Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Atheist Church--Easter Service

Welcome to "Atheist Church." It’s an honor to have you here on this Easter Sunday.

Let’s begin with an appropriate hymn for Easter: Amazing Grace

Think about the words of this song, that was penned by a cruel slave-trader who tasted of God’s mercy in Christ:

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

You eyes may sweat a little, as you listen to Chris Tomlin sing this amazing song about an amazing grace:


Today’s sermon is taken from Luke chapter 2:
“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” (Luke 16-23).

Easter can be a time of sacrifice--when many (who wouldn’t normally darken the door of a church) endure a boring sermon--thinking that they are somehow balancing the scales with God. However, for the Christian every day is "Good" Friday. A day doesn’t go by when thoughts of God’s love don’t flood his mind.

Eight days after His birth, Jesus was circumcised, and taken to Jerusalem to be dedicated to God, where a sacrifice was made. The Jews continually offered sacrifices for their sins, often in the form of a helpless lamb. However, these only provided a temporary covering for sin. They had to continually come back with more. But Jesus was the Lamb of God who had come to, once and for all, remove sin. His sacrifice sufficed the Law of a holy God.

Those who don’t understand the necessity for a sacrifice may be helped by looking for a moment at the sacrifice of the Incas. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that all isn’t well between God and His creation. Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, disease, suffering and death are clues that all is not right. So the Incas would take their most prized possession--a beautiful virgin, and offer her as a sacrifice. In essence they were saying, "Look God, we are giving you something of great value to us--a huge sacrifice. Does that appease your anger against us?"

Of course God forbids human sacrifice. He calls it an "abomination,' and He mercifully withheld Abraham’s arm when he was about to sacrifice his son Isaac. We know that Abraham proved his love by his willingness to give his only son back to God. This was a powerful Old Testament "typology," an evident illustration of how God willingly gave His only Son as a sacrifice for the sin of the world.

But those who don’t understand that still make sacrifices today. Especially at Easter. They sacrifice an hour, and endure a painfully boring sermon. That’s also an abomination to God (see Proverbs 15:8). The only sacrifice that was will wash away our sin and open the door to forgiveness of sins, is the one He provided in the Savior when He allowed Him to be crucified, and then raised Him from the dead. That’s what we celebrate at Easter.

Announcements: This week’s winner of the $100 is L. S. (U.K.). We know that those in the United Kingdom are also feeling the economic squeeze, and hope this helps in a small way.

Collection: There’s no collection. This service is without charge.

Benediction: May you understand what happened at Calvary 2,000 years ago, and appropriate it personally.