by Buzz Dahlen
It’s hard to believe that it was 12 years ago on Palm Sunday that I first visited Cottonwood. I remember that day like it was yesterday. There was no Cottonwood Community Church building at the time, just a basement and some chimneys. You could still smell the wet ash around town. I rolled into town with my wife and four young kids that Saturday afternoon and wondered if this would become our home. I woke up early that Sunday, excited for the opportunity to share what God had put on my heart and introduce myself to those who would be at church that morning. We stayed at the hotel across the street from the Baptist Church, where the Community Church congregation, were meeting until their building could be rebuilt.
I mistook Don & Connie Mager as the Pastors of the Baptist church and ran over to meet them. They were just there early to get things set up. That morning I visited the Baptist Church and was blessed by this small town, close family service atmosphere. I then showed up for the Community Church service at 11:00. After a few announcements, I was handed the responsibility of the service. That afternoon, I was asked to come and be the pastor of the Community Church. I was surprised that they asked me so soon. I figured that they would let me go home and then call me to tell me what the board had decided. But, they held a quick board meeting right after the service and voted… and the rest is history.
It’s hard to believe that, 2000 years ago on Palm Sunday, Jesus road into Jerusalem and was hailed as the Messiah. People shouted, “Hosanna to the King of kings!” People were excited for what they thought Jesus was coming to do. Most people today do not understand that the local folks were looking for a savior, one who would free them from the tyranny and oppression of the Roman Government. They were not looking for a Savior who would free them from their sins. They were looking for an earthly king who would rule over them. They were not looking for a heavenly King who would give their lives for them. Hmmm, it is interesting how God allows one agenda to take place so that His agenda will be achieved… and the rest is history.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2nd Corinthians 5:21 God’s agenda was that He would make His Son to become sin for us so that we might become His righteousness. God sacrificed His own Son so that we would be able to be reconciled to God. God made the sacrifice for our sin so that we could be forgiven. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Hebrews 9:22
Many have seen the Passion of Christ, I am looking forward to seeing it this week. This movie is a graphic portrayal of the suffering and death of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It depicts all that Jesus went through for us. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
But for all the attention that is given to Christ’s suffering and death we should never forget that if Jesus had not rose from the dead we would still be forever separated from God. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 1 Corinthians 15:17-19 Take heart. HE HAS RISEN!
I hope you will come join us as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus at 9:00 this Sunday morning. Plan to stay for brunch, too. Everyone is welcome.