Why the Cross Isn’t Enough

The story of the first Easter is told.

Chris Brown
Apr 8, 2018    38m
In this sermon Pastor Chris Brown tells us the story of the first Easter. He uses bible verses and entertaining stories to dramatically illustrate how the first Easter was probably much different then you would imagine and how Easter is so much more than one day a year when it comes to living a Christian life. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.



messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Announcer: 00:00 Today we're excited to welcome Chris Brown. Chris is the senior pastor at North Coast church in Vista, California. North Coast is a vibrant church that has been recognized as one of the 10 most influential churches in America, Chris's humor and motivational style, and made him a sought after conference speaker, gifted storyteller, and nationally recognized church leader. Cornerstone, join us in welcoming this morning's speaker, Chris Brown.

Chris Brown: 00:32 All of the conversation has stopped. No more small talk. Everyone deep in their thoughts. No one needs to say a word. They're all thinking the exact same thing. Is this the last day we're alive? Up until then, this little troop has been working mainly on the outskirts, out in the desert regions and in the hills. Now they're not just approaching enemy's territory. They're walking into the enemy's headquarters, and they all know it. So he stops as they start to approach the crowds and he pulls them all together, and right off the bat it goes different. He flips the switch, he wants them all to know this is what the entire mission has been about. This won't be done differently. So it looks at the 12 and he said, I need two of you. You two, I needed you to go in the city. The first mode of transportation you see, untie it and bring it out here. Make sure you get a colt that no one's ever ridden on. And the disciples just stare at him. Seriously, this is very un-Jesus like. For the last three years of your teaching, grand theft hasn't been high on the list. He's all, this is how we start the city. This is how Easter begins. No one ever told me that growing up. Easter starts with the car jacking led by Jesus, two of the disciples do it, they go into the crowds. They go into Jerusalem and through the gates, and sure enough, there's a young colt that's tied up there.

Chris Brown: 02:10 "You better get it."

Chris Brown: 02:10 "You get it."

Chris Brown: 02:10 "You get it."

Chris Brown: 02:10 "I am not going."

Chris Brown: 02:10 "You go."

Chris Brown: 02:15 Jesus told them, just take it. If anyone says, "Hey, what are you doing"? Just say, "Oh, the Lord needs it." And you just floor it. So they do. They walk in the city. There's a young Colt. Now, granted, it's not a stallion, it's not a mustang, not some flashy sports car, it's a colt. It's like a Prius. All right, so Jesus has gone green, economical, ecological. No one's ridden in it. They untie it, they bring it out. Sure enough, the owner comes out, "Hey, that's my Prius". And the go Jesus needs it and they just take off. They bring it outside the city through the crowds, they put their cloaks on it, and he sits on it, and he starts to ride in. I bet the hair on the back of the disciples neck stood up. Out of all the cities over the last three years they'd been in and out of, out of all the towns they've gone into and through, they've never had Jesus ride into one.

Chris Brown: 03:07 They've been walking this entire time. But it puts them head and shoulders above the crowd, and there's thousands upon thousands of people camped outside the city gates. You understand that right? This little capital Jerusalem for Israel has swelled 20 times its normal population this week. Everyone wants to be in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. One of their greatest holy weeks in the Jewish faith. It goes back 1400 years, where God split the Egyptian empire apart. Bringing plague, after plague, after plague, nine plagues. Pharaoh kept telling Moses, "I'm not letting your people go. I'm not letting your people go." And finally God told Moses, "Spread the word. Have everyone kill a lamb, put blood on the door way. Tonight an angel of death will come to Egypt and he will pass over the houses that have the blood of the lamb on it. But anyone who doesn't have the blood of the lamb, death to the first born, and finally Pharaohs own house tastes death." And he tells the Jews, "Get up and get out."

