He Is Risen: An Easter Collection

He Is Risen! And it’s time to celebrate it! We’ve collected and created beautiful background slides, compelling sermon illustrations and more to help your church celebrate this Easter week. Discover a resource!

Videos

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The Cross

Runtime: 3:20
From Vimeo: Watch a beautiful masterpiece come to life as you hear the story of how Jesus gave his all so we might live. “His eyes looks on in compassion, for regardless for what these people had done His love for them remained.”
Cost: Free
Download HD or SD

The Cross

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Who is Jesus?

Runtime: 2:49
What makes Jesus different? Why do we gather for Easter? What does it matter to you? This quick hitting video beautifully speaks the truth of Jesus through many voices.
Cost: Free
Download HD or SD

Who Is Jesus

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Nobody but Jesus

Great opening for worship from The Skit Guys
Runtime: 2:10
From Sermon Spice: “Jesus lived a short life, but in that time, he did so much. Perhaps even more than his accomplishments though, what is so profound is his unique ability to be everything we needed and be everything that no one else could. Based on a sermon by Sam Storms”
Cost: $19.98

Nobody but Jesus

 

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Not The End Collection

Awesome modern narrative of Easter featuring Gungor music. This is a collection that can work well for Good Friday and or Easter Sunday Morning.
From Sermon Spice: “The three days of Easter contain the highest and lowest points of humanity. Through a gripping telling of Peter’s story, “Not The End” takes us through those 3 days and allows us to connect with the human condition and the hope of a living savior. Featuring music by Gungor.”

Not The End Collection

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Return of The King

Runtime 4:15
From Worship House Media: “A deeply moving Easter video. Jesus was not the king his people were looking for. Through the lens of the Triumphal Entry, The Cross, and the Garden, “Return of the King” is a powerful proclamation of the power of the resurrection. Long live the king!”
Cost: $19

Return of The King

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Risen Savior Welcome Loop

Add this repeating welcome loop to your introduction on Easter Sunday morning!
ShareFaith.com: “Go and tell the others, I am alive! Proclaim that Jesus is risen using the bright and hopeful image of Christ’s victory in this carefully crafted Easter church intro video.”
Membership Site

Risen Savior Welcome Loop

PowerPoints & Backgrounds

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Seven Last Words

Here’s a PowerPoint presentation of text and graphics based on the seven last words of Jesus.

As we approach the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, we realize the eternal importance of this season for two reasons. 1. It is the complete expression of our faith. The price has been paid, the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive! 2. We are know that if someone who is unchurched is to come to church one Sunday out of the year, chances are, it will be Easter Sunday.

Seven Last Words

Creative Reading / Responsive Worship

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But He Lives

Easter Sunday Reading: Responsive readings are many times boring, awkward and confusing for worshipers. Here’s an easy worship addition that requires no shuffling of pages and very little direction.

But He Lives

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Passion

Check out this simple and yet powerful remembrance of Christ’s life and sacrifice. You’ll have a powerful presentation that refuses to be forgotten! This drama could be performed as a shadow play and a dramatic reading.

Passion

Worship Resource: The Romance of the Ages

The following two-person dramatic sketch could be done as a reading to augment a sermon on the unconditional love and grace of Jesus. Feel free to photocopy it and share it with others.

This sketch works well for any worship event, especially around Valentine’s Day. It ends with a challenge for married couples.

The Romance of the Ages

To download the resource simply right click on the link below and click “Save as”, to save this resource to your computer.

Download The Romance of the Ages . PDF

Christmas Devotional on Joy!

Don’t miss the joy of sharing the experience of Christmas with each other. Use this quick devotional as your guide and share it with a friend. You can download and print the entire devotional by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.

 Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26-33

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And [the angel] came to her and said, “Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.”  But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. Then the angel told her:

Do not be afraid, Mary,

for you have found favor with God.

Now listen:

You will conceive and give birth to a son,

and you will call His name JESUS.

He will be great

and will be called the Son of the Most High,

and the Lord God will give Him

the throne of His father David.

He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,

and His kingdom will have no end.

Happiness is an emotion that can disappear as quickly as it rises to the surface. Joy, however, is a choice. We have a choice. God gives us a joy that is unconquerable. We can choose to live in an attitude of resentment, anger, and fear or we can choose to pursue the joy of Christ. So what is the picture of joy in the Bible?

