two guys to come see me. I’m probably not going to live for much longer. I really would like to see them.” She said, “Well, pastor, I’d be happy to do that.” She hung up the phone and she thought, “Wow. I’m surprised he really wanted these guys to come see him.” It was two local politicians. One of them was on one side the aisle, and the other on the other side of the aisle. So, when they got the phone call, they knew this guy and they knew that he was a good guy, but they were like, “Man, why in the world does he want us to show up?” They’re trying to figure it out. “Is he trying to tell us that we’re wrong? Is he trying to get us together? Who knows.”

So, they showed up and here’s this elderly man lying on the bed. He said, “Guys, I really would like to hold your hands.” So, one went to the left and one went to the right. They went to their political side, by the way. He was holding their hand and he said, “Guys, I want you to know it’s been a big deal to me, as a pastor, to live the Gospel out; to live a life that looks like Jesus.” They’re like, “We understand, pastor. We appreciate that.” He said, “No. I want you to hear me. I’ve spent my life working for the marginalized. I’ve spent my life feeding the homeless. I’ve spent my life taking care of those people that nobody wants to take care of.”

The guy on the left looked over to the guy on the right and smiled real big. He said, “But hold on. I’m not done. I believe in the dignity of humanity and that God created us. I think that there’s a dignity in working hard and making something of yourself. I’ve fought to protect the unborn.”

The guy on the right looks over to the guy on the left and smiles real big. He says, “So, I’ve done my best to live for Jesus. You all understand that.” They said, “Pastor, we understand that.” He said, “That’s why you all are here. I want to die like Jesus, and He died between two thieves.”

So, there you go. If you’re a politician, I love you. It’s all good. So, I want to talk, this weekend, with you about dying between two thieves. Jesus does that in this great story we’re going to look at out of the Gospel of Luke. But before I do that, this is really important to me. If you don’t hear a lot of what I say, please hear this because this is important. Many of you all are in church for the first time in a long time. Some of you all may be in church for the first time in your life. Some of you used to go to church and you decided to come today. Some of you all may have had some issues with God in the past, but you decided to show up. Maybe some of you all made a promise with your mom or your grandmother that every Easter you’d show up, whether you believe in God or don’t believe in God. You just show up or whatever. Some of you all were told, maybe, that you were coming to see a movie. You ended up in church. I don’t know how you got here, but you’re here.

What I want to say to you is this: I understand that coming to church can be a little crazy. It can feel a little weird. We don’t do weird here, so you don’t have to worry about that. Nothing is going to go on all of a sudden. It’s not going to go weird. We’re who we are. But I want to make sure that you feel at home. I want you to know that you can belong here before you believe. I want you to know that you can just hang out here with us no matter where you’re at in that spectrum. And I hope that you will enjoy what I have to say.

That being said, if I were out there, maybe for the first time in a long time, or maybe I just showed up because somebody invited me, or whatever, it would be nice if the pastor would tell me what he was going to do and how this was going to play out. So, I want to do that for you. I’m going to talk about something out of the Bible today. I’m going to challenge you a little bit. I’m going to challenge all of us to think a little bit about Jesus. Of course, that’s what we should do. It’s Easter Sunday. But, at the end, I’m going to give you an opportunity to respond. It’s not going to be weird because we don’t do weird here, and nobody’s going to come to your seat with a microphone and say, “Could you give us a 30-minute testimony?” Nobody’s going to say, “Could you get up here and run around?” or something like that. We’re not going to go, “Can you bend over so we can pour oil on your head?” None of that’s going to go on. We don’t do weird stuff around here. But I am going to give you, with dignity and respect, at your own place, to have a moment with God. You don’t have to do that, but I’m going to give you an opportunity to do that. So, I don’t want you to feel like, at the end when I do that, “Oh, man. He sort of sprung that on us out of nowhere.” I don’t want you to feel that way because it’s a really big deal to me, if you’ve chosen to come here today for Easter, and this is your first time, or maybe you haven’t been to church in a long time, it’s a really big deal to me that you go, “Hey, do you know what? That was a cool experience. Church wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.”

