Sermon – March 15, 2015

Path to the Empty TombClean Slate“, by Rev. Mike Holly

Sermon Series: Path to the Empty Tomb

Paul’s words in Ephesians can be shocking: “You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived…” Earlier this Lent, we described two paths. One path was to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, which we are calling the Path to the Empty Tomb. The other path is the path of “this world” as Paul describes it. This other path is the path where we seek to build up our own self, seek comfort for our own self, and fulfill our own desires. While each and every step on this path seems to provide pleasure, we often find that it is fleeting. And ultimately we are left with very little.

The path in the footsteps of Jesus Christ is opened to us by the grace of God, “who is rich in mercy.” It is a life with true joy and contentment. It is a lifestyle of blessing others. And we can walk in this direction because of the way in which God has treated us: mercifully blessing us and guiding each of our steps. Several times in the Bible, we hear that even though we have sinned against God and turned our backs on His path, God remains steadfast. And in his loving kindness, he can wipe away those sins and failures “as far as the East is from the West” (or infinitely away from us).

Today in worship, we invite you to consider how you can begin with God with a clean slate. Join God on his path and leave the old life and the old ways behind!

~Mike Holly

The Word

Ephesians 2:1-10

You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.