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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Something In Between

Steven Furtick - Something In Between

Steven Furtick - Something In Between
TOPICS: Easter

Hallelujah! You can feel it, right? God is up to something today. Welcome. Happy Resurrection Sunday, everybody. All over the world, we greet you in the name of Jesus, the name above every name…Jesus who is seated at the right hand of God, Jesus who was laid down in grief and awoke holding keys. May he unlock prison doors in your life today. We believe he's going to do something awesome. Tell your neighbor, "I believe God is gonna do something awesome in your life today, spectacular in your life today, mind-blowing in your life today". Now look at them and say, "Mine too. I'm getting in on this". Another stone is rolling right now. Is it you? Is it you he wants to call out of depression? Is it you he wants to call out of despair? I'm looking for you.

God gave me a word for this Easter Sunday. This is my nineteenth Easter preaching here at Elevation Church. I would like to say (I hope I don't jinx it by saying this before the sermon) it's the best Easter crowd we've ever had on Easter Sunday. Now live up to that. All right? It's a lot of pressure. Don't be acting all stuffy because Aunt Suzie came to church with you today. Act how you always act. I know you will. I want to share with you from the resurrection account in Matthew, chapter 28, and offer a fresh perspective that the Lord shared with me. I think one of the greatest blessings God can give you sometimes is a fresh perspective, where you look at things differently. Sometimes he changes things. Sometimes he changes the way I see things, and then things change. The perspective on the resurrection…

You know, 19 years of preaching this thing, you would think I knew what was in it, but God is so great and his Word is so awesome. It's the most remarkable story ever told, the most remarkable event in human history, that Jesus rose from the grave. Let's go back there for a moment into a flashback in Matthew, chapter 28. I'm going to read verses 1-4 for context, but my lesson really picks up at verse 5. The Bible says, "After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men". Verse 5. Pay attention. "The angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid…'" Really?

So, the guards are over here, dead. These big Roman soldiers are like dead men, and the women are supposed to not be afraid? Okay. This guy, this stone roller… This is a BA right here, a big angel. I don't know what you… Okay. It's Easter. "The angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.'" I need you to say the key word was. Verse 6: "He is not here; he has risen…" All of that already happened. "'He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: "He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him." Now I have told you.' So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples".

I want to use as a subject for this sermon today Something in Between. Would you look at your neighbor really quickly and say, "I'm something in between". Look at your other neighbor, the one you rejected, scorned, and bypassed the first time. Say, "I'm something in between". I'm so excited to preach this. I know I was excited because I was having weird dreams at 3:00 in the morning, 4:00 in the morning. About 4:00, I woke up. I was dreaming about Clemson. I reckon I fell asleep when they were losing their game. They made it to the Elite Eight, but then they lost. I think that was in my subconscious, and so was the excitement of Easter and "Anything is possible".

So, in my dream, I was at Clemson as a student, as a 44-year-old man, and I was going to football practice to see if I could walk on and play. That's how excited I was. I didn't even play youth football. I've never played football in my life. That's how excited I have been to be with you. I was dreaming about Dabo. Of course, that has everything to do with Matthew 28. I'm just excited, and when I get excited, I'm an extreme person. I am. I get excited about something, and then I'm all in. I'll sell everything, buy everything, sell everything, and then buy everything. Buy it and then sell it. I'm very extreme. So, for me, it was a real insight to realize that everything in this text, which is about as extreme as you get…angels rolling stones, earthquakes shaking the foundation of the planet, dead men rising… This is as extreme as it gets…a crucifixion where the innocent Son of God was treated as a common criminal. That's as extreme as it gets, yet everything in the text is in between.

One man said, "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans". As the women are bringing their spices to anoint Jesus, he's already taking a stroll on a Sunday morning. We love this text because everything is in between, but just reading it for the exclamation point of the resurrection misses some of the intricacy. First of all, let me give you this in a few different ways. The ministry of Jesus in Matthew, chapter 28, is at an in-between moment. He has already fulfilled his earthly mission, which is to save us from our sin by dying on a cross so that everybody who puts their faith in him (and that could be you today) could be saved in his name. Then, after he did that (suffered a horrible death that we could not abide), he rose again with all power in his hand. He's done with that now, but he has not yet ascended to the right hand of God. So, his earthly mission is complete, but his heavenly ministry, where he sits at the right hand of God (what he's doing now), has not yet begun. He's in between.

