Posts in the "Series" Category

Stress and Distress: Cumulative Stress: When Giants Keep Coming

Sunday Sermon Series Stress and Distress

2 Samuel 21-22

We’ve already looked at circumstantial stress and relational distress. Today we look at cumulative stress, stress that just piles up. The Holmes-Ray Stress Inventory is a scale that rates how stressful certain life events typically are. When you add up all your stress over the past year, they say that if your score is 350+ you are likely to have a breakdown in the next two years. Stress can really add up and affect lives. 

Cumulative stress means stress that accumulates in your life. We can handle one or two stressors in our lives, but what do we do when stressful events seem to pile up? You probably know that David killed a Philistine giant named Goliath. Did you know there were other Philistine giants who attacked David and his men? What do you do when the giants keep coming? … Wait, just how big were these giants and is this possible to be that tall? We’re told Goliath was 9 feet tall. Even in recent history there was a man, Robert Wadlow, who was 8’11” and still growing when he died at only 22 years old. Wadlow was a rather skinny man but weighed over 400 pounds just because he was so tall. Imagine how much Goliath and these other giants must have weighed as warriors likely with broad shoulders and large muscles. Well, he was a descendent of Rafa and had brothers and cousins. Some of them were also giants and they attacked Israel. 

How do you deal with cumulative stress? 

  1. Lean on your relationship with other people (2 Samuel 21:15-22). … David had help from other people in defeating these giants. He had a group of warriors known as David’s Mighty Men. These men were incredibly loyal to David. Why? Well, he had shown his willingness to die for them and now they show their willingness to die for him. … None of these men were perfect and neither was David. They all were sinners and had flaws, but they were loyal to each other and to God.

  2. Lean on your relationship with God (2 Samuel 22:1-7, 17-210). … David sang Psalm 18 to God. This where he writes the psalm. David recalls what has happened and praises God for saving him as David called out to God in distress. 

One more thing: Committing your life to God will increase some stress in your life. Our goal is not stress-free living. Our goal is to follow even if that causes us greater distress. … Following Jesus will introduce certain new stresses but it will also get rid of other stresses that are caused by sin. 

Adoniram Judson, one of the more well-known missionaries, was serving in a dangerous location in India. He was in love with a woman, Anne. He sent a letter to her parents asking their permission to marry her and take her to this dangerous place where they could die any number of ways. It had to have been stressful writing that letter, reading the letter, and allowing their daughter to go. Serving in such a place also must have been stressful. Eventually Anne would die of a sickness. But not before becoming the first person to translate the Bible into the local language. 

Stress and Distress: How to Deal with Stress from Broken Relationships

Sunday Sermon Series Stress and Distress

2 Samuel 15-19

There’s good stress in life. For example, the strings on a guitar are under stress and make beautiful music, but if you tighten them too much, putting them under too much stress, they’ll snap. 

Ten years before the events we’ll look at, Absolam killed his half-brother because David, who was furious, refused to punish him for raping Absolam’s full sister. Absolam then fled the kingdom. David longed to be reunited with Absolam but there was this barrier that kept them from each other. 

David’s son, Absolam, rebelled against him and tried to take the kingdom from his father. David’s reaction models how to deal with relational distress. 

David’s encounter with Ittai, Zadok, and Hushai reminds us to focus on good relationships in times of distress (2 Samuel 15:14-34). … Ittai, one of his sons, is an image of loyalty here. Zadok the priest also shows his loyalty to David. Then David heard that one of his elder advisors was helping Absolam, but another of his advisors (Hushai) offered to help counter any knowledge the traitor gave to Absolam. … We all need people in our lives we can count on in times of need. This is why being in a connection group and part of the local church is important. 

David’s encounter with Shimei reminds us not to retaliate in times of distress (2 Samuel 16:5-13). … Shimei is throwing rocks and cursing at David from above, so one of his people takes offense and offers to cut off Shimei’s head. David stops him and allows God’s plan to play out. 

During this time of distress, David wrote Psalm 3. … Absolam’s spy gave him some good advice on how to defeat David, but Hushai gave Absolam some different advice and gave David time to get away.

David affirmed that God was his shield (Psalm 3:3-4). 