So, that’s where we’re at. Let’s get to work here and let’s go through a biblical passage. We’re told, in the Gospel of Luke, that as Jesus was taken out to be crucified, Luke lets us know that He was not taken alone. He was taken with two thieves. Two criminals. Luke tells us, as they were brought out, the way they would do crucifixion, usually, is they would have a beam that was horizontal, and they would attach the wrists and hands to that via nails, and then they would sort of hoist the body up and sort of put it on this vertical beam, and then they would fix the feet with a nail. It usually had a little bit of a rest there that they could put on, because as their life started to be taken away, what happened is their lungs would fill with fluid. So, the only way they could breathe, because they would shrink down, is that platform. They could push up on it to get breath. Over time, their legs would give way, they’d have spasms, and, eventually, their lungs would fill up with fluid and they would asphyxiate.

So, they put Jesus up with two other criminals. Once they got them in the air, Luke tells us that Jesus said something. It’s a pretty profound statement. He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Now, that’s interesting because to extend forgiveness to somebody means that there’s been an offense. I don’t think anybody realizes that there’s been an offense. I don’t think they realize what they’ve done by nailing Jesus to the cross, but He forgives them. He gives a forgiveness to everybody there. But what’s interesting is there are only two people in this whole story that we’re going to look at that respond. You can be forgiven, but it doesn’t mean that you’re reconciled. It doesn’t mean that things are good.

So, Jesus forgives everybody, but we’re going to look at two people that come to see the world a little bit differently that day. In seeing things a little bit differently, they see Jesus a little bit differently. My hope and prayer is that no matter how you got here today, you’re going to see some of the same things those two people saw. Maybe there’ll be a change in your life. Maybe there’ll be something that God speaks to you and shows you something differently than when you came in. Maybe you’ll leave a little differently as well.

So, let’s work here a little bit. As Jesus is hanging on the cross, they put this placard, a sign, up above His head. It says, “King of the Jews.” Now, they’re mocking Him because they’re thinking, “What a king You are. Kings have really nice crowns with gold, diamonds and rubies. Your crown is a crown of thorns. What a king You are. Kings have their people, their military, their cupbearers. Look at You, hanging on the cross. Not only that, but kings can judge and make edicts. You’re being judged by the real king, which is Caesar, who controls Rome.”

But what’s awesome is the way Luke has written this for you and I because he’s showing, if we pay attention, that even though they’re mocking Jesus for being a king, and they’re mocking Jesus for being judged, He actually is a king in this passage and He is judging. We have to take a moment to see this because as Jesus is up on the cross, below Him are all the people. Below Him are the soldiers. He has His own cupbearer who gives Him sour wine on the cross. Even though they’re mocking Him, they can’t take away that He’s a king. But He’s also not being judged by Rome, He is being judged for the sins of the world by the Father because He will be the one that judges everyone in the future. We’re taken into that scene, as Jesus is there on the cross, because the two people that represent you and I that will be judged for all of eternity are flawed individuals. The only difference between the two of them is one believes and the other doesn’t.

So, let’s enter in, if you can imagine. I like it when we get into these Bible passages and we sort of get in there, dig in and feel like we’re really there, like the cameras are swooping in. And we’re going to have a conversation among three men hanging on a cross — an unlikely conversation, by the way — that are hours away from death. We sort of hone in. Now, in Mark, we’re told that these thieves, these criminals, railed at Jesus and blasphemed. If we only had Mark, that’s all we would know. We would know that they both yelled at Jesus and they died. So did Jesus. But Luke tells us that one of the criminals had a change of heart. He saw something different that day that led him to see Jesus different.

So, let’s pick up here. We’ve got this scene of the king in judgment going on. It’s obviously reversed from the way the world sees things because Jesus is always reversed from the way the world sees things. And these two men are giving an account, in a lot of ways, to what’s going on. They represent you and I in so many ways. So, let’s enter into that story and conversation and see what’s being said.

“One of the criminals who were hanged...” — because he’s hanging there on the cross — “...railed at him,”

Blasphemed. Spit nasty stuff at Jesus.

He said, “‘Are you not the Christ?’”

“You’re really God, right? You’re really the Messiah? Is that really what You are?”

“‘Save yourself and us!’”

This guy is so much like you and I in so many ways because we’re all going to face death one day. We’re all going to stare death down one day. This guy, what he’s saying is, “If You’re really God, prove it. Show me. You’d really allow something like this if You were a good God and You were really the Messiah? I mean, show me something. If You could just come down off the cross right now, if You could just make something happen so that I could believe, then I would believe. But You’re not doing anything. You’re just hanging here with me. You’re no different than me.”

