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The first thing I did was place before you what was placed so emphatically before me: that the Messiah died for our sins, exactly as Scripture tells it; that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says; that he presented himself alive to Peter, then to his closest followers, and later to more than five hundred of his followers all at the same time, most of them still around (although a few have since died); that he then spent time with James and the rest of those he commissioned to represent him; and that he finally presented himself alive to me.
(1 Cor. 15:3-8 NLT)
Have you ever seen the Broadway play Jesus Christ Superstar? The show came through Kalamazoo, MI a number of years ago, so Beth and I went to see it with a couple of our friends. It was a great show, but there was a little problem with the end. You see, they didn’t finish the story. Jesus was nailed to the cross and died, then to my amazement the lights came on and everybody started clapping. I was like, “wait, and minute…it’s not over, that’s not the end of the story!” They had forgotten to include the most important part of the story.

Today, we honor what we Christians call Good Friday. It’s a solemn day in which we remember the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for our sins. Today we reflect on the sinless God-Man who went to the cross for every sin we ever committed, and not just for ours, but for the whole world. When we deserved judgment, He extended mercy to all who would believe in Him and accept His outstretched hands of forgiveness. This day is not so much about how bad we are but about how good God is. He loves us and He gave His Son’s life for ours.

The story of man’s redemption is the story of Jesus. His story starts with humble beginnings in a manger in Bethlehem, but it doesn’t end on the rock covered hill called Calvary, and it certainly doesn’t end in the hillside tomb made for a rich man. You see, His story becomes our story and our story begins when we take to heart the truth that Jesus no longer hangs on a cross or lies in a tomb. The tomb is empty. Jesus is alive and that’s worth celebrating because His death and resurrection brings us life. Like the old hymn says:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth living just because He lives….
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation to everything we believe, everything we are and everything we will ever be. He is alive; let’s celebrate it this weekend as we all enjoy Easter with our family and friends. And remember the story doesn’t end today, it’s just beginning.
Prayer: Father, thank You for sacrificing Your Son for me.  Today, while I remember the price He paid, I’m also reminded that the story doesn’t end there, but that three days later You raised Him from the dead. And because He lives, I can face tomorrow! In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Jeff and Beth Jones Ministries
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Author Biography

Jeff Jones
Web site: Valley Family Church
As a young couple, fresh out of Bible School with Two daughters and a third child on the way, Jeff and Beth Jones felt God's call to pioneer Valley Family Church in 1991 with a vision to make an eternal difference in Southwest Michigan. As a husband and wife team, they have always led together as visionary pastors and have shared the pulpit as Bible teachers. They are passionate about building the local church in greater Kalamazoo and the global church around the world.

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The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

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