When you are in distress, don’t focus on what you don’t know; focus on what you do know. … We know God has promises that He will keep, than we can rely on Him. 

David determined that he would sleep (Psalm 3:5-6). 

When you are in distress, you need to talk to God, but you also need to talk to yourself. … It often helps to give ourselves a good talking too. 

Eventually Absolam died in a rather dramatic way (2 Samuel 18:9) and David went back to Jerusalem to retake his seat on the throne. Remember Shimei? The man who threw rocks and curses at David? He came crawling back to David seeding forgiveness and David forgave him. 

Stress and Distress: In Your Distress, Find Strength in the Lord

Series Stress and Distress


1 Samuel 30

Many things can cause stress: money, work, school, family, and many more factors can cause stress for us. Some stress is good. It can help us grow and reach new achievements. But some stress, often called distress, has negative effects on us. 

Background: God had made a decree back when Moses as leading His people that He would completely wipe out the Amalekites. God entrusted Saul with part of this task, but Saul spared some of Amalekites. This is part of why God rejected Saul as king and eventually replaced him with David.

What was the cause of David's distress in this passage (1 Samuel 30:1-6)?... Saul had raided Ziklag, where David and his men had set up as a base and left their families there. David's men were upset; they had followed David and trusted him, but now their families had been taken from them because of him. Apparently they discussed stoning David. 

How did David respond to his distress (1 Samuel 30:6-8)?... David got alone with God and found his strength in God. David sought God's direction as he asked what to do next; whether or not to pursue the group that raided Ziklag…. A couple of chapters before this, Saul faced distress, but instead of turning to God, he turned to a witch; he turned to false religion…. Gold answered David and said to pursue the raiding party, and that they would surely overtake them and defeat them. So they left, late in the day, and went after the raiding party. Some of the men were too tired to cross a river and were left behind. Then they met an Egyptian, a slave the Amalekites had left to die, and he led them to the Amalachites. David and his men rescued their families that were carried off. 

David wrote about his experience in Psalm 31. What is David's testimony and prayer in the psalm (Psalm 31:14-16)? … David trusted in God and asked for deliverance from his enemies. 

Who quoted the psalm in another time of distress (Psalm 31:5, Luke 23:46)?... Jesus knew the Old Testament; He knew the words of David and He used them. 

Prepared to Give an Answer: “I don’t need religion to be spiritual” Be Prepared to Answer the New Age Spirituality

Sunday Sermon Series Prepared to Give an Answer

This is the final sermon in this series about being prepared to answer others who have questions. 1 Peter 3:15 has been our theme verse and it tells us to be ready to respectfully and gently defend our faith. 

We’ve only covered a few worldviews and there are many more out there. 

New Age Spiritualism hold that oneself is one’s own god and is not an organized religion. They hold  pantheist view that everything in the universe is god and god is everything. Everything is divine. But “self” is sovereign over all. This is a bit like the “force” in Star Wars where the force is in everything and everyone and it connects us all. They meditate to clear 

The Biblical worldview says:

  1. God created everything. Creation is distinct from God yet dependent on God (Genesis 1-2; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 33:6; 104:12-25; John 1:3; Revelation 4:11). … God created everything and called it good. However, creation is not God and God is not creation. But He provides for us through creation as we and the animals and the flora all depend upon God. 

  2. God is transcendent (Isaiah 55:8-9; Romans 11:33-36). … Nothing about us makes us equal with God. He is above all, even ourselves. 

  3. Balance God’s transcendence with His immanence/nearness (Acts 17:27-28a; Jeremiah 23:23-24). … God is way above us but He is also among us. He is with us and wants a personal relationship with us. 

  4. God reveals Himself to people through His creation, through the scriptures, and through Jesus Christ (Psalm 19:1-2; Hebrews 1:1-3; Romans 1:25). … Creation points to a creator and reveals certain characteristics of God. The scriptures reveal even more about God. And, well, Jesus is God. 

Why is Christianity a more plausible worldview? 

  1. The New Age movement is man-centered and doesn’t account for sin. Christianity is God-centered and recognizes our need for a Savior (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 53:6; 64:6). … New Age Spirituality says we are basically good. Scripture tells us we are sinners in need of a savior. 