Chris Brown: 04:17 And Moses leads them out. For one thousand four hundred and some forty years they've been celebrating the passing over in this Jewish faith. Where everyone will come together and kill a lamb, they'll all break bread and they'll all have a cup. That one day God will send a son. One day God will send one called Messiah or Christ the Superhero that will save them. And for the last three years, Jesus looks like he could play the part. In your little nation about a hundred and twenty miles long by forty miles wide. This little speck of land that's been traded like a pond amongst world empires. There's thousands of people now that are telling stories. They were there. Rumor has it. He can walk on water. That he speaks and wind, and waves, and nature obeys. People say they were in the crowd when he took his finger and he stuck it into the oozing pus and infection of those with leprosy and molecules rearranged themselves and skin became new.

Chris Brown: 05:14 They were outside the house, starting the memorial service for the 12 year old girl, when Jesus walked in and shut the door and he walked out with her standing and holding his hand. People talk about being outside the city gates when he came in and the crowds got around and in the midst of the chaos and noise, he, he spit a loogie. He put it in the dirt and made mud and put that on a blind guy's eyes, and now the guy can see. People are talking about paralyzed that can walk.

Chris Brown: 05:59 And every campfire of those camped outside Jerusalem, because there's not enough room for Israel to meet inside the city, has been wondering the same question. Does he dare show his face? His enemies in the temple, the religious leaders had put a bounty on his head. We'll find out in the story. It's thirty pieces of silver. Judas will gladly cash it in. Thirty pieces of silver. Can anyone tell us where this guy is hiding? Can anyone tell us where he and his boys are? We vowed to kill him, and on that day in that city in their headquarters, there's no under cover. He's riding a colt no one has ridden on, and the crowd is amazed. And as everyone gathers around him, someone fills their lungs with air and and they let out the shout...Hosanna. And it sends chills through the hundreds. It's the combination of two great Hebrew words to save, and please now or urgency. To save now. And as Roman guards look from whence the culprit was, and where it came from, the other side of the road, it's picked up. Hosanna and the crowd, Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna.

Chris Brown: 07:08 Save now, save now, and he's riding in, disciples around the colt. This is what they've been waiting for. Someone over the top of the chanting screams it out. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord and everyone cheers. To come in the name of someone, means to come in their authority, to come with their power, or in their might. Save now, save now, bring God's power, save now, save now, bring God's power. And just in case this powder keg of a city, tired of being traded by the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Syrians, the Greeks and now the Romans. Crying out for freedom save now, save now bring God's power in case that needed one more spark to erupt. Someone sets the entire thing off. Blessing is the coming kingdom of David and the whole place erupts. The last time you had freedom as a nation was about a thousand fifty years previous in the Kingdom of David. Save now, save now, bring God's power. Save now, save now. Set up a kingdom. Save now, save now, kick Roman butt, save now, save now. Then the crowd is chanting. And scripture just says, this is how Easter begins.

Chris Brown: 08:41 At the end of the parade he will walk into the temple courts, look around. But since it was evening, he went back outside the city and camped with the disciples. Don't miss that. That's not Jesus being clueless. That's not Jesus showing up on Palm Sunday at night going, you guys don't have a night service? Alright. No, that's Jesus walking into the headquarters of the religious leaders. Those that have paid a price. If anyone finds out where he is, come tell us, we'll pay. He walks into their headquarters, just to show that he's in town. Looks around, I'll see you tomorrow, and he turns around and walks away. That is one of the most bold, gutsy, calculated moves in all of history.

Chris Brown: 09:39 And everything that week turned out exactly like he said it would. If you didn't know any better, you thought all hell was about to break loose. Christian chaos is about to happen. But three times before he pulled off that entry, three times on the way up to Jerusalem, he grabbed the crowd and he told them, "Let me tell you, I'm calling the shots. Let me tell you, I'm going to Jerusalem." And they all said, "You can't go to Jerusalem, they want to kill you in Jerusalem. Jesus was like listen, "I'm going to Jerusalem. I'm going to hand myself over to the religious leaders. I am going to allow them to beat me, persecute me, mock me, spit on me, whip me, and flog me. I'm going to allow them to kill me. But after three days, I'm going to pull off Easter. And three times he's told them exactly what will happen. Save now, save now, come with power. Save now, save now, set up a kingdom. That week it seems like the rug got pulled out from under all of them. He hands himself over. There's a mock trial. They beat him. They mock him, they spit on him, they whip him, they put him on a cross and they kill him in. Three days later he pulls off Easter. And where does it leave them?

