Coming Together

Nuʻuanu Baptist Church / April 15, 2022

 

When Gail and I were missionaries working with Japanese-speaking people in Japan and Australia, we talked to a lot of folks about Jesus dying on the cross for their sins and about Jesus rising from the dead on Easter.  Many times I got the feeling that when they heard us it just went over their heads.  It was like talking to them about aliens from outer space.  

 

Now Gail and I were really grateful to the Lord for allowing us the privilege of working with Japanese-speaking people.  We grew to love them and it would break our hearts that so many of them just didn’t care at all about spiritual things.

 

I’m sure you know the feeling talking with your family and friends.  I would probably be more upset with “those people” for their lack of interest in Jesus if I hadn’t been one of “those people."  And I imagine that most of us were, at one time, one of “those people."

 

Although my family didn’t go to church very often, I can remember my mother buying us new clothes on Easter.  We didn’t go to church on Easter, but we stood outside on the sometimes snow covered grass, and my father would take a picture of us in our new “Easter clothes."  Interesting that my parents thought of Easter, but not of going to church and worshipping Jesus who rose from the dead that first Easter.

 

Why is Easter so important?  It is because it follows Good Friday!  On that Friday, Jesus suffered and died on a cross for my sins…and the sins of the whole world.  Maybe some Japanese, as well as most Americans, know that Jesus died on a cross.  But not that He died for their sins.   We say we know we aren’t perfect, but we are not as bad as others.  We may not be as “bad” as some, but we are still sinners in need of a Savior.  There is no one who does not deserve the wrath and judgment of God for their sin. The Bible says that even the good things we have done are like filthy rags.   It was our sin, my sin and your sin, that Jesus suffered and died for on the cross.  Our sin was that bad before a holy God.  Until we understand that, Easter doesn’t mean more than Easter eggs and Easter bunnies.

 

The Bible makes it clear that God is holy and righteous.  He must judge sin.  We are sinners and our sin must be judged.   But the good news is that because God loves us, He sent His Son, Jesus, to take the punishment we deserve for our sin upon Himself.  He bore OUR sin on the cross.  It is only by Jesus sacrificial death for us that we can experience forgiveness for our sin and salvation.  We don’t deserve it, but that is how great God’s love and grace is.

 

Easter is the proof that Jesus is who He said He is.  He said that He would rise from the dead, and He did.  We celebrate His rising from the dead at Easter.  He is alive and one day we will go to be with Him forever.  In the meantime we serve Him out of love and thankfulness and share that good news with others so that they my know Him too.

 

When we remember Good Friday and celebrate “Resurrection Sunday, Easter” we remember the filthiness of our sin and the power of our great God to raise Jesus from the dead.  John 3:16 still says it best:  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (ESV)

 

Grace and Peace,

 

Pastor Bob

 

Announcements

 

Midweek Bible Study will be on break.  It will be a break for 2 weeks and will restart on May 4.  Pastor Chris Morales will be on vacation from April 18 to May 4.  

 

Disaster Relief Preparation Training  is being offered again on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at Mililani Baptist Church.  Registration is at 8:30 am and 9 am-4 pm is the Training.  Cost:  $25.  Lunch will be provided.  Registration deadline is April 21, at 5 pm.  Register at HPBaptist.net/DR

 

Prayers go out to Lynn Corbaley and the family of Rev. Jerry Corbaley who passed away last week.  Please remember the family.

 

All other announcements may be found on the attached announcement bulletin from Sunday, April 10.

 

See you on Easter Sunday!  It will be a great celebration!