  2. The New Age Spirituality ignores the problem of evil; that is sin, disease, natural disaster, and pain in general (Romans 18:18-24a; John 16:33). … Are they ok with calling certain things good and certain people god? Their worldview seems to demand it. Christianity is different and warns us that we will suffer through evil in the world but that we will see rewards in Heaven. 

  3. As with many other worldviews, the New Age Spiritualist would say that truth is subjective. New Agers create their own reality (Romans 1:25). … Any time a view claims truth is subjective, there is no way to prove it or reach that conclusion without going against that view. The Bible warns us that people will reject the truth for lies. 

Chew and Spit:

  1. They believe in reincarnation (Hebrews 9:27-28). … Scripture says physical death is final. We do not come back in another body. 

  2. They practice meditation to work toward enlightenment. Biblical meditation is filling the mind with Scripture and praying and focusing on the work of God in your life. … They try to empty their mind instead of filling it with God. 

  3. Spiritualists are often holistic in practice. … They are often vegan in diet because of karma and are also good environmentalists. These are a couple things Christians could consider also for their own lives. 

  4. Spiritualists have many practices that they use to connect with their inner divinity and pursue enlightenment. … They use things like ouija boards and seances to try to reach the spiritual realm. This is something the Bible warns against. 

Prepared to Give an Answer: “There Are Many Ways to God” Be Prepared to Answer Pluralism

Sunday Sermon Series Prepared to Give an Answer

Key verse for this series: 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to be gentle and respectful when discussing issues with people who disagree with us, and that we need to be prepared to give an answer. 

Pluralism is the idea that ALL religions offers legitimate paths to God. NO single religion has a monopoly on how to be saved. In religious pluralism all roads lead to God. A pluralist is okay with stating that all truth claims are equally valid. It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere. … If you ask three blind people to touch an elephant and say what it is, one might touch the trunk and say it’s a snake, Another might touch the tusk and say it’s a spear. The third might touch the tail and say it’s a rope. None is more right or wrong than the others and all reached their own conclusions based on the information they had. The Pluralist will tell you that’s how religion is too. 

The Biblical worldview says: 

  1. There is only one way to God and Heaven and that is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:10, 12). … This is an exclusive truth claim. There is no way for it to accommodate other religions. 

  2. Christianity is unique because it is based on grace, not works. … Our society is all about works and what we have accomplished. Fame is gained through works, good or bad. But Christianity is upside down and everything is based on grace, There is no work we can do to gain salvation. Only the grace of God can save us. Other religions require works and don’t offer certainty of salvation. 

  3. God has become human in order to die in our place (Philippians 2:6-8; Romans 3:23-26). … We are all sinners and need salvation. Christianity offers assurance of salvation because it doesn’t require works. The hard part is done and all we have to accept the grace of God and believe in Christ. 

What evidence is there that Christianity is a more plausible worldview than pluralism? 

  1. All religions cannot be true because they make exclusive truth claims. This is called the Law of Non-Contradiction. … Different religions contradict each other. They refer to different gods and different paths to their god(s) and different end results. There is no way to reconcile all religions. … Any time we make a truth claim, we say that anything contradicting it is false. 

  2. No other religion addresses the problem of sin and the need for atonement. The truth is in the Gospel. … Many religions offer no guarantee of salvation because they are works-based and rely on a scale. You have to hope your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds. Christianity offers assurance of salvation through the grace of God. 

Chew and Spit: 

  • Christianity is not intolerant and unloving because of its exclusive truth claims. … We are often told we are intolerant because of these claims, but other religions also make exclusive truth claims and are deemed tolerant. 

  • The Bible teaches us to live peacefully with those of differing worldviews, not through silence but through example of faith. … When we treat people without respect and gentleness we are being intolerant. We should listen to others and treat them respectfully. … When Daniel and his friends were taken to Babylon and told to eat food that was against the Law God had given them, they respectfully declined and ended up healthier than the rest of the men. They didn’t set up organized protests or call anyone names. They responded peacefully without compromising their beliefs. This is seen throughout Daniel’s life as he refused to bow down to the golden statue and he refused to stop praying to God. 

  • Culture has tried to redefine the meaning of tolerance. … Too often it seems as though tolerance simply means that we agree with the popular view. If we disagree, we are labeled intolerant by those who claim to be tolerant. 