He’s furious and railing at Jesus. What’s really interesting is Jesus doesn’t respond. He doesn’t say anything to this man who’s railing against Him. “Show my something and I’ll believe.” What’s crazy is this other criminal that’s been railing against Jesus up to this point, all of a sudden, something starts to change. We’re told the other one rebuked Him. Imagine this. These are guys hanging on a cross. They’re just hours away from dying. He says, “Enough.” You can imagine what the other criminal thought. Like, “Who are you to even begin to tell me anything, hanging on a cross just like me, flawed just like me?” But he rebukes him and he says, “Do you not fear God? You don’t have any fear at all as you’re looking death in the eye? At all? You have no fear of God at all? You can’t even process that there’s going to be something after this? I mean, you could look at the temple that we saw on the way out and you can see all the stones and the way that was built. You would never conclude that that just happened. Well, the world, my goodness, is like five billion times more complex than that. You just think it happened? You don’t fear God?”

He says, “‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?’”

“All of us are up here, every one of us are up here, because Rome has condemned us.”

“‘And we indeed justly,’”

Like, “Dude, we might not have wanted to get caught, we might not have wanted to be found out, but us hanging up here on the cross, it’s not unfair. In fact, we’re receiving the due reward for our deeds. What’s going on for us, we might not have liked it, but we’re guilty. We’re hanging here because we’re guilty. We’re indeed condemned for the right things. But this man, He’s done nothing wrong.”

How do you look at a man that’s been beaten to a bloody pulp by Roman soldiers, with a crown of thorns on His head, being condemned by Rome, how do you come to the conclusion that that’s a righteous man? He must have seen something differently. There must have been something that happened. In that moment, as he defends Jesus, as flawed as he may be, he turns to Jesus and says, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

I know the other guy over here makes a lot of sense. Like, “If You could just show us something. If You could get us down. If You could make some things happen for us, that would be great.”

“But somehow, and I don’t know exactly how all this works, I’m not quite sure how I get there, but somehow I’m believing — I don’t even know exactly how all this is going to work because it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a good thing. It looks like all of us are really going to die. It doesn’t look like You’re really any different than us. But somehow I’m believing that You’re a king and that You’re going to have a kingdom and that You may be who I’ve heard that people say You are. Will You remember me?”

You may think, if you grew up in church, that Jesus is going to look at this guy and say, “Well, we’ve got to get a few things straight, man. What version of the Bible do you read?” Or maybe He says, “You know, I need to do a little bit of a check here. How’d you vote in that last Galilean election? What’s your stance on these particular issues?”

He doesn’t. He says, “Jesus, will You remember me when you come into your kingdom?”

“And he said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.’”

What in the world have we just read? Like, what? Three men hanging on a cross, dying, and we read this. What is going on here? What are we seeing here? What did he see that changed him? What’s going on? Well, what I’d like to do is I would just like to ask you to take care of some thoughts for your consideration. Just think about it. I mean, look, we’re only going to be in here for a couple more hours, so just — just joking. I’ll get you out of here soon.

I just would like for you just to consider. I mean, you’re here. You may not have wanted to be here. You may have felt like you got drug here. Whatever it is. Just take a moment. You’re here. Take a moment just to consider this. Just think about this with me, just a little bit.

First thing I’d ask you to consider is that reason can only take us so far. See, we have these great minds. There are great minds. We can think, process and do all kinds of math. Well, some of us. I hate math. Anyway, that’s a whole other issue. I used to get in trouble in math because I didn’t work my problems out, but I got the right answer. The teacher would be like, “You have to work the answer out.”

I’m like, “Let me tell you something: When you’re at the grocery store, they don’t want to see your math. They just want to know if you know.”

I got in trouble all the time. Whole other story. Squirrel. ADHD just kicked in. Anyway, we’ve got these minds that can reason, but every single one of us has something in common. Every one of us. Some of us have done this more than others, but every single one of us knows this. There has been something that’s come to you, whether it’s a person, a relationship, a job, a car or whatever it was that you did your research, you looked at your data, and you conclude via reason what you were going to do or what you thought about this or how you made a judgment about something, to find out later you were wrong. “I was wrong.”

