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Easter Sunday

JOIN US ON MARCH 31

Blended Service

Our first service on Easter Sunday will be in the Sanctuary at 8:45 a.m.

The front entrance to the Sanctuary is located on 100 Broad St. 

Modern Service

Our next two services will be in the New Life Building at 9:30 & 11 a.m.

The front entrance to the New Life Building is located on 117 Church St.

VOLUNTEER

We have three services this year, will you attend one and serve one?

What is easter all about?

If you are curious about what Easter is or would like to have a guided, short devotional about Easter, follow along with each minister at FBC as they share about Jesus in His final days before Easter, called Holy Week.

DAY 1 – PALM SUNDAY

Zechariah 9:9, John 12:9

This week we’re going to follow along with Jesus in his final days before Easter, called Holy Week. While he had been teaching for a few years by this point, Jesus’ actions during Holy Week revealed what he cared about his entire life on earth: loving others and serving God. It begins on Palm Sunday when Jesus arrives in Jerusalem. He enters the city riding a young donkey. This peculiar mode of travel fulfilled a prophecy from the book of Zechariah. This prophecy said that a king would arrive on a donkey and that Jerusalem should “Shout in triumph” (v. 9).

But there were a few upside-down expectations already happening on Palm Sunday, particularly about what sort of triumph Jesus’ arrival would signal.

The people had just watched Jesus bring Lazarus back from the dead. They were curious about who this miracle worker was, and some might have imagined Jesus using his power to lead a rebellion against the rulers of the time, the Roman empire.

The Pharisees were a group of religious leaders (think pastors and professors) concerned about Jesus’ popularity. They feared that the people’s love of Jesus would weaken their own power and status.

The disciples – These people had followed Jesus for years, learning and growing with him on the road. But it was only as the crowds cheered that the disciples recognized how Jesus fulfilled Scripture. What could this mean? Even these close friends and followers didn’t yet understand how much Jesus would do because of his love for them.

Day 2 

Mark 11:15-18

Why didn’t Jesus want the shopkeepers and money changers in the temple court? He even calls them thieves! The answer is less about selling doves and more about their greed and lies. While the temple was made to help people worship God, the money changers were using the temple to worship money and power. They charged unfair prices and lied to visitors about what God asked his people to do. These shopkeepers made worship seem more difficult for their own gain.

When Jesus cleared the temple, he revealed God’s true feelings about worship. God values our love and devotion, whatever shape that takes. And he hates when people add obstacles to spending time with him or turn it into an opportunity to make money or gain power. We don’t need to bring a fancy gift or a perfect track record. God simply asks that we bring our whole selves along and spend time with him, whether that means singing, dancing, studying God’s Word, or any other way we focus our attention on God.

Day 3 

Matthew 22:34, Matthew 23:1

We’ve already seen this week how jealous the Pharisees were of Jesus’ upside-down way of caring for the people. But in today’s reading, they laid a trap for Jesus in the form of a question: which command in the law is the greatest? This question was a trap because the Pharisees were experts in God’s law, familiar with the many specific and complicated parts of trying to live perfectly. They even added more rules to try to gain the respect of their peers and the people. How could someone who loved God exclude a single part of the law?

But Jesus didn’t choose a law about making sacrifices or keeping clean or any of the extra rules the Pharisees followed. Instead, he revealed how well he knew God by giving the reason behind the thousands of laws, summarizing it into two statements: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matt. 22:37) and Love your neighbor as yourself (v. 39). The purpose was love, asking people to live every day in relationship with God and set aside their pride and fear to look after one another and be taken care of themselves.

Day 4 

John 13:2, John 13:12

At a dinner called the Last Supper, Jesus turned yet another tradition on its head: he washed his disciples’ feet. In that time and culture, washing another person’s feet wasn’t only a dusty task. It was also a sign of how (un)important you were. A servant might wash a guest’s feet, but a teacher would never wash a student’s feet. Except, Jesus did. It was a sign of humility that confused the disciples, like a lion serving berries to a mouse!

After the foot washing, Jesus gave instructions to the disciples: “do just as I have done for you” (v. 15). It was their job, as it is also ours now, to serve others. No one is too important or clever or special to serve others. Not Jesus, not kings or queens, and not us. We might not wash another person’s feet exactly, but caring for others through our actions should be a regular part of our lives.

Day 5 – Good Friday

John 19:15, John 19:38

Good Friday has a backward sort of name. How can a day be called “good” when, as we read, it holds so much sadness? The answer here is a bit complicated. Since the foot-washing of yesterday’s reading, Jesus had been arrested on false charges. Pilate (a government official) offered to trade Jesus’ life for Barabbas, a rebel and what Matthew calls a “notorious prisoner.” But the crowd refused, shouting instead for Jesus to be crucified, a death reserved for those who had committed the worst crimes.

The “good” in Good Friday is not talking about death by itself. Instead, we remember Good Friday because of what Jesus’ sacrifice accomplished, wiping away the shame and sins of all who believe in him. This is the core of the Christian faith, that God’s son would receive the punishment in place of us. And those who believe that his sacrifice is enough to make them clean can trust and live like it’s true, both on earth and in heaven. While Jesus did not deserve his death, we celebrate that in his love for us, God makes it possible for us to be in a relationship with him forever. While we mourn for what happened, Jesus’ sacrifice is not the end of the story!

Day 6 

John 20:19, Genesis 21:1, Hebrews 6:13

In the days after Jesus’ death, the disciples were afraid the authorities might kill them as they killed Jesus, and they grieved the loss of a dear friend and trusted teacher. How could they believe the promises that Jesus had made, that God really cared about the new ways of loving others that Jesus taught? What about his claim that he was “the way, the truth, and the life”? Sometimes when we ask God for things, waiting for a response can feel lonely. But God proves over and over again that when he makes a promise, he keeps it. While the disciples wait together, let’s talk about an example of God keeping his promises.

Long before Jesus was born, God promised a man named Abraham that he and his wife Sarah would have a child. This was important because, without a child, all Abraham’s home and belongings would go to someone who might not have used them to care for Abraham’s family. But God promised he would have a son, even though Abraham and Sarah were very old. They waited 25 years before their son Isaac was born. And while they both had moments of doubt (Sarah laughed when she first heard the news) the Bible says Abraham’s faith was counted as righteousness. Doubt did not cancel out faith. Abraham and Sarah’s descendants thrived and eventually, Jesus would be born to one of their descendants, Mary. The wait was worth it! And the disciples’ wait will be worth it too as we’ll see tomorrow.

Day 7 – Easter Sunday

John 20:1, John 20:11

All week, Jesus has been demonstrating in our readings how love turns the usual way of things upside down. Easter Sunday is the exclamation point at the end of Jesus’ work on earth. It went like this: Mary Magdalene arrived at Jesus’ tomb expecting to mourn. Instead, Jesus meets her, alive (!), and sends her off to share the joyful news. He is alive!

The roman authorities and religious experts expected Jesus’ death would cheapen Jesus’ teachings and break down the relationships he built. Instead, news of Jesus’ resurrection spread and opened the way to even more people looking to know and follow him. So now, even when we don’t understand (like the people on Palm Sunday), or do the wrong thing (like the shopkeepers in the temple), or feel scared or angry or alone (like the disciples waiting together), God is with us. And he continues to love us and serve us!