Prepared to Give an Answer:“Is the Bible Really True?” Be Prepared to Answer Skepticism

Sunday Sermon Series Prepared to Give an Answer

Key verse for the series: 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to gently and respectfully respond to those who question our faith. We’ve looked at a few ways to do that already. This week we look at how to do that when skeptics are asking the questions. 

There is a certain amount of skepticism needed in life. That’s the idea behind the ”chew and spit” part of each sermon in this series. However, there is an unhealthy skepticism in our culture and this sermon will look at three of the most common questions or claims made by skeptics. 

Skepticism says we cannot know truth even if it exists. Skeptics ask, “How can we be sure?” 

Chew and Spit: 

  • We want our kids to be skeptics to an extent (1 Thessalonians 5:21; Acts 17:11; John 20:25). 

What Skeptics Say About the Bible:

  1. “The Bible is full of contradictions and errors.”
    Minor discrepancies characterize eyewitness accounts. These can often be harmonized. Archaeology has repeatedly proven the Bible to be in small details previously unknown to us. … The book Cold Case Christianity looks at these discrepancies and determines that these discrepancies add validity to the eyewitness accounts. It’s written by a homicide detective who was not a believer before he studied the discrepancies in the New Testament … One example of a discrepancy that has caused people to lose faith is Mark 2:26. … An example of the Bible being proven right is the existence of the Hittites., For the longest time, the Bible was the only record of their existence until an archaeological dig discovered physical evidence that they existed. 

  2. “The Bible has been changed over the years.”
    Recent discoveries of ancient manuscripts like the Dead Sea Scrolls show the Bible has not changed substantially during the centuries it was hand copied. … The Dead Sea scrolls are 95% the same as the next oldest scrolls we have. The people who copied the scriptures followed meticulous methods that helped ensure the accuracy of their copy. … Many of the actual discrepancies that exist are one letter differences like John being spelled with one ‘n’ or two ‘n’s. They have no significance to the actual message.

  3. “The stories in the Bible are myths or legends.”
    Legends require a long period of time to develop, but the Bible was written by eyewitnesses (John 19:35; 2 Peter 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Luke 1:1-4). … There is a partial manuscript of John that dates back to 90 A.D. The authors of the new Testament all claim to be eyewitnesses or to have interviewed eyewitnesses. 

Prepared to Give An Answer: “True for You but Not for Me” Be Prepared to Answer Postmodernism and Relativism

Sunday Sermon Series Prepared to Give an Answer

The key verse for this series is 1 Peter 3:15 which tells us to gently and respectfully defend our faith. Colossians 2:8 also tells us to make sure we are not taken “captive by hollow and deceptive philosophy.” 

Postmodernism says there is no objective truth. All truth claims are subjective. Relativism says there is no absolute right or wrong. It says those who believe in absolute truth are intolerant … Before the Modern era, the common belief was that truth comes from God. The Modern era made the idea that truth comes from reason popular. Now in the Postmodern era, the idea that there is no objective truth has become popular. Relativism is closely related to Postmodernism and adds that truth claims aren’t only relative, but also are only for grabbing power. 

The Biblical worldview say: 

  1. Truth exists and comes from God (Isaiah 45:19; John 18:37; 16:13; 17:17). … God is the reference point. He tells us the truth. Jesus’ life was about revealing the truth to us. The Spirit guides us in truth. We are sanctified by God’s Word, which is truth.

  2. Right and wrong come from the nature of a Holy God (1 Peter 1:15-16). … God wants us to be like Him, set apart from evil. 

  3. God placed a sense of right and wrong in our hearts and consciousnesses (Romans 2:14-15). … We have a sense of rightness and morality that comes from God. That sense can be corrupted but we do all have one.

Chew and Spit: 

  • We agree that moral choices are not always clear. It is often difficult to know what to do in a fallen world (Exodus 1:15-21). …Not everything is black or white. Even Paul struggled with this regarding eating meat … When the Israelites were in Egypt and Pharaoh ordered the midwives to kill all the male babies, they let the babies live. Then they lied to Pharaoh about it and God rewarded them. Sometimes a lie is ok, but only under extenuating circumstances.

