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God of Miracles, World of Wonders

It is amazing to me the visual effects that are possible now on screen. CGI adds a whole new dimension to our movie viewing habits. With CGI, candlesticks can talk, x-wing fighters can fly through space, King Kong can swat down a helicopter, and death stars the size of moons can threaten whole planets. With computer graphics and a team of 100+ people, we can create on a screen what we could only imagine before. And it is so life-like it begins to transcend the imaginary.

It’s amazing. But it’s not real.

These simulated effects and computer generated imagery are pictures… they are technically a series of 1’s and 0’s from a binary code translated through a computer program into picture form. They are nothing but images. Beautiful, creative, amazing… human made pictures. (I think of it like this. Binary codes are at best a combination of ones and zeros. Creation and life is the combination of up to 118 elements in an almost infinite number of groupings. God has at His disposal the ability to form and combine an infinite palate of creation.)

The resurrection of Jesus has been a part of human history now for almost 2,000 years. In that time, many have debated its possibility. There is a simple reason for that. Resurrection is impossible by human standards. And for those who wish to only believe in the ability of humans, resurrection is unrealistic.

There is a difference between the ability of the God of miracles and this world of wonders. CGI is life-like – but it is not real life.

For a man to come back from the dead is impossible by human means – especially if he has been dead across parts of 3 days. Resuscitation is possible with a dead body in perfect circumstances in less than an hour… technically less than 30 minutes before the brain is affected. If the body is cooled at the moment that breathing stops, doctors say that timetable can double. If CPR is being continually administered during that time, there are a few recorded cases of where the heart started beating again in 6 hours. But, consider the circumstances… lowered body temperature, continual CPR, hospital centers, ideal drug and rewarming techniques.

Jesus died in a hot desert place. When he stopped breathing, no one administered CPR or helped his heart restart, instead they stabbed him in the side with a spear. He was not down for 30 minutes, but at least 36 to 40 hours – a time frame that spanned 3 days. He had no medical help. No CPR. No drugs. NO one, nothing helped him resurrect.

We can recreate this scenario with CGI today, and some studios already have. But at best, it is a combination of 1’s and 0’s providing an image, not changing a reality.

Resurrection had never before been done and has never since been duplicated. It is the miraculous power of God. It is not a generated picture simulating reality. It is real.

This is why Easter is so important. What Jesus did on Easter Sunday morning is a feat that cannot be duplicated. It is proof that Jesus was not an ordinary human. There was something about Him that was more. More powerful. More real. More life altering.

It is why we invite people to come hear this news. We live in a world where we try to make our imagination look real. And the people we live with everyday need to be reminded that there are things that can happen beyond our imagination. Beyond our ability. And when that happens, it points to a greater reality than what we can’t imagine or create with a keyboard and screen.

"I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given … that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 1:18-20 NLT

Talking candlesticks are cute... But a resurrected Jesus has changed the world.

This Easter season, take the time to invite someone to come to church. People need to hear what God has done. People need to know what is real and have the chance to wrestle with it for themselves.

At our Easter Family Blitz on April 8, our kids and families will hear about the power of God and experience the stories of life change that God has brought. On the outside, it will be an incredible presentation of games and laughter and fun. But deeper in lies a great truth that every child will hear.

On Good Friday, April 14, we talk about the death of Jesus. About what His death accomplished for us. At 1:00pm and 7:00pm, we will gather to remember what Jesus did for us.

On Easter Sunday morning, April 16, we will have three services,8:30, 10:00 and 11:30am. Three different opportunities for people to hear about the proof of Jesus’ resurrection and what it means in this world.

Our God is more amazing than we know. He is miraculous. His power and ability defy our imagination. And this power and truth is being made available to us.

Invite someone. No fancy tricks or simulated reality. Let’s talk about Jesus and see truth come to life before their eyes.

Looking forward to Easter with you,

~ Andy

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