For Jews and Christians, the Passover season is a special time for reflection on the rich spiritual truths contained within this remarkable holiday. Indeed, we can all observe the command to "remember" the incredible Israelite deliverance from bondage in Egypt.
For Christians, the events of a momentous Passover some 15 centuries later have given added meaning to this holiday, so that the truths of the first are reinforced in the latter. Deliverance from Pharaoh's taskmasters became freedom from slavery to sin. The blood of a lamb on the doorposts became a typology of Christ's sacrifice on the cross.
Yet the parallels between Pesach and Easter were lost for centuries to most Christians when the early Church fathers deliberately severed our faith from its Jewish roots. In time, this hostility to Judaism produced vicious blood libels against Jews at Passover. more >>
LOS ANGELES – Saddleback Church founder Pastor Rick Warren plans to preach at two Easter Sunday worship services at Hollywood High School as part of launching a church campus in Los Angeles.
"We have been planning this for years and praying for it and I'm so excited to have a Saddleback campus in the heart of the great city of Los Angeles," says Warren in a promotional radio announcement.
The 1,800-seat Hollywood High auditorium along with the school's parking area will be used by Saddleback for the Easter services on April 20. No specific plans regarding where the Los Angeles campus will be located or when services will begin after Easter have been released by the church. However, more than 1,000 people have already expressed an interest in the regional and international campus by way of joining an email list and more than 300 volunteers have signed up to help host the Easter services at Hollywood High. more >>
Graphic designer and communications expert Stephen Fogg, who works for Crossway Baptist Church in Melbourne, Australia, recently gave special attention to the website pages of churches promoting Easter services by showcasing a top eight list on his blog.
"Easter is a great time to be inspired by the creativity coming from other churches. As I look online and see what other churches around the world are creating on their websites to promote their Easter services I'm amazed at the talent out there," writes Fogg. "I love the strategy, creativity and work that communication peeps, designers, videographers put into crafting a great online experience for Easter."
The list, along with images of the websites, includes (in no particular order) The Chapel in the Chicagoland, Ill.; Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.; Mars Hill Church based in Seattle; Fellowship Church in Texas; Hillsong in locations throughout the world; Mariners Church based in Irvine, Calif.; NewSpring Church in South Carolina; and Willow Creek Community Church in the Chicago area. more >>
Some Muslim parents in Dearborn, Mich., are upset over an "Eggstravaganza" Easter egg hunt invitation their children received from teachers at school because the event is going to be held on the grounds of the Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church.
Attorney Majed Moughni, the father of two public school students, said his son was uncomfortable about receiving the flyer from the Presbyterian church for their event on April 12.
"It really bothered my two kids. My son was like, 'Dad, I really don't feel comfortable getting these flyers, telling me to go to church. I thought churches are not supposed to mix with schools,'" Moughni told The Detroit Free Press. more >>
A Florida pastor has promised his congregation that if Easter Sunday breaks attendance records at his church, he will tattoo First Presbyterian's logo onto his leg.
Leon Bloder, the lead pastor at the Eustis congregation, explained in a press release that he was also offering an incentive to members of his congregation who might be less motivated by his tattoo offer.
"I've been growing my hair and beard out for a while and when I announced that, in addition to the tattoo, I would be getting a haircut if we broke the record, a cheer went up from our more traditional members," Bloder stated. more >>
A New Jersey church will put a spin on the Easter story by bringing in a professional detective to examine Christ's death and resurrection.
Homicide investigator J. Warner Wallace will utilize his "cold case investigation skills" to examine the historical circumstances surrounding Christianity's sacred weekend in a four-week series that starts on Sunday at Liquid Church's four locations.
"We know people's faith rests on understanding if the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was real or not. What better way than to bring in a CSI detective and have him examine the biblical evidence available for a homicide investigation?" Tim Lucas, lead pastor of Liquid Church said in a statement. more >>