One thing I was tempted to skip over, but when I slowed down and read it, it became very important, is that the Bible says it was after the Sabbath at dawn on the first day of the week when the ladies found the tomb of Jesus empty. Think about that. Not only was the ministry of Jesus in between, but this is an in-between moment as well. The ministry is in between. The moment is in between. It's dawn. It's not exactly morning. It's not exactly night. It's something in between. That's why I wore this today. It's spring in Charlotte, and it's not exactly cold, and it's not exactly hot. It's something in between. So, I have coverage and ventilation.

Graham was picking on me. I had this shirt that I thought was really cool, and I bought, like, 50 of them because I'm extreme. He said, "I hate to tell you this, because I know you got 50. I do not get that shirt. It's not a compression shirt, and it's not fashionable. It's got a scoop neck, and it's too tight. It's not an athletic shirt you can work out in, and it's definitely not something you need to wear onstage. It's something in between". Some of y'all came to church today with your… They're not exactly just your friend. (A little DTR might happen in the car on the way home from Elevation today. I'm here to serve.) "No, we're not dating, but I'm not evangelizing her either. I invited her to church with maybe some ulterior motives".

It's something in between. It's dawn. It's morning. It's night. The night is losing its grip on the morning, but it is just peeking through the shades of pink. The sky is not yet blue and clear. There's just a little bit of it that I can see as the night relinquishes its hold. It's something in between. Do you see what I mean? It's a beautiful text, because not only is the ministry of Jesus in between, not only is the moment in between, but the messengers are in between…the messenger, the angel. The angel is not Jesus. The angel is not God, but the angel is not a human either. The angel is something in between. Now look at your neighbor and say, "You're not an angel". Tell them, "But I don't think you're a devil either".

Now repeat the next line. "You're something in between". I need everybody in this church who is not an angel but not a devil… I'm not the best Christian in the world. I'm probably not the worst one either. I've seen how some of y'all drive with your Elevation stickers on your car. I didn't know that was a worship signal when you did that one finger up in the air. What does that mean? Something in between. We all are! Pink, purple, indigo, blue, violet… I don't care what you wore in here. Underneath that is your flesh. Although you may be ready for heaven when you die because Jesus rose, don't you need him in between? Wave at me if you need him in between. "Lord, I appreciate one day you're coming to get me up out of here and take me to a place where there are no more tears, but there are tears here, and I need you in between".

So, the ministry of Jesus is in between. The messenger is in between. The moment is in between. Then you have something the angel says to the women, and it is like these annoying parents who try to coach their kids from the bleachers when I go to watch my kid wrestle. They'll say things to the kid that is probably the right thing to say to the kid, but it's not that easy to do when you're out there doing it. I heard one parent say to a kid who was wrestling the other day… His kid was getting beat, and he said, "That's the wrong move"! "That helps, Dad. Thanks. Not like you know the right one". Here's the angel. Look at what he says to the women. He says, "Don't be afraid". "That's easy for you to say. You're an angel. You're a big angel, a BA, a bold angel. You've been in the presence of God. You weren't there when we watched him die. You're not bound by this flesh". "Don't be afraid".

The Bible gives a very, very instructive phrase, and this is where I want to teach you today. I'm going to teach you a lesson today. If you are going to look this good to come to church, we are going to get the most out of your outfit today and teach you something. It was crowded when you came here to Ballantyne today. Right? And you had to fight through some things to get here. Don't worry. Next week there will be plenty of room for everybody, so come on back. I'm probably going to start a new series next week, an eight-week series, so you should come back next week. But look at what the angel said. "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified". "He is not here where you expected him to be. He is not dead, which is the last way you saw him. He is not lying in this place anymore". "He has risen, just as he said".

Won't he do it? Just like he promised. "Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you". Verse 8: "The women were full of faith and doubted nothing, so they did what the angel instructed" is the way this should read if we were angels. "God's got me, and it doesn't matter that they're laying people off in my division, because God is my provider" is how it should read if we were angels. "I know God is going to bring my kid back, so I'm not going to spend all of my time worrying about it; I'm going to turn it over to the Lord and do the best I can" is how it should feel if I'm an angel.

If I didn't believe in God at all, then I would have complete despair, but I believe in him, yet I have to be in this body, so I'm something in between, like the women in this passage. It says in verse 8, "They hurried away from the tomb…" I love this phrase, because this is how I feel. "…afraid yet filled with joy". This is not a translation error, by the way. Most of us think you're either going to be afraid or filled with joy. I had somebody ask me the other day… I was going to do something that was a big deal, and they said, "Are you looking forward to it or are you dreading it"? I was like, "Are those the only two options? Because I'm not exactly looking forward to it. I'm not exactly dreading it. I'm something in between".