Chris Brown: 11:06 Maybe where it's left you a week after Easter. Maybe you were here last week for Easter. Maybe you're one of the twelve hundred that stood. Let me ask you a question. How did it change Thursday? How'd it change Friday night for you? How did it change your marriage, your singleness, your sexuality? How did it change who you see in the mirror, when you look in the mirror. How does it change how you feel about who you're with when you're alone? How did Easter change the last six days?

Chris Brown: 11:49 If you missed it, you're in good company. They missed Easter. The first one was a train wreck. If you got a Bible, open it to the very last chapter of the Jesus Story. Luke chapter 24. I know you've been sitting there going, do you even use the Bible and you just tell stories. Shut up. Here we go. Luke 24. That was just an intro. Luke 24. Luke 24, we find out what happens after Easter. And if it was a holiday for you, if it was a time to hide eggs, if it was a time for chocolate bunnies and basket finding, that's great. But if it didn't change Wednesday, if it didn't change your workplace, if it didn't change who you are and how you see yourself in life let me tell you you're not alone. But let me tell you good news, that can change. Luke 24 verse 13. You got a Bible? Why are you guys looking at me? You got a Bible? Who's got a Bible? Six of you. We gotta share folks. Hold them up high Luke 24:13. Now that same day. Oh, it's up there. Well, that's why you guys don't bring bibles. Now that same day. I don't need to use the Bible either. Stop, what same day that day. Read beforehand. I don't have time for it because I got 19 minutes and 23 seconds and that's just an intro at the church. I come from.

Chris Brown: 13:13 That same day the stone's been rolled away. Easter happened, and on that same day, two of them were going to a village called Emmaus about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other.

Chris Brown: 13:27 Jesus himself came up and walked along with them, but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?"

Chris Brown: 13:36 They stood still, their faces downcast circle, highlight, and that's why you got to have your Bible. Circle, highlight, underline. They stood there. Their faces downcast, one of them named Cleopas, asked him, "Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem? Don't you know the things that have happened there in these days?"

Chris Brown: 13:59 "In what things?" Jesus asked about Jesus of Nazareth. This is good. Now they're going to tell Jesus about Jesus, about Jesus of Nazareth.

Chris Brown: 14:08 They replied, "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed." , circle that powerful in word and deed, "Before God and all the people. Now the chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death and they crucified him, but we had hoped..." Circle, highlight, underline, asterisks, frowny face Emoji, lightening bolt... "We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem or save Israel. And you know what's more? It's the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning, but they didn't find his body. They came and they told us that they'd seen visions of angels who said he was alive and then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him, they did not see."

Chris Brown: 15:09 The first Easter service was a disaster. Everything happened just as he told them. I'm going to Jerusalem. I'm going to hand myself over. I'm even telling you to who. To the chief priests and the teachers and rulers of the law. I'm going to allow them to mock me, spit on me, whip me, beat me. I'm going to allow them to crucify me, and then in three days I'll pull off Easter. Now, if you've been part of that crowd, everything has taken place. Went to Jerusalem. Check. He gave himself up. Check. He gave himself up to the chief priests and the teachers law. Check. Oh my gosh. They're beating him. Check. Mocking him. Check. They're persecuting him. Check. Now they're whipping him. Check. Now they put them on a cross. Check. Now they killed him. Check. There's only one box left. I'm pulling off Easter.

Chris Brown: 16:02 Can you imagine that first Easter morning? Jesus in the tomb, kind of pacing back and forth. Got about forty minutes, I wonder how many thousands of people are out there?Because if you're following him and he has done everything exactly like he said, and that whole week, even though it seems like all hell is breaking loose in Christian chaos erupted. You gotta be sitting there going. He called it. He called it. He called it. He called it. He called it. He called. He called. He has got a perfect march madness bracket. Nobody picked number one to go down first round. Called it, called it, called it, all the stuff to the championship game.