Reason can only take us so far. We only have enough data points. We’re finite people. So, our reasoning can take us so far, but it can’t take us all the way. I mean, this one criminal is wanting proof, proof, proof and proof. But see, God didn’t call you and I to reason ourselves to Him. He didn’t call ourselves to believe in a knowledge. He’s asked us to have faith. I can tell you this for a fact: It takes faith to see a condemned, beaten man hanging on the cross as righteous. It doesn’t look that way. You wouldn’t reasonably conclude that. Now, that being said, what does he say? He says, “This man’s done nothing wrong.” How does he conclude that? Well, he concludes that from faith. That doesn’t mean his faith is unreasonable. There’s every reason to believe that there could be a god. There’s a reasonableness to it. But reason itself can only take us so far. I just would like to ask you to consider that for a second. Maybe as you reason and you think through things and whatever, maybe stop for a minute, have a little bit of humility to go, “You know, I might not have all the data points to make all the things make sense.”

I can tell you this: It’s very reasonable to believe that when you understand Christianity and you understand first century Judaism, there’s no way in the world that a crucified man would be considered to be the Messiah. Nobody would’ve believed that. Nobody would have said, “The man that just died on the cross? Yeah. He’s also the Son of God.” Nobody would’ve done that because messiahs that got crucified weren’t messiahs. People who claimed to be messiahs, Rome crucified to show them that they weren’t. That’s why the men went into hiding. We’re told that. I mean, it couldn’t be more honest in Scripture. They’re hiding. They don’t even go out. It’s the women that go out to the tomb. It’s the women that come back and preach the Gospel to the men. If you were going to create a story in the first century, you would’ve never had women, at all, being the testimonial to a resurrection because women’s testimony wasn’t regarded. You wouldn’t have made that story up. This would’ve been crazy.

“That’s the way you’re going to start it? Women are the ones who saw it? They’re the ones who preached to you?”

Rome and the Jewish leaders would’ve found that body and paraded it all around Jerusalem, but nobody could find it. Well, what happened? The most reasonable conclusion as to why we do what we do here, and we’ve been doing this for 2,000 years as a Church, and people do this all over the world, the most reasonable conclusion is something happened. Those guys saw Jesus alive. They saw Him alive. It changed their lives. In fact, Paul, just 20 years after Jesus’ death, in 1 Corinthians 15, says, “Hey, here are some people you can go talk to. They saw Him.”

Twenty years? That ain’t that far away. It ain’t like we’re talking 300 years. Twenty years. He says, “You can go talk to these people. They saw Him. They saw Him alive. He was alive. He’s alive. Go talk to them.”

Something happened. So, reason can take you so far, but it can’t get you to faith, but faith doesn’t have to be unreasonable. Faith can be reasonable. The second thing I want to tell you, because this is huge, is for consideration. Just to think. The messengers of Jesus will all be flawed. Some people will say, “I don’t want to be a Christian because I’ve seen them. I’ve seen the way they live. I’ve seen them drive on University. They’ve got better sign language than my pagan neighbor. Nice little bumper stickers on the back. ‘Jesus is my copilot.’ Obviously, He knows how to use the fingers, too. And I’ve seen you guys tip after church. You gave a track, ‘Jesus loves you,’ and didn’t give me any tip. Yeah. I’m out. I see how you guys live. You Christians can make, I think it’s called, the Good News — man, you make it sound so bad when you start judging me, telling me how bad I am and all the things I believe that are wrong.”

Let me address this head-on. You’re never, ever, ever going to have anybody — I want to make sure that you understand this. Nobody’s going to tell you about Jesus that has it all together. Don’t confuse the character of the messenger with the content of the message. We see this in this passage, too, because Jesus never answers the accusation of the other criminal. It’s a flawed, condemned criminal who answers. It will always be a flawed person that answers your questions. Always. He rebukes him.

You can imagine how that other criminal thought. “Who are you to tell me what’s right? Who are you? You’re no different than me.”