It can change from moment to moment. I'm really grateful for this life God has given me and this influence he gave me, and then sometimes that anticipation feels like anxiety, and sometimes my anxiety feels like anticipation. Sometimes the difference between anticipation and anxiety is the way you label it. Some of the things in your life today… Now I'm going to talk right to where you live. Let's get away from 2,000 years ago history and bring it right into your current situation. I'm saying I'm anxious. If you look beneath the anxious feeling, there is actually a future you are anticipating. Every time you step forward, you shake a little bit. Every time you reach for the right thing, it feels a little foreign in your hands, because you've been reaching for the wrong thing.

The Bible says you can be afraid yet filled; you can be empty in your energy and filled with God's Spirit; you can be empty and not know the solution of how this is going to work out, yet somehow have complete confidence that "He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it". Somebody say, "I'm yet filled". I like the way that felt when I said it. I'm yet filled. "I don't have all the money I need to start the business, but I'm yet filled with faith that if God wants me to do it, the supply is on the way". "Now, I don't know how this is going to exactly turn out yet, but I'm yet filled with a knowledge that the God who was with me before in the previous season would not abandon me between winter and spring". At this point, if you interviewed these Marys they would say, "Our minds are back and forth. We're grieving". "I'm grieving, but I've got good news. I know it's going to be good in the end, but my grief didn't go away just because I got good news". This is why you can throw up your hands and worship God even while you're going through hell. That's how you reach for him.

Now, let me make sure I'm making this clear, because I get so worked up and start moving too fast. Their grief over the death of Jesus did not disappear to make way for the good news that he was risen. In the text it says a little conjunction. It says, "Afraid yet filled". Yet is a conjunction. Jesus is my conjunction. Jesus is my in-between thing. Jesus is how I can say… You know how people say, "It's all good"? I can't say that. I have some habits that are not good. I have some people in my life… (I'm going to skip that one. I'll come back to that next week.) I have some things I'm dealing with that are not good. So, it's not all good. "How are you doing"? "It's all good". We say that all the time. I don't say that anymore, because it's not all good, but it's not all grief either.

You have to remember that when you're going through a dawning season where it's not exactly dark and it's not exactly light. "My marriage isn't exactly back on track, but it's not yet falling apart". "I haven't yet lost my mind, but I'm not really that sane yet either, so don't test me, because I could pop loose really quick. I'm something in between". I read a Bible verse I want to give to you from the New Testament in Romans 8:28. Romans 8:28 says, "In all things God works for the good of them who love him and are called according to his purpose". It doesn't say everything will be all good; it says even when it's not all good, it's still all God. That's what I want you to say about your life today. It's not all good, but it's all God. That's how I made it. I would have despaired if I did not believe I would see the goodness of the Lord, that I would see it. I can't see it right now. I can't prove it on a chart. I can't draw it on a graph, but I've got God! And I've got grief.

Are you grieving? Ask your neighbor, "Are you grieving or are you good"? Tell them, "I've got something in between". See, God is my in-between. God will take whatever happens. If it's bad, he'll make it good. If it's good, he'll get glory out of it. If it's bad, he'll make it good, and they'll know it was all God. So, if you see me playing Division I NCAA football, you know it was all God. Something must have happened in between. Now watch this. Can I give you more? There is a quote that changed my life attributed to the Austrian psychologist Viktor Frankl. He wrote the book Man's Search for Meaning. It is one of the best-selling books of all time, and I know why from this one quote. Look at what he said. "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom".

Wait. I should have told you more about him before I read what he said. He was a Holocaust survivor. So, Viktor Frankl didn't say, "It's all good". I don't know anything about his religious belief, but I've found this to be true in my life. Sometimes the only thing I have is that space between stimulus… Do you know what I mean by stimulus? Not the checks they gave to everybody over the age of 3 awhile back, but what happens, a stimulus. Like, Bop! You hit my hand, I'm going to slap your face, or… This is where he talks about the space. You slap my hand. In between my slap back is a space. Between stimulus and response… The women were afraid yet (that's the space) filled. So they ran on the revelation they had, even though they didn't know what the result would be. Now, they only have to go about a mile to get to Jerusalem where the disciples are still staying, but there are 80 miles to go to Galilee where Jesus said he would meet them. Keep that in mind. It's important as we talk about space. Stimulus and response.

