We realize this time is difficult and stressful for many of you. We continue to pray the Lord’s care and provision for your family. We are looking forward to May 31st, when we plan to gather again in corporate worship. Until that Sunday, we will continue to host our services and small group lessons online. Please know your church leadership has tremendous gratitude and appreciation for your love and support of Oakwood’s ministry. You truly are a wonderful church.
As we begin to pray and prepare for May 31st, would you please take a few moments to fill out our Road to Reunion survey? We desire your feedback as we plan for May 31st. Be assured, this survey is totally anonymous and there are no wrong or right answers. It is possible that you will get this email more than once, please only fill out one survey per adult family member. The link to the survey is below. Please submit the survey by May 18.
Thanks again for your feedback. We eagerly anticipate meeting again.
This has been a time of LONG WAITING and FEAR of the UNKNOWN.
With all these things considering, we miss meeting together and doing community in our “NORMAL” way.
We sent out an email mid-April asking for camp/mission trip interest planning for the best, and hoping that we would still be able to participate and serve this summer. Our Oakwood Leadership has considered the restrictions for our groups, listened to health officials, as well as considered your comfort level during this time. In doing that, for your safety, we have taken slow steps in our gatherings and come to a decision for our Student and Children trips for the Summer.
Unfortunately, we are stepping out of our Middle School Camp and Middle School Mission Trip this Summer, due the instability of the future with the COVID-19 and social distancing requirements. With the timelines and phases given to us by our government, we believe it is wise to step out of our “normal” and prepare for the “new normal.” These steps may take longer than expected during these unprecedented times.
The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, believed to be the burial place of Jesus. Steve Allen / Getty Images
On Resurrection Sunday we reach the culmination of Holy Week. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important event, the crux, you might say, of the Christian faith. The very foundation of all Christian doctrine hinges on the truth of this account.
Early Sunday morning several women (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna, and Salome) went to the tomb and discovered that the large stone covering the tomb’s entrance had been rolled away. An angel announced, “Don’t be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.” (Matthew 28:5-6, NLT)
On the day of his resurrection, Jesus Christ made at least five appearances. Mark’s Gospel says the first person to see him was Mary Magdalene. Jesus also appeared to Peter, to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and later that day to all of the disciples except Thomas, while they were gathered in a house for prayer.
The eyewitness accounts in the Gospels provide undeniable evidence that the resurrection of Jesus Christ happened. 2,000 years after his death, followers of Christ still flock to see the empty tomb, one of the strongest proofs that Jesus Christ actually did rise from the dead.
Sunday’s events are recorded in Matthew 28:1-13, Mark 16:1-14, Luke 24:1-49, and John 20:1-23.
Disciples at the scene of the entombment of Jesus after his crucifixion. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Jesus’ body lay in the tomb where it was guarded by Roman soldiers throughout the day on Saturday, which was the Sabbath. When the Sabbath ended at 6 p.m., Christ’s body was ceremonially treated for burial with spices purchased by Nicodemus:
“He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth.” (John 19: 39-40, NLT)
Nicodemus, like Joseph of Arimathea, was a member of the Sanhedrin, the court which had condemned Jesus Christ to death. For a time, both men had lived as secret followers of Jesus, afraid to make a public profession of faith because of their prominent positions in the Jewish community.
Similarly, both were deeply affected by Christ’s death. They boldly came out of hiding, risking their reputations and their lives because they had come to realize that Jesus was, indeed, the long-awaited Messiah. Together they cared for Jesus’ body and prepared it for burial.
While his physical body lay in the tomb, Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin by offering the perfect, spotless sacrifice. He conquered death, both spiritually and physically, securing our eternal salvation:
“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” (1 Peter 1:18-19, NLT)
Saturday’s events are recorded in Matthew 27:62-66, Mark 16:1, Luke 23:56, and John 19:40.