And that’s true. But I can tell you this: If a criminal in a suit came to you and said, “Hey, I want to let you know that your wife’s on the interstate and has a flat tire,” you wouldn’t care that the person was a criminal. You’d care about the content of the message. Don’t let the message of Jesus get confused with His followers. Oftentimes, we don’t do a great job. I can tell you right now, I’m the pastor of this church and I’m flawed. If you don’t believe I’m flawed, ask my kids. They create flaws in me that I didn’t even know I had. It’s like, “Whoa. I’ve got some work to do, man. I am really bad.”

Listen, none of us have got it together. I don’t have it together. None of us do. But what we’re trying to do is we’re trying. Should we tip better? Absolutely. Should we turn the other cheek better? Yes. Should we judge less? Yes. Should we look like — absolutely, 100% we should. I can tell you this: Here at Grace, we really try to make sure that we teach about who Jesus is and try to live it out there in the community. But I can tell you this: If you’re there and you’re here today, and you’re going, “I don’t know because I’ve seen people push me away. I got hurt by Church. I got hurt by Christians,” please hear my heart here. You’re never going to get someone that doesn’t have flaws telling you about Jesus. Don’t miss out on Jesus. Don’t let thieves rob you from what God has for you. Don’t.

Third thing I would ask for your consideration: It’s not getting everything right that changes eternity for you and I. It’s Jesus. He didn’t come to start a religion, folks. He came to have a relationship with you and I. He’s talking about do I know you, not talking about did you jump through all the hoops. And we see this here in this passage because, I mean, this is an important scene. Jesus is there in judgment. They’re just like you and me. They’re flawed. Somebody wants more answers. Somebody’s trying to give the answers and they’re all flawed. Everything’s going on. This is beautiful because this is such a truism here. Even the guy that believes, he’s got bad theology. Did you know that? He’s got some things that aren’t right. Here’s what he says: “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

That’s a future word. He thinks, “Out there somewhere, I think — I mean, I’m not quite sure how all this works. Out there somewhere.” But Jesus corrects him. He says, “No, no, no. It’s today, buddy. My kingdom is today.”

See? His wrong beliefs didn’t keep him from Jesus. What mattered wasn’t how well his theology, his doctrine or his things lined up. What mattered was who is Jesus? That’s what matters. You and I aren’t going to do enough to get into heaven. Christianity isn’t about what we do. Christianity is about what Jesus has done for you and I. We can’t work our way into heaven. You can’t do enough to get into heaven.

I had a lady last night that told me, “I’m so glad you told me that because I’ve lived in guilt my whole life.” I go, “That’s why we changed the name of our church from Guilt Community Church to Grace Community Church.”

She laughed. My point being that you and I’s right beliefs are not the things that unlock everything. The person is what matters. Christianity is not a set of beliefs. It’s about a person. See, when Jesus talks to Peter in Matthew 16, He doesn’t say, “Peter, what do you think about the end times, brother? Are you pre, mid or post?”

“I’m pan. It’ll all pan out in the end.”

He doesn’t say, “Peter, could you tell me — you know, there are going to be the Pauline epistles that talk about the incipient Gnosticism to the Corinthian correspondents in the eschatological framework of those who believe that the eschaton has already come?”

It’s like, “Okay. I’m not quite sure what...”

No. He doesn’t ask that. What He asks is this: “Who do you say that I am?” That’s the question. “Who do you say that I am?” Trust me. We in the Church have done a good job, sometimes, of really messing the Gospel up. The Gospel, so that you understand it, so that nobody’s unclear here, is this: God loved you and I, the world, so much that He gave His Son. He died on a cross for you and I. He rose again on the third day so that if we believe in Him, we could have eternal life.

That’s the Gospel. Don’t lose sight of the extravagant grace that’s being offered to you and I. This is a guy, what’s he done right in his life? We know he’s a criminal. We know he’s a thief. We could maybe even argue that the only good thing he’s done is he defended Jesus right before he died. This is not about how well this guy performed. You know, Jesus didn’t look at him and go, “Well, I don’t know, man. I don’t know. Do you know any of the old Gospel hymns, brother? We can’t even get you baptized. I don’t think you’re going to get in.”

