I just finished preparing the first draft of Sunday's message. It may be the most important message I write all year. Sunday, being Easter, there will be people attending church all over the world, including Dallas Bay, that may not return until the same time next year. That makes my attempt at sharing the gospel with them both exciting and burdensome at the same time. Since we have abbreviated services on Easter to handle the crowds, I attempt to be more succinct with my words. This years message will be in two parts. One near the beginning of the service and the other near the close. I thought I would include the personal account of my visit to Calvary and the traditional site of Jesus burial at the end of the second message segment. Because of the shortness of time I may have to prune the story Sunday morning on the fly so I thought I would share it with you in its entirety here.
As I wandered down the via de la rosa in old
To get to the traditional place of His burial you don’t even leave the building. An elevated stone path leads to the doorway of the most elaborate tomb I had ever seen. Hundreds of pilgrims from all over the world waited in line for hours just to pass the priest guarding the door and spend a moment inside. We stood in line for a while and then most of slipped out of the line just to observe from a distance. How weird it was to see the place where millions of people have waited in line to see the place Jesus rose from death to life guarded by a priest. How ornament after ornament had been placed over the tomb so the simple hole in the rock was no longer visible to the public. To me it became an icon to how we have covered the beautiful simple story of the gospel with man made rules and rituals. Even in our attempt to honor Him we obscure Him from those who need to see Him most.
Pray with me that this Sunday pastors and preachers in every church and every denomination uncover the simple truth of the gospel for those who are straining to see him through all the clutter.
See you Sunday!