  • We do not agree relativism produces tolerance … Relativism claims to be inclusive but excludes anything it deems intolerant, thus making it intolerant itself. 

How can we be prepared to answer postmodernism and relativism? 

Gently point out the consequences of relativism: Are you willing to say that slavery, murder, rape, or human trafficking is wrong for some but not others? Was the Holocaust wrong or just wrong for some people? 

Postmodernism is inconsistent. Postmodern architects must use objective truths to make their buildings stand up. Math is all about absolute truths. Engineering relies on math. Buildings stand because their designers engineered it to. Even postmodern architecture that looks chaotic with stairs going nowhere and columns holding up nothing, still stand on those absolute truths. 

Jesus is the truth. He wants us to know the truth and build our lives on the truth.

Prepared to Give an Answer: “Nature Is All There Is” Be Prepared to Answer Naturalism

Sunday Sermon Series Prepared to Give an Answer


The Bible tells us that we should be prepared to give answers and defend our faith (1 Peter 3:15). We aren’t going to argue people into being saved and we shouldn’t respond with harshness or hate, but with gentleness and respect. This series will cover five different worldviews that conflict with the Biblical worldview and how we can respond to supporters of those worldviews. The first one we’re going to look at is Naturalism. 

Naturalism (or Materialism) says that matter and energy is all there is. There is no supernatural. Natural causes explain everything. Science is the only means to knowledge … Carl Sagan once said “the cosmos is all there is, or ever was, or ever will be.” Sagan is an atheist who, like many atheists, hold the Naturalistic worldview. 

The Biblical worldview says: 

  1. There is a God who is eternal (Psalm 90:1-2; Exodus 3:14; Hebrews 13:8). … We believe in a God who has existed forever and will exist forevermore. He had no beginning and will have no end. 

  2. God created everything (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Revelation 4:11). … God is eternal but everything else has a beginning and an end. God is the creator of all things. 

  3. God reveals Himself through His creation (Romans 1:20). … The things God creates mirrors some His qualities. 

Let’s introduce a concept called “chew and spit.” It’s a bit of a weird name, but it means we need to take everything we hear and chew it a bit, see if it’s good, and spit out that which is bad. We don’t want to reject anything without considering it first. 

Chew and Spit: 

  • Religion is not opposed to science. Science is a good gift from God. 

  • Science is not the only way to knowledge. If you say, “Nature is all there is,” how do you prove that statement by science? 

What evidence is there that Christianity is a more plausible worldview than Naturalism? 

  1. Science says the universe had a beginning. Things that begin to exist have a cause. The universe has a cause that was before the universe and superior to the universe … This argument is the “argument of cause.” The Biblical worldview agrees and gives a plausible answer, some would say more plausible than others. Science says a big bang created everything, but what caused the big bang, or who caused it? The Bible says it was God. 

  2. Science says the universe is fine-tuned to support life. This precision design is best explained by a designer … The precision required for the universe to support life on Earth is pretty crazy. If one aspect of our universe were just slightly different, there would be no life in the universe. Their answer for this precise design is the multiverse theory, That theory suggests that there is an infinite number of universes and that in the multiverse there must be one that is fine-tuned enough to support life. That would also require an infinite number of big bangs. Does that really make more sense than an eternal God creating everything?

Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection: Jesus Is Buried and Rises from the Dead

Sunday Sermon Series Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection Holidays Easter

Matthew 27:57-28:20

Jesus is buried by Joseph (Matthew 27:57-61). … This was not Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. This was Joseph of Arimathea, a follower of Jesus. The other gospels tell us that he was part of the Sanhedrin and did not vote for Christ to die. The tomb Jesus would have been buried in would have been easy to close and difficult to open by design.

Why is the burial of Jesus important?

  1. It is evidence He was dead.

  2. It fulfills the prophecy that the Savior would be buried with the rich. … Isaiah 53:9 predicted this.

  3. It is the basis of the symbolism of baptism. … When we are baptized we are fully immersed in water, symbolizing death and burial, and then we come back up from the water, symbolizing the resurrection.

The tomb is sealed and guarded (Matthew 27:62-66). … There was concern that the disciples or other followers would attempt to pull off a hoax and steal the body, so the tomb was sealed and a guard was posted.