Chris Brown: 16:48 Now, if you were a follower, where would you be on Easter morning? You would be at the tomb. No you wouldn't, you liars, self righteous people. Every one of them missed it and you would have too. You wouldn't think it would be that way. You would think people would have gotten there at nighttime, just to get some spots up front. You know how you set up your lawn chairs, put blankets out around you so no one gets in on your spot. Got a cooler, beverage of choice, I'm not judging. People start filing in, the entire cemetery and hillside is filled. Jesus expecting stone to be rolled away. He starts Easter Service. Thousands of people do the wave. Should be a band outside of the stone. This my power stance, (humming) stones about the roll away, (humming) better get your seats up front now, (humming) Now what's the gospel's say? One of the gospels say there's a gardener there. Stone is rolled away. Jesus pops out. Crickets, and a weed eater in the distance. Some guy with a shield on...bzzzzz. What the heck? Bzzzzz. That's it. Nobody shows up. You realize the stone was rolled away for the crowd, not the Christ, right? I'll say it again because no one's taking notes, but if you did, that's a heck of a line. The stone was rolled away for crowd, not the Christ. Jesus didn't need a way out. It's not like he raised from the dead. Then he's like, ah dang it. Should have taught this through, man, I'm going to be in here for a long time. He rises from the dead. He has no problem with rocks. The stone was rolled away so we could see. He just backed up, everything he taught. Stone is rolled away, no one there. What a disappointment. Man, what a heartbreak that must've been. This is reason number 532,000 why I would've made a bad Jesus. Because right there in that moment, stones rolled away, I get out. I would a lightening bolted everybody that ever heard what I was doing. People just be sitting at home watching the masters (voltage sound). Should've showed up at Easter sucker.

Chris Brown: 19:40 Not him, he walks out, tada...crickets. I'll go find you. You didn't come find me. I'll go find you. And he shows up on a road, two of them walking behind him. "Hey guys what are you talking about?"

Chris Brown: 19:57 "What do you mean what are we're talking about? We're talking about what everybody's talking about. Everyone's tweeting, everyone's instagramming, everyone's snapchatting and everything."

Chris Brown: 20:01 "Then who are we were talking about?"

Chris Brown: 20:01 "I'm talking about Jesus."

Chris Brown: 20:05 I wonder if he has to bite his lip at this time. "Why don't you tell me about him?"

Chris Brown: 20:11 "He was powerful in word and deed. They know his teaching. They know his miracles. We had hoped that he was going to work out for us, but let me tell you, we found he doesn't." And they stand there, their faces downcast.

Chris Brown: 20:40 You there, did you show up last week? Is your mind filled with the knowledge of Jesus? Oh you know is teaching, you know his miracles? Not just the type of teaching that women and children need for a period of time, not just the type of teaching that weak people need as a crutch to get through life, not the type of teaching that insecure people need some sort of false hope and if that makes you feel good. But the type of teaching that big, barrel chested, burly men who load and unload ships for living, moving them across the sea by hand, spend time listening to and say, that's worth leaving everything for. That's what I can follow.

Chris Brown: 21:23 Let me promise you what will happen. You're going to come to a place in life where you really need this Jesus to save now, to show up in power, to change your life, to save now, to show up in power and changing my life and you're going to find yourself someday chanting it if you haven't already. There was a crisis. There was a breakdown. You don't have a lot of faith, but you thought you had enough. And you really believe God is going to show up because you come to church and you tithe. You tip when the bucket's passed, you catch that, that's what a visiting pastor can say. And you prayed, and after all the Bible says you need the faith the size of a mustard seed. You need the faith, the size of a mustard seed. Do you know that in Palestine a mustard seed wasted two and a half tons. It takes 53 men to lift a...shut up....that's stupid. Some of you were like 53 men to lift mustard seeds Mustard seeds are one of the smallest seeds there is. It's slightly smaller than a sesame seed? You ever gotten a Big Mac? Sure you have. Have you tried to pick all the little white ones off the bun? No. You don't even know they exist. Every once in a while it gets right between the teeth, and then you try to take the cardboard Big Mac box and try to get it out with the cardboard. Just me? Anyways, it's the smallest seed. That's all the faith you need. No pun intended, but you mustered it up, didn't you? And you prayed and you prayed and you prayed and what'd you find out? You found out that tumors grow, that cancer spreads, that memorial services happen, that divorce was final, that betrayal and rejection hurts. Thanks for nothing big G, way to live up to your end of the bargain. Print it, that's good Bible. That's the first Easter.

