2 Pillars News

Easter: The Superbowl of the Church World?

On Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. A friend of mine calls Easter Sunday the “Superbowl of the church world.”

As with all metaphors, you can’t apply too much pressure or it will inevitably break. That said, the Superbowl reference does a decent job of illustrating the significance of Easter Sunday in a way that is easy to understand.

Superbowl Sunday is the most anticipated, most popular, and most-watched sporting event in the United States—by a long shot. The NFL season is a long road that leads to this single destination.

Similarly, Easter is the most significant, most anticipated day in the church world.

But why?

Surely Easter baskets can’t hold a candle to Christmas trees loaded with presents! So, what makes the Easter celebration of Jesus’ resurrection so significant?

The Resurrection Is a Miraculous Event

My ninth grade biology teacher began our first day of class by directing our attention to a dead frog floating in a jar of formaldehyde. He promised an automatic “A” to anyone who was able to bring the amphibian back to life.

As you have surely guessed, none of us collected on his offer that year. We all had to earn our grade the old fashioned way.

You see, despite all our medical breakthroughs and scientific advancements, humanity hasn’t managed to find an answer to the problem of death. As the saying goes, nothing is certain but death and taxes. Death is the inevitable, inescapable fate that awaits us all.

This is precisely what makes the resurrection of Jesus so extraordinary and miraculous. Following his crucifixion, Jesus was dead. Lifeless. Just like that frog in the jar in my ninth grade biology class.

The story doesn’t end there, however.

Jesus rose again! He rose in victory over death. This resurrection wasn’t metaphorical or figurative. It isn’t a fairy tale we tell our kids. It was actual. It was physical. It happened. Jesus defeated death.

The Resurrection Is Foundational to the Christian Faith

Not only was the resurrection a miraculous event, but it is also foundational to the Christian faith. In the Bible, the Apostle Paul explains:

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:12–14)

Paul is saying here, among other things, that if Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead, then the Christian faith is in vain. It’s worthless. In other words, if you’re a skeptic looking for the most effective way to undermine the Christian faith, then the resurrection is your point of attack. If Christ wasn’t raised from the dead, then Christianity crumbles.

So, on Easter Sunday Christians are celebrating the very event that defines and upholds their faith.

The Resurrection Is Essential for the Christian Life

The resurrection isn’t merely significant for the Christian faith in general, however, but also for the Christian life in particular.

By faith in Jesus, one is united with Him in His resurrection. Jesus’ victory over death and the grave becomes our victory over death and the grave. Jesus victory over sin and Satan becomes our victory over sin and Satan.

This victory allows the Christian to turn from the sin that once enslaved her and walk in joyful obedience to Jesus. It also gives the Christian hope—a hope that will not disappoint. This hope is the ultimate and eternal answer to the universal problem of death. Through faith in Jesus, we look forward to eternal life in Heaven with Him.

Jesus Is Risen

This Sunday at 10:00AM, 2 Pillars Church will be gathering to celebrate the miraculous resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s going to be a party!

Not a Christian? That’s okay.

If you would like to hear more about Jesus, His resurrection, and what it could mean for you, then I invite you to join us.

Jesus is risen. He is risen indeed!

 

Photo Credit: Onilad

What's So "Good" About Good Friday?

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Good Friday is the day of the year where Christians remember and celebrate the death of Jesus.  Death isn't something that we typically celebrate, so… what is it that is so "good" about Good Friday?

To make sense of this, we need to understand something about sin, something about blood, and something about Jesus.


Sin

The Bible teaches that every single one of us is sinful.  This includes you and it includes me.  Biblically speaking, however, we're not just considered sinful because we don't do what we should do (sins of omission) and do do what we shouldn't do (sins of commission); rather, we're born sinful.  Sin therefore infects every aspect of who we are - our actions, thoughts, emotions - everything.  

Another way to say that is to say: we're not sinful because we sin, we sin because we're sinful.

The Bible further teaches that because of our sinfulness, we are at odds with God and that when we die, if our relationship with God is not repaired, that we will spend eternity apart from God in what the Bible calls hell.