The tomb is empty and Jesus is risen (Matthew 28:1-15). … When the two Marys and a few others came to the tomb with spices, the tomb opened up and an angel appeared. The angel isn’t described as some cute little winged baby, but as a great being that imposes fear and awe on those who see him. He tells the women to come and see that Jesus is risen and then to go and tell others about what they have seen. … On their way to tell others, they met Jesus and worshipped Him. … Important note: the tomb was not opened so Jesus could leave, but so that the witnesses could come and see. Jesus didn’t need an open grave in order to leave. … Then we read that when the religious leaders heard about this they paid off the guards to say the disciples must have come in the middle of the night while they slept and took the body. Neither side, believers or non-believers, from the 1st century dispute the evidence of the empty tomb. Rather, the non-believers believe that the disciples came to the tomb in the middle of the night and opened the tomb while the guards slept and took the body, all without waking the guards.

Jesus appears to His disciples in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-20).

Jesus says:

  1. All authority has been given to Me. … Jesus has power over everything, even death.

  2. Go and make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to obey my commands. … This is the great commission we are given, to go and make disciples of all people.

  3. I will be with you always. … No matter where we go, what we do, who we are with, Jesus is always there. His Spirit is with us.

Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest. Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection: Jesus Is Crucified

Sunday Sermon Series Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection Holidays Easter

Matthew 27:11-54

Early Friday morning, Jesus stands trial before Pilate (Matthew 27:11-25). … Jesus has been interrogated by the Jews all night long and they want to execute Him, but they don’t have the legal power to do it, so they take Him to the ruling Roman governor, Pilate. Pilate questions Jesus and realizes Jesus has nothing wrong and sends Him to Herod Antipas but Herod sends Him back not wanting the mistake of Jesus’ death on his hands either (Luke 23:6-12). Finally, Pilate gives the Jews a choice to set Jesus free or to set a known criminal named Barabas free. They chose to free the known criminal and yelled “crucify Him” about Jesus. (Don’t let this verse lead to anti-semitism. The Jews are God’s chosen people and Christians should have no part in hating them.)

Jesus is beaten, mocked, and crowned with thorns (Matthew 27:26-30). … Jesus is hailed as the King of the Jews, so they give him a sceptre and a crown of thorns.

Jesus s forced to carry His cross to the place of execution (Matthew 27:31-33). … Jesus struggled to carry His cross after such a beating and they made a man named Simon of Cyrene to carry it further, to Golgotha, the place of the skull.

At 9:00 AM, Jesus is crucified (Matthew 27:34-37). … While on the cross, Jesus was offered some wine with gall/myrrh which may have been an act of mercy to help dull the pain or may have been intended as another mocking gesture. Either way, Jesus refused it. Below Him the guards gambled for His clothes. Over His head a sign reads “King of the Jews”. On either side there are criminals also on crosses.

Jesus is mocked by those around Him (Matthew 27:38-44). … Those who walked by mocked and taunted Him. And not only Him, but also God’s plan, whether they knew it or not.

At noon, the sky becomes dark (Matthew 27:45; Amos 8:9-10). … This may well be the result of creation mourning the death of its Creator. Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 are great prophecies of Jesus’ death,but a lesser known prophecy is found in Amos 8:9-10 which prophecies the darkness and that the event would occur during a religious festival.

At 3:00 PM, Jesus dies (Matthew 27:46-50). … Jesus , the Son, experiences separation from the Father, experiences being forsaken. He cries out “eli, eli, lama sabachthani” (“my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) and the crowd thought He was crying out for Elijah. They gave Him wine with vinegar and listened for what else He might say. Then He cried out once more and died.

When Jesus dies, two things split open:

  1. The temple curtain (Matthew 27:51) … This is the veil that separated the outer room from the inner room, the holy of holies. The tear signifies the end of the need for the sacrificial system. The perfect sacrifice has been given. Now we all have the ability to directly pray to God and have no need for priest to mediate for us.

  2. Rock and tombs (Matthew 27:52-54) … Rocks and tombs opened up. And after the resurrection some of the holy men who had died rose and walked among the people.

After Jesus died, his guards, the centurions, saw all this and proclaimed, “surely, this is the son of God.” It’s a proclamation from the lips of a gentile, one that shows us that anyone can believe, not just Jews.