Chris Brown: 23:42 They didn't get him, they didn't show up, and they're walking away severely disappointed in Jesus. Let me promise you Cornerstone, knowing everything about Jesus can leave you disappointed, frustrated, and discouraged with this God. And I don't know if anyone's ever told you this, but this God will allow you to be angry at him, frustrated at him, and severely disappointed in him, if it will awaken you to the type of God he really is. What you've done was religion. You had hoped that this God who is going to bless your life. We do our prayers and chants. Save now, change my life, get rid of my problems. Were good at chanting save now, show up in power. I love that Jesus died on the cross to bless my life, and my prayers show it. I need you to bless this, I need to take this away, here is a running list of things. Chop, chop, chop, chop, in Christianity we say Amen, it's English for chop, chop. You died on the cross to answer my prayers. So you better not be upset at me when I'm upset at you for not answering my prayers. And God said print it. You just missed Easter. It came, and it went, and it left you incredibly frustrated with God. He says, I'll allow it. And when he hears what's going on in their life, he decides it's time to enlighten you on what you missed last weekend.

Chris Brown: 25:31 Verse 25, he said to them, "How foolish you are." Isn't that a great intro by the way, and let me tell you why you are idiots is what he says. Let me tell you how you completely miss the point of Easter, "How foolish you are, how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken, did not Christ have to suffer these things and then enter glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in scripture concerning himself." Oh, that's good. Jesus did a Bible study on himself, that had to be awesome. Let me tell you about me, "And as they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he was going farther, but they urged him strongly stay with us. It's nearly evening. The day's almost done, so he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and he began to give it to them." Then circle, highlight, underline "Their eyes were opened and they recognized him and he disappeared from their sight and they asked each other were not our hearts burning within us when he talked with us on the road and opened the scriptures to us. So then they got up and they returned at once back to Jerusalem and there they found the Eleven and those with them assembled together saying, hey guys, it's true. The Lord has risen. He has appeared to Simon and then the two told what happened on the way and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread."

Chris Brown: 27:00 How foolish you are and how slow of heart. I know it's been a monologue and a freight train because I got five minutes and 24 seconds, but I'm going to ask a question if you know the answer and even if you're wrong, it's okay. You can't flunk church. How foolish you are and how slow of heart to understand Easter. Oh, you had it all up here, oh you would've passed the Sunday school test. You can fill in the bubbles on the scan-tron. You can multiple choice Jesus's is teaching and his miracles. And where did it leave you? You want your money back from Christianity. Because God hasn't blessed your life, and their faces are downcast. I put my hope up there and it didn't show up, so forgive me if I'm not anxious to run the church and religion again. He walked on the road, he shared who he was and what it was. Broke bread. They understood who he was. Boom, bread drops, He disappears. I can't explain that. They're like, shut up. They run the seven miles back to Jerusalem and as they're running, 'Hey, when he was walking with us, when he was there. Did you feel something in your heart?"

Chris Brown: 28:19 Is Easter, just here? Because I promise you, if Easter is here, it didn't impact Thursday. It didn't impact your job site, your workplace, your cubicle, it didn't impact how you treat your employees or your employer or your fellow workers. It didn't change who you are in the classroom. It didn't, it's here, and it'll leave you frustrated and depressed and wondering why God's not showing up and coming through. So Jesus sat down and explained what the rest of new testament is going to get with. You miss the empty tomb. It's Romans 5. We're going to close with this. When I say close, it makes you think we're ending. So you listened a little bit quicker, but we still got two hours. Scoot in. There's another service coming. I got a flight at 3:00. I'm just going for it. Romans 5:9, "Since we have now been justified, made right by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through Jesus. For if when we were God's enemies, we were brought to God through the death of his son. How much more having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life?"