Let's talk about God. Let's talk about Jesus since it's Easter. The cross was God's response to your sin. The stimulus was your sin. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". God's response to your sin could have been wrath. Instead, it was grace. The distance was fixed between God and me so that I could not come to him. His response? He came to me. The suffering was the stimulus; forgiveness was his response. Are you starting to see what I'm talking about? That space in your life right now is what happened to you and what you will do next. The resurrection speaks to that. If there is a space between the stimulus and the response, and if that space is my power to choose my response, I know one thing about me: I don't do very good with that space. I had one this week. This guy texted me something crazy. I hadn't heard from him in eight years, and he just decided to text me something crazy out of the blue.

"Happy Easter. Here's something stupid". Antagonistic, irritating, ignorant…all of it. Now, what I want to tell you is I prayed for him and sent him some boots, some pink boots for Easter. Nuh-uh. I made the best text, and y'all know I'm pretty good with words. I put every word I've ever learned in seminary and in seventh grade in a text. I tried seven different drafts. I typed them all up, and I deleted them. Then I typed another one, and I deleted it. Every one I typed up got better than the last one. By the time I finished texting him back… This is important. By the time I ended up texting him back, I didn't send it. I'm going to save you a lot of trouble.

Look at your neighbor and say, "You need space before you hit 'send.'" What in the world would we have paid to know that earlier in our lives? Not just on a text but on a response. Thankfully, if you are too weak in your own strength to make the right response, Easter comes to say you have a Savior who emptied the grave, and all power is in his name, and that same power is in you. What am I trying to say? Your Savior is a space maker. How many need a space-making Savior in your life today? See, the good I want to do I don't always do. This is why this church is so excited about Jesus, in case you're a first-time guest: because our Savior is our space maker. We were bound in sin, we were wrapped in our past, we were trapped in our trauma, we were locked in our loneliness, we were down in our despair, and the space maker came to show us that all things are possible.

Now let's contrast this. Viktor Frankl said there is a space between stimulus and response. The other philosopher, Willie Nelson, said… I've got to give you what Willie said. Y'all, I go over to my mom's every Wednesday night for dinner, and she picks out different… I got her a record player, and I asked her to pick a record every Wednesday. We listen to music and eat, and then we watch Wheel of Fortune. (Pat Sajak, I still want to meet you if you ever watch me preach. That would be a real bucket-list item for me. I love Pat Sajak. I pray for him every time before he goes on.) I came in the other night, and my mom was playing a record by Willie Nelson. It got my attention, and I thought I would use it in my Easter sermon.

Willie says… Well, I gotta get drunk, and I sure do dread it, 'Cause I know just what I'm gonna do; I'll start to spend my money, callin' everybody, honey, And wind up singin' the blues; I'll spend my whole paycheck on some old wreck, And, brother, I could name you a few, But I gotta get drunk, and I sure do dread it, 'Cause I know just what I'm gonna do. I researched it, and Willie said that's the dumbest song he ever wrote. He said, "It's a good song, but it's a stupid song". But it was true at the time. "I gotta get drunk". "I've gotta go off. Did you hear what they said about me? I've gotta go off. I've gotta do it. If you disrespect me like that, I've gotta do it".

I think this Easter, the space maker wants to change your "gotta" from "I've gotta do it" to "I've got a God". I don't gotta do it anymore, because I've got a God who made space, who shed blood. If I call on his name, and if I stay in his Word, he can change me from Simon to Peter. He can change beauty out of ashes. He can turn graves into gardens. I've got a grave, but I've got a God who can turn it into a garden. What I used to have to do I'm not powerless to do anymore, because he got up! I don't gotta stay down because he got up! I've got a God. So, they're standing at the tomb. They're standing at a grave, but the angel says, "Go to Galilee". They can't stay at the grave, because he's not there. "He's not in this depression. He's not in this giving up. He's not in this failure. I mean, he's in it to help me, but he's not in it to leave me. He's calling me forward to Galilee".

So, the women did it. It's annoying. Right? Where are the guys? The guys are eating fish and chips and protein bars and Monster Energy drinks. They say, "Now we've got to go stop by and tell the guys that Jesus is going to meet them in Galilee". I probably would have skipped it and just went right on to Galilee myself. It's 80 miles. "It's going to take three or four days, so let's get a head start, because we want to see Jesus". So what did they do? They're afraid (notice verse 8), but they ran. They used their fear for something productive. I know you've been through some things. Use them. I know you have something on the inside of you, chasing you. Well, point it in the right direction, and let's go. You've been an addict? Help an addict. You've been through horrible abuse? Put your arm around somebody. They need to hear that God can do a miracle for them. "I'm leaving this grave".

