Summary: God has a purpose for us after Easter.
INTRO.- DID YOU HEAR THE NEWS? It did it again. It was number one again! What’s that?
The movie THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST was the number one box office hit at the movies this last Easter weekend with an income of $17 million. The second on the list was some crazy movie called HELLBOY. (I’m certainly glad to know that Christ beat the Hellboy on Easter) And third was the new Alamo movie with Billy Bob Thorton.
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST has now made $355 million dollars and some authorities estimate that it could make $400 in America alone. It is now number 8 on the top ten list of movies in America.
I think this is good news about the good news! The good news is actually about the fact that Jesus Christ died for all mankind. He made eternal salvation possible through His death on the cross! That’s good news! WE CAN LIVE FOREVER BECAUSE OF HIM! And it’s also good news that the movie THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST is causing such a positive stir across America and around the world.
We haven’t heard the last of this yet. GOD IS STILL AT WORK IN OUR WORLD AND IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE!
ILL.- The president of the North American Christian Convention, Dick Alexander, who preaches at the Clovernook Christian Church in Cincinnati, OH, wrote these interesting and insightful words entitled, “The Perfect Storm.”
“It surely seems like things are stirring in America in unusual ways. I don’t remember in my lifetime hearing the amount of conversation about Jesus that’s taking place in our country right now.
“Jesus is everywhere in the media. He was on the cover of Time magazine. That’s happened before, but last week ABC also did a three-hour special on Jesus, and Fox did an hour-long special that was very positive
“More impressive than the media coverage is the stream of stories people are telling about conversations at their workplaces and schools. Non-church folks are asking questions and raising substantive issues. People aren’t talking about church, but about God.
“This may be a ‘perfect storm’—a convergence of forces bringing deep spiritual reflection. The week after 9/11, church attendance surged all over the country. But by the end of that month, it had dropped back to normal. The upswing appeared to be a small blip on the screen. Yet that may not have been the end of the story.
“After 9/11 came Afghanistan, and then Iraq. And now Iraq looks messier that ever. Also, in the back of many people’s mind lurks the possibility of terrorism returning to our shores. These are unsettling times.
“Then came Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ. It was a gift from God for our time. A foreign language film with English subtitles, all it did was tell THE STORY.
“And now they’re talking—everywhere they’re talking. And our friends, neighbors, classmates, and co-workers are talking about the important things—not the quirky, weird religious stories that sometimes make the news. They’re open to discussing God, prayer, life after death, forgiveness.
“There’s no way to tell how long this time will last. Americans have notoriously short attention spans.
“This could be just a few months, or it could be the beginning of an urgently needed national spiritual renewal. In any case, the only day we have for sure is today—let’s make the best of it. These are unprecedented days for sharing Good News with those you care about.”
I believe that Dick Alexander is right. We may well be seeing the beginning of a greatly needed spiritual revival. America certainly needs a revival. The world needs a revival and so do we!
In the light of Easter, what should we do? Do we just attend Easter services and that’s it? Shouldn’t there be something more?
PROP.- There are least three “musts” for us to fulfill or do after Easter.
1- Live passionately
2- Preach humbly
3- Love sincerely
I. LIVE PASSIONATELY
Phil. 3:7-8 “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”
Phil. 3:12-14 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
That’s passion. The apostle Paul was willing to forget his great past in order to pursue and know Christ. He was willing to give up everything for the sake of Christ. If that isn’t passion, I don’t know what is!