No, no, no. The extravagant grace that’s being offered is incredible, but he’s not the only one that sees something different that day. There’s one other. That one other is the executioner; the one that drove the nails into Jesus, who stands at the foot of His cross. The Roman Centurion. As he stands there because he stood there many times before. He knows what crucifixion is and he knows how they die. He knows that when they get ready at the very end, they’ll be choking on the liquid in their lungs and they’ll asphyxiate. But, all of a sudden, he hears Jesus yell out, with a loud voice, “It is finished.” He looks up and he sees something that nobody else saw. He’s like, “How can a man who just died, because they die of asphyxiation, yell out with such a loud voice?”

It would be impossible. He says, “Surely this man must have been the Son of God.” See, it’s the criminal and the executioner that enter eternity that day. Man, if these two people can get in, that means we can because it’s an extravagant grace.

I told you that I wanted to give you an opportunity to respond. I don’t do manipulation. I don’t do any of that stuff. If you know me well, it’s just straight up. That’s what it is. Some of you are here and you just thought you came, but you’re not here just because you came. You’re here because God wanted you here today. He wanted you to hear that He loves you and that He wants to have a relationship with you. Some of you all may be starting to see something a little different today. These two men did. My prayer, and it’s been the prayer of this church, is that many of you will see something a little different today.

So, what I want you to do — I’m not going to embarrass you. It’s not going to be weird. I just would like for everybody here to bow your heads with me, shut your eyes with me and just take a moment. We’ll get out of here in just a second. Just take a moment to reflect upon what you’ve heard. Take a moment and ask yourself the question, “Have I had a moment today where I thought I was coming to church, but man, there’s been a moment. You know, Chip, I’ve been away from God for a long time. I’ve been running from God. I’ve been mad at God for some things He’s done in my life. I’ve never been to church. I’ve never heard any of this. But man, something’s speaking to me.”

If that’s you and you’re like, “I want to make sure that I settle eternity today. I want to know that I’ve settled eternity today, and I actually feel like I can, like I’m here for a reason.”

If that’s you, nobody is going to call on you, nobody’s going to embarrass you. This is just between you and God. It’s sort of an act of faith. If that’s you, if you go, “I want to settle eternity today,” would you just put your hand in the air for just a second, and put it down? Amen, amen. Many, many hands. Okay. You can put them down. You put your hand up. It’s an act of faith. I want you to pray with me. You don’t have to pray this exact prayer. Just pray something like this. This is not a magical prayer, but there is a prayer that we can say. I just want you to pray something like this.

“Jesus, I can relate to that guy on the cross. I’m flawed. I missed the mark. Will You remember me, please? Will You remember my name? Will You change my life? Will You let me know that eternity is settled once and for all? I want to receive that extravagant grace. I want to receive resurrection. I believe You didn’t hang on that cross for no reason. I believe You hung there for me. I believe You rose again on the third day. I want to have a relationship with You.”

If you prayed that prayer, or anything like that, and you meant it, you can walk out of here today knowing that your eternity is settled. What I’d like for you to do if you did pray that prayer — you don’t have to do it, but I’d ask you to do it. Would you find somebody after service that’s got a lanyard on, a staff member or someone and just say, “Hey, I prayed that prayer today. I’d like to know what’s next.”

We have staff members. We have people that are here that will help you. They’re not going to pull you aside or do anything crazy. They’ll just help you out and tell you what you can do next, and how we can do this thing, because we want you to grow in your relationship. We don’t want to just get you into the kingdom. We want to make you into a kingdom person that goes out and shares the same thing that you’ve just receive to other people. So, if that’s you, would you do that?

Let’s end in prayer. Dear Heavenly Father, thank You so much for Your goodness and mercy. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Easter. Thank You for resurrection. Thank You for newness of life. Thank You for all the hands that have been raised this weekend. Hundreds that have said, “I want to settle eternity once and for all.”

God, thank You for what You’re doing here in our midst. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for dying on a cross and resurrecting on the third day so that we can have eternity with You. Lord, as we walk out of here, I pray that You would continue to lead, guide and direct us. I pray that You would watch over us and protect us. I pray, Lord Jesus, that You would bring us back safely to when we meet again. And I pray, Lord, that You would help us to stay focused, as a church, on what You’ve called us to be, and that’s a church that reaches the unchurched by being intentional neighbors that reflect Christ.

Lord, we love You, we thank You and we praise You. In Jesus’ name, and everybody said, “Amen.”

Give the Lord a big hand clap. Tell Him you love Him. God bless everybody. See you soon.

Chris Pedro