Blood Must Be Shed

When it comes to repairing our relationship with God, the Bible teaches that we are not able to do that in-and-of ourselves because everything we do is tainted by our sinfulness.  What that means is that even our best efforts to seek God or please God are not enough to repair the broken relationship with God.  Nothing we do can repair it.

Going to church every week can't do it. Reading the Bible every day can't do it.  Praying every morning can't do it.  Alleviating poverty can't do it.  Nothing we do can repair our broken relationship with God.

Instead, the Bible teaches, blood must be shed.  In fact, as you read through the Old Testament, that's exactly what the sacrifice system is all about: making atonement.  Making atonement is just a fancy way of saying that it is through the sacrifice that God's wrath is removed for an offense against God (sin).  More simply: blood must be shed in order for the wrath of God which we deserve for our sin to be appeased.

Enter Jesus.


Jesus

The Bible teaches that Jesus came to repair, once for all, the broken relationship between us and God.  That God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Jesus died for us (Romans 5:8).  That Jesus, the Son of God, was sent by the love of God the Father to rescue us in our brokenness and to repair our relationship.

When Jesus died on the cross on Good Friday, he put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.  Having come and having lived the perfect life, he died the perfect death, in our place for our sin.  It was the sacrifice to end all sacrifices and he did it for us.

And when we believe and trust in Jesus, this is effective for us.  Not only is the wrath of God due to us for our sin appeased, but we are forgiven, redeemed, and restored according to the riches of his grace which he lavishes upon us.  When you believe and trust in Jesus, your broken relationship is fully and finally repaired.

That's what is so good about Good Friday.  That's why we, as Christians, remember and celebrate this day.  


Celebrate With Us

If you'd like to learn more about Good Friday or simply need a place to remember and celebrate it, we invite you to join us this Friday at 6:30pm for a one-hour worship gathering at the 2 Pillars Church building on the corner of 15th and South.


Photo Credit: Jason St Peter


Know Lincoln. Engage Lincoln. Champion Lincoln.

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We love our city. That's what this new blog is about.

2 Pillars Church doesn't exist in a vacuum. Our people live in Lincoln, they work in Lincoln, and they go to school in Lincoln. They go out to eat in Lincoln restaurants, they meet for happy hour in Lincoln bars, they shop in Lincoln stores, they take their kids to play in Lincoln parks, they work out in Lincoln gyms, they run and bike on Lincoln trails, they attend concerts at Lincoln venues, and they volunteer in Lincoln organizations.

The Vision

Several months ago, a few of us from 2 Pillars began to pursue a vision for creating a digital space, the 2 Pillars blog, that would be about Lincoln and for Lincoln. It's common for a church to have a blog on it's website that's about church people and for church people. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that approach—we simply wanted to do something different and shift our focus away from ourselves and toward our city.

Well, here we are. We launched a new, redesigned website this week, and with it, we launch the 2 Pillars Blog. Over the coming days, weeks, and months we plan to post content with three main goals in mind: know Lincoln, engage Lincoln, and champion Lincoln.

Know Lincoln

We want to know Lincoln and its people better. So, as we explore our city, we'll let you know what we learn along the way. The possibilities are nearly endless here, but some examples of what we might highlight are local businesses and organizations, history and architecture, as well as events and people.

Engage Lincoln

I've pointed out that this isn't a blog about church people and for church people. That said, we won't refrain from writing about many of the topics you would expect from a church blog (e.g. Jesus, Christianity, the Bible, church). We will, however, write about them differently. Our goal here is to write in a way that engages those in our city who don't necessarily hang out at church on Sundays, know much about the Bible, identify with Jesus, or call themselves Christians.

Champion Lincoln

We bring a pro-Lincoln bias to the table and we do so unapologetically. We love our city and we intend to be champions for our city. Lincoln is a great place and we want others to know why. On the other hand, we know that Lincoln is not immune to brokenness. Lincoln has needs and we want to promote those needs as well.

Follow Us

So, we invite you follow along and check back regularly as members of the 2 Pillars community begin to make this vision for the 2 Pillars blog a reality. We hope you enjoy the content as much as we do producing it.

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