Everybody in here has a grave God is calling them away from. Everybody in here has a place in them, a place in life, a place they can't stay, and a long way to go. Oh, it's a long way to Galilee. "I don't know if we can make it 80 miles to Galilee to see Jesus again". "I don't know if I can make it through this season. I don't know if I can do it at this stage of my life. I don't know if I have the fuel left to do it again. I don't know if I have a repeat performance in me". "The first time we followed him it was hard, but then he died. I don't know if I have a second wind in me". But they're running. This whole Sunday hinges on a word in Matthew 28:9 that God brought you to this moment to show you. As they are leaving the grave and eventually going to Galilee, the Bible says, "Suddenly…" Not only do I have a space-making Savior, but I have a "suddenly" Savior. Suddenly…what? "Suddenly Jesus met them".

Oh, you mean they didn't have to go all 80 miles? No. While that angel was still talking about Galilee, the Savior was headed your way. I need you to say this by faith. "He's coming my way. He's headed my way. I'm leaving this grave". The Lord wants somebody to know you are not going to have to go all the way to Galilee to get to him; he's coming to you. See the scene with me. They're running, and maybe between the two of them they're sharing, "I don't know if we should trust that big man who was sitting on the stone. He said he was an angel, but who knows? You can't trust any men". The other Mary says back, "Well, what are we going to do? We can't stay at the grave. We've got to go. We can't stay in this dead place. We've got to go. If we stay here, it will only ever be death. He's not coming back to the grave. We've got to go".

So, they're going, and they're calculating all the distance between them and Galilee. "We've got 70 miles left between where we can't stay and where we want to be". Somebody is there right now. You're calculating the distance between where you are and where you think you need to be. The Bible says, "Suddenly Jesus met them". On their way from the grave to Galilee, they hear something in between. "Greetings". "Could that be"? "Greetings". "It sounds like him". "Greetings". "Yeah, that's his voice. I thought we were going to have to go all the way to Galilee, but suddenly, I see something in between". Jesus met me in the middle of my mess. Jesus met me on my first mile. Jesus is going to meet me in this moment. What a Savior. Not only is he a space-making Savior. Not only is he a "suddenly" Savior.

Do you understand the power of the Savior's "suddenly"? A lifetime of sins can be washed away with one call upon his name, with one mention of his name, with the bowing of your knee. Everything that speaks the name of Jesus will be saved, because he's a "suddenly" Savior. The thing you're so stressed about, if God is real, what makes you think he isn't already planning to do something in between? This is how the Devil will get you. I was talking to somebody the other day, and they said, "I'm so worried about my kid going to college and this college and that college". Their kid is in the seventh grade. I said, "Don't worry about that. Worry about something else. You can worry about stuff, but don't worry about that".

So much could happen in between. You understand. You think you are going to be lonely the rest of your life. God could have one greeter out those doors, and in between the time I say, "Amen" and the time you try to eat some ham for lunch, God could do something in between. That's how I met Holly. She was traveling through Moncks Corner. She grew up in Miami, Florida. She was traveling all over the country doing ministry with this ministry team. They were riding around in an RV and doing ministry, and their travels brought them to Moncks Corner. So, you have Miami and you have Moncks Corner. Very different. She saw a very handsome young man at the church where they were… No, she did. Listen to how good her game was. She comes up. She's like, "I'm homeschooled, and I need to take the ACT. I was wondering if maybe you could go to your guidance counselor and get me an ACT Prep Pack".

That is the most masterfully understated pickup line in the history of great romances. "Could you go to your guidance counselor"? When I looked at her, I was like, "Oh, I know another guidance counselor that I believe…" Come on, somebody. You have a guidance counselor. While I was growing up in Moncks Corner, 615 miles away in Miami… Miami to Moncks Corner. If God could do that… From a grave to Galilee and everything in between. You don't even know what he can do in between. Preach it to your fear for a minute. Let's talk to your fear. Say, "God always does something in between".

The outcome you're dreading is based on the events you are hypothetically creating. What if God does something in between? What if it doesn't even go to trial? What if you get through it and it ends up being the best thing that ever happened to you? What if God does something in between? He must be doing something in between. He did it for Daniel. Daniel spent the night in a lions' den, but their teeth never touched him. There must have been something in between Daniel and those lions. He did it for the three Hebrew boys. They were thrown into a fire. The fire was heated up seven times hotter than normal, but they didn't smell like smoke when they came out. I mean, if you even get close to the fire, you're going to smell like smoke. So, if they came out of the fire and didn't smell like smoke, God must have done something in between. Will not this same God, will not this same Savior who met the women not when they got to Galilee…?