Chris Brown: 29:36 Yeah, I didn't get it either. I was in my late twenties until an older brother sat me down and said, "Let me tell you why Christianity doesn't work for you. You've been using it as a religion. You show up to church, you put in your prayers, and God's supposed to jump. You really thought Jesus died on the cross to bless your life. Stupid."

Chris Brown: 29:55 Oh, the crowds will chant. Bless our life. Bless our life. Jesus came to change your life. He came to save us from this life, not to make this life better. He didn't die on the cross to become part of your life. Look at yourself, he'll never become part of your life. He will take all of it, or none of it, and he'll allow you to be disappointed if that awakens you to the type of God he wants to be. And Paul writes in Romans, "If you think you were saved because Jesus died for you. How much more are you saved because he rose again?" What? He goes I know it's confusing, so I'm going to repeat it in the next verse. "If you were brought to God through the death of his son, how much more are you saved because of his life?" And no one in Christianity ever explained to me how much more and yet the entire New Testament is built on this life of Christ.

Chris Brown: 31:01 I wrote down a couple of things back and forth. If you want a copy of this, go online this week. This is free online at the church's website. Go to the last two minutes of the service and you can write them down yourself. I'm going to go quick.

Chris Brown: 31:12 The Cross was Jesus's claim to be God. The empty tomb backed it up. The Cross changes my title, allows me to become a Christian. The empty tomb changes my testimony, allows me to become the Christian that I become. The Cross changed my final destination. The empty tomb changes my destiny here. The Cross changed where I'm going. The empty tomb changes who I am. The cross forgave my sins. The empty tomb gives me power over sin. The cross was Jesus's one time payment. The empty tomb means I have to die to him daily. The Cross got me out of hell and into heaven, the empty tomb got God out of heaven into me. Jesus gave his life for me, to take my life from me, so he could live his life through me. If you think you're a Christian because Jesus died for you, correct? Yes. Great. How much more are you going to live this life and be saved when you understand he rose for you? Jesus died on the cross to forgive me for my sins. Great, but if that's Christianity, what do you get from a dead Jesus? You could pray to a dead Jesus, you can sing to a dead Jesus, but you ain't getting life from a dead Jesus. Oh a dead Jesus. That blood, that payment, what he paid, so I don't have to. Oh God, anything. He took it for me. I accept that, that forgave me. But that cleaned the decks. So three days later when he rose again, and that spirit of God can now be in me. Because he sees me as a saint, not a sinner. I'm sinless. He paid it.

Chris Brown: 32:58 Weren't our hearts different when we walked with him? Oh when we had all the knowledge of God I was left frustrated and disappointed. But when we walked with him, didn't you feel something? Isn't that what he said? How foolish and how slow of heart. You got it up here Christian. You just haven't practiced the walking with Jesus. You've got a dead Jesus that saved you, and a dead Christian life to go with it. Oh I'm getting preachy, chubby guy's reaching back to his baptist roots. I'm starting to break a sweat. We've got a minute and a half left. Oh, there's a negative in front of that and we're going to go just saying. Don't clap, that takes my time.

Chris Brown: 33:32 Listen, pretend there's an eight year old kid who dreams about going to Disneyland. He's seen the pictures his whole life, and people told him,"You know Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. It's a magic kingdom."

Chris Brown: 33:41 So his family finally loads up the car and goes off to southern California. Disneyland. They take out a small business loan. They get four tickets for the family. He walks up to the gates, hands them the ticket, click he's in Disneyland. Spent the entire day there.

Chris Brown: 33:57 He finally comes back to Arizona and you're like, "Hey buddy, I heard you went to Disneyland?"

Chris Brown: 33:57 "Oh yeah thought going to be amazing."

Chris Brown: 33:57 "Well, how'd you like it?"

Chris Brown: 34:04 "Oh it wasn't what I'd hoped."

Chris Brown: 34:04 "Really why?"

Chris Brown: 34:11 "I gave my ticket and I paid the price. Click, we got in there and I kind of stood up against the fence and then once in while I sat down. I leaned up against the fence and there was a train that came over head once in awhile, and I heard the band once, but that was about it."

