By Pastor Jeff Beltz
Easter is all about hope. Coloring and hiding eggs for kids and eating Peeps make for some fun that most of us enjoy, but there is something very significant about this holiday that offers hope and help to millions. Easter is when most of the Christians around the world focus on and celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.
Why and Where is The Hope in This Ancient Event?
Bottom line: God created the world really good and pure, but then Adam and Eve chose a bad path and separation from God happened, bad move. God loves humans, even more that we love our children, and that is a lot, and we are, in reality, His children. Humans had no hope of fellowship, (hanging out in a great relationship), with God because we all sinned, after Adam and Eve opened the door to sin. Easter celebrates how God sent His son, Jesus the Christ, to be the “bridge” on which humans can come back to God. To “reverse the sin curse,” as it were. Why we celebrate His death and burial and resurrection is that He paid the cost for our mistakes and selfishness, (sin), and now we get to know God and we get His help in our lives.
Additionally, we have the reality and promise of heaven with God and other people, who by faith in Christ, crossed the “Christ” bridge. Heaven brings Christians a lot of hope and peace because not only are we now not afraid of death, but we get to see again and forever those that have died, who had that faith in Christ. I miss my parents and several friends that were real Christians who went to heaven. What a hope to get to see them soon enough!
The resurrection is key, because coming back from the dead proved Jesus was God, was perfect and could legitimately pay the penalty for our sin, (that sin that separated us from God, our loving Creator) and build that bridge.
Once a person becomes a Christian, the hope and help starts, but it really grows exponentially, when these new Christians learn of the promises of God in the Bible and so many exceptional things available through God’s love like: how to have peace in troubled times, how to get over terrible habits and events, and that God has a very cool and worthwhile purpose for our lives and much more. This is why most Christians go to Church, in addition to wanting to thank and worship God for being so magnanimous.
Easter focuses on the most important event in history, so we celebrate it. Because of Christ’s unimaginable sacrifice, we get God! That is certainly worth a big party, with or without Peeps! Some Christians do not understand this fully, but when they come to Church, read their Bible and listen to some adroit Christians, they not only “get it,” but many come alive like never before. In my own life’s ups and downs, waves and storms, faith in Christ has been a strong chain to secure me to the solid love and help of God.
At Arizona Community Church, we have everyone from kids to senior adults and we all are growing in knowledge, experience and the love of God. There really are no perfect people here and we are welcoming to anyone checking out God or looking for a new church home. We have a “come as you”’ are mentality, because that is how Christ takes us, humble, burdened and just as we are.
Because Easter is such Great News, we are offering a lot of services to accommodate various schedules, so that as many as want to are able to Come Celebrate with Us! Easter Sunday, April 1 at 7:00am is a Sunrise Service, outside on our plaza. At 8:15am, 9:30am and 10:45am we celebrate inside with great music too. We also have a Good Friday Service on March 30 at 7:00pm. For the kids, we even have an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 31 at 9:00am.
We meet in South Tempe at the corner of Rural and Knox, right across from Corona Del Sol High school. 9325 South Rural Road. For information: www.azcc.org or (480) 491-2210. We at ACC are inviting all in our community that do not have a home church to celebrate Easter with us.
Pastor Jeff Beltz