Now I don't feel sorry for them anymore, because the boys had to wait. They got to see him first. I stand before you today excited and afraid. I stand before you today a sinner and a saint. I stand before you today a flawed man and a child of God, and I'm never all of both. I'm something in between. What Jesus said to those women will touch you so deeply. He said, "I'm going ahead of you, but I met you on the way. I'm already in your tomorrow, but I'm going to show up right now to remind you who you're walking with". Say, "Thank you, Jesus". When you talk back to the preacher in church, don't talk to the preacher; talk to God. Say, "Thank you, Lord, for that word. Thank you, Jesus. I receive that coming to me right now on this first mile of my 80-mile journey. I've got to get to Galilee, but I'm thankful that you met me in between". He tells them, "Go. I know you're afraid, but go. Go tell my brothers…"

You're still calling them brothers after they left you at the cross? Every single disciple except John went away, and Jesus called them brothers. Every person in this room today, if we could look inside your heart… You are carrying the guilt of what you did, the guilt of who you think you are, the guilt of what you failed to live up to that you meant to be. Then there is the glory of God, who is Jesus Christ, who is the righteous one, who knew no sin but became sin that we might become the righteousness of God. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. You're not the best Christian who ever lived. His name is Jesus. But there is nothing so wrong with you today that the Savior who is perfect and pure cannot redeem it. Why are we surprised to see him? Why are we surprised to hear him in between the grave and Galilee?

We shouldn't be surprised that he met us in the middle. We shouldn't be surprised when he shows up in our shame. We shouldn't be surprised when he gives us mercy for our mess and righteousness for our rags. We shouldn't be surprised to see him in between, because the last time we saw him on the cross… Look at what John 19:18 says Jesus was doing. "There they crucified him with two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between". I see Jesus in between today. There's an anointing on this word to bring you out of your grave, to bring you out of your guilt, for wherever there was guilt, grace was greater. Whatever you did, wherever you've been, the dawn is breaking. The morning has come. He has risen, and his grace is greater. Your sin has separated you from God, but your Savior is greater than your sin. He is Jesus in between, making you right with God. You could never be right with God in your own righteousness. You don't have to. You have Jesus in between. Right now, while the presence of God is standing on this road in this moment… What Jesus said to the women he says to you. "Greetings. Be not afraid, but go".

Heads bowed, eyes closed, everyone standing at every location, no one moving. This is a holy moment. This is an in-between moment. For though our sins were as scarlet, he washed them as white as snow. This is an in-between moment. He is a stretching Savior. He is a "suddenly" Savior. He is a space-making Savior, and there is room at this cross for you. For everyone online and at all of our locations who wants today to meet Jesus, I want to tell you the great secret of the mystery of the gospel. While the women were looking for Jesus, Jesus was already looking for them. He desires to meet you in this moment. Right now, I'm going to pray a prayer. If you've been far from God and you know it, yet today he calls you brother, sister, friend, child of God… If your sins have been weighing heavy on your heart and you haven't known what to do with them and your shame is great, I introduce you now to the Savior whose name is greater.

I'm going to lead you in a prayer. It won't be a magic trick, but it is an act of faith. The Bible says that if anyone calls on the name of the Lord, they will be saved. It is by grace that you are saved. Your guilt is great, his glory is great, but his grace is greater than your guilt, and you can receive it right now. Suddenly, you can be a brand-new person, today, this day. So, right now, if this message was for you, I want you to repeat this prayer after me. You're coming to Jesus. He already came to you. Just repeat after me and let him into your heart, turn from your sin, and he will make you a brand-new person. We're praying out loud, as a church family, for the benefit of those who are coming to God for the first time or coming back to God. Repeat after me. This is your moment.

Heavenly Father, today is my day of salvation. I am a sinner in need of a Savior, and I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. I believe he died that I would be forgiven and rose again to give me life. I receive this new life. This is my new beginning. I am a child of God.

On the count of three, shoot your hand up boldly if you prayed that. One, two, three. We celebrate your resurrection today. That is what it's all about today, that Jesus met me, that Jesus changed me, that Jesus is with me, and I'll never be the same. I need everybody who believes he has risen to give him a great shout of praise! Come on! We can do better than that! Make some space for the Savior! If he did it and you know it, give him a shout! Three, two, one!
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