Comfort and Joy

Dear New Life Family,

What does Holy Week mean for you? Good Friday and Easter are the highlight of the Christian year. As Christians we say this is true because everything we believe hinges on Jesus’ death and resurrection.

For me, the words comfort and joy sum up what this week means to me. I feel comfort because I know that I have forgiveness of sins through Jesus’ death. And I feel joy because I know that evil is defeated and Satan is conquered because of Jesus’ resurrection.

For me this is a game changer. There are a lot of things that change in life—I have good days and bad days, situations ebb and flow and people come and go—but I know that God is always constant. He is always faithful and he always keeps his promises. Not just because of his character and because he is God. I know this because of the finished work of Christ.

Some people doubt the facts surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection. But there is a lot of historical evidence for this. Good Friday and Easter aren’t just Hallmark holidays. The whole of human history hinges on these events. And there’s more to celebrate than eggs and bunnies. Because he died and rose again, everything is different. We have new life in Christ!

You are probably like me. You probably have times in your life that you feel on top of the world. And then there are those other days—those not so good days. Those days that you doubt, struggle or feel like you’re just holding on by your fingertips. Sometimes our feelings change like the weather, but God never changes. And I don’t know about you but that gives me comfort and joy.

Jesus’ death and resurrection is a reality in history that proves both the love and grace of God but also the power and wisdom of God. I feel comfort because I know that nothing can separate me from the love of God. There is no end to his grace. Because Jesus suffered in my place and took my sin upon himself, my loving heavenly Father says, “All is forgiven. Come home! Be reconciled!”

Also, I feel joy because I know that whatever troubles and hardships come my way, God is in control. He has already defeated Satan at the cross. And the empty grave is proof that he has disarmed death. The evil one has no power over us anymore. Light has come. Darkness is no more. I don’t need to fear death. Instead I can rejoice in God. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”

Friends, I invite you to join with me in remembering Jesus’ death and celebrate his resurrection. Make time for our Good Friday service at 7PM and invite a friend and family member to come with you to our Easter worship service at 10AM. May God give you comfort and joy. And let’s celebrate the new life we have together in Jesus Christ our Lord!

Grace and peace!

In Him,

Pastor Andy

Bible Verses for Holy Week

PALM SUNDAY

Philippians 2:5-11: Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

MONDAY

Isaiah 42:1-4: Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.

TUESDAY

Isaiah 49:1-4: Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.”

But I said, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God.”

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