Chris Brown: 34:11 "What did you go on?"

Chris Brown: 34:24 "What do you mean? When did I go on?"

Chris Brown: 34:25 "I mean, what rise did you go on?"

Chris Brown: 34:25 "Well, I didn't go on any rides."

Chris Brown: 34:25 "Well, what did you see at Disneyland?"

Chris Brown: 34:25 "Well, I saw flowers and Mickey Mouse face, but that was about it."

Chris Brown: 34:35 "Wait a second. You got a ticket into the magic kingdom and you sat all day with your butt up against the fence?"

Chris Brown: 34:44 "Yeah, well until they closed and then we had to leave."

Chris Brown: 34:48 "Are you kidding me? You weren't in Disneyland."

Chris Brown: 34:51 "Yeah I was. We paid a thousand dollars, click. I'm in Disneyland, they counted me."

Chris Brown: 34:54 I'm like, "Okay, you were in Disneyland, but you weren't in Disneyland."

Chris Brown: 34:58 OK, I know this is ludicrous. Take it even dumber. Say Walt Disney is still alive, and he comes cruising by. He's like, "Hey buddy, you having a good day?"

Chris Brown: 34:58 "Not that much."

Chris Brown: 34:58 "What'd you go on?"

Chris Brown: 34:58 "Nothing yet."

Chris Brown: 35:09 "You know, there's rides inside?"

Chris Brown: 35:11 "Well someone gave me the map, I looked at it, but I haven't found it to be true."

Chris Brown: 35:16 He's like, "Hey, how'd you like to go to the park with me?" Can you imagine going through Disneyland with Walt? I bet you don't wait in line. I bet there's doors you can get into that no one else can get into. And you go, Chris, that's the dumbest illustration ever heard. No, it's not. That's a foolish illustration. How foolish you are. You believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins and you accepted that. Click, you got in the kingdom and now you're standing in the Kingdom of God with your butt up against the fence wondering why it's not all it's cracked up to be. And you have no clue that Easter proved once and for all, it backed up everything he said he was. But His risen life now grabs you by the hand and says, "Let me take you through this park. Well I heard there's joy, I heard there's peace, I heard there's (inaudible), but I haven't seen it for myself.

Chris Brown: 36:11 It's because your entire Christianity is based on a dead Jesus, and if that's why you're saved. How much more walking this earth, holding the hand or the creator of the universe, are you going to get out of your Christianity? He didn't come to bless your life. He came to change it. I don't want God to change my life. I show up at church, and I say my prayers, and I tip when the bucket goes by, and I demand he blesses my life. And God goes, "Get ready, buckle up, you're on a ride of disappointment my friend. I'm not here to bless your life. I'm here to take it. I won't be a part of your life. I'll have all of it. And I will take you through this life, and show you why your made, and your purpose. Then you will have significance, but you will daily practice my presence and Lordship. Or congratulations, you played religion and you want your money back."

Chris Brown: 37:13 It's how the first Easter was celebrated. I wonder if it's how you celebrated yours. He will allow you to be disappointed with Him, if it will awaken you to the type of God he wants to be. He hates religion. He came to abolish it. He will not bless you so you can play it. He will take all. When's the last time you practiced the presence of God in your life?

Chris Brown: 37:44 Let me ask you this Cornerstone. If the Holy Spirit left your life, how long would it take you to figure it out?

Chris Brown: 37:55 Father God, may we be a people, may this be a church that understands you died on the cross to pay for our sins, but you rose again to make this life possible. That God, when we walk daily surrendering our will, our plans, to you. God, may we stop chanting, bless our life. And may we simply start praying, change me, to however and whatever you want to change me. God, in spite of who we are, and what we've done, and how far we've gone, this story once again illustrates, you will come after us, but you want everything. Everything. God, may we tap out to you, may we yield, may we surrender, and may you do a new work in us and through us. May you change this life to impact us and those around us. Thanks for dying to make heaven our home. Thanks for rising again to make this life possible. In Jesus name. Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286