Joy is to trust when you want to doubt.

So trust in the Lord, commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock. Isaiah 26: 4

As Christ followers we aren’t pressured to do it all for everyone. We trust in Jesus to do the heavy lifting.  The key is trust. We just need to have Mary’s response to the coming of Jesus. “I am the Lord’s servant.  Let it be just as you have said.”

Joy is receiving when you want to reject.

Can you imagine how the inn keeper would have felt if he said to Mary and Joseph, “Of course you can’t stay in that stable! That’s for paying customers.  Do you take me for some kind of idiot?”  We find joy in making room for people in need.

Reflect on the mysterious words found in Hebrews:

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2

Joy is to celebrate when you want to fear.

Here’s a trivia question. What is the first thing that angels say to mortals? It is standard protocol. In just about every divine encounter the angels say: “Fear not.” I can hear Jesus instruct His most trusted angels. “OK let’s go over this again … Most of the people that I’ll tell you to speak to will be scared out of their wits! So let’s practice the greeting one more time.” Then the angels would all say in unison. “Fear not.”

The message is clear. God is not looking for ways to scare us into faith. He drew near to us to relieve the worries we have about crossing over the divide between heaven and earth. He wants us to know that He’s going to take care of us no matter what happens. One of the names that He was called long before he ever stepped on this world’s stage was “Immanuel,” meaning God with us.  No matter what we go through we can whisper this truth:  “Jesus is with me.”  Think about this simple truth.  He is with you in your greatest victories and your most humiliating defeats. “Jesus is with you.”   If you stand up for him you can rest assured that He will stand up for you!

Share:  Invite each family member to share one thing that they are trusting God to handle.

Encourage:  Write a note to someone who is experiencing fear and worry.  Let them know you are praying that God will give them the courage they need for today.

Evaluate: Make an inventory of the things that bring you joy today.

Pray:  Pray “The Servant Prayer” of Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

 

Make the time and space for a meal and a fun activity. This is such a busy week!  Don’t miss the joy of sharing the experience of Christmas with each other.

Download Resource

This Christmas devotional is also available as a PDF download. Right click on the link below and click “Save as”, to save this resource to your computer.

He Came for the Rest of Us

The following Christmas reading can be used in a sermon, Bible Study or Christmas fellowship. It work well in the context of Luke 2:10: But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”

It could be used as a song intro to “Joy to the World” or an number of other Christmas carols that have a message of Jesus birth as a gift to all people.

Feel free to divide into a number of readers.  Photocopy rights are included. (Creative Commons)

He Came for the Rest of Us

Jesus came
for the wise and the strong.
And He came, just as well, for the rest of us.
Jesus came for the days that life seemed ordered and filled with meaning.
But we rejoice because He came for the other days, too.
Blessed by old men and shepherds
Worshiped by kings and beggars
And the rest in between.
He loves us still.
He did not come to receive just our joy and elation.

He came for the rest of us.
He came for our doubts, our burdens, our sorrows and grief.
He even came for the times when we doubted His presence.
He reached down to us.
When our loneliness seemed unbearable.

His love courted us.
And His mercy enveloped us.
His holiness consumed us.
God’s advent of grace put the pieces of our broken lives together.
Along the path of our lives we’ve heard of blessed souls who could manage their problems, pick themselves up, find the reasons for all of life’s challenges.
But thank God, that He came for the rest of us!
Not just our good.
But also the rest of us.

He came to celebrate our youth but when our youth is spent,
He celebrates with even greater passion, the rest of us.
He came for the people of Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Judea.
But He also came for the rest of us.
So now He compels us to shout to the world, the joy of a coming King.
So that every person can hear the invitation to join…
The rest of us.

He came…
for the rest of us.

Download Resource

This Christmas Devotional Reading is also available as a PDF download. Right click on the link below and click “Save as”, to save this resource to your computer.

Advent Family Devotional

Scripture Reading:

Sing to the LORD, you His faithful ones,
and praise His holy name.
For His anger lasts only a moment,
but His favor, a lifetime.
Weeping may spend the night,
but there is joy in the morning.
When I was secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”

Psalm 30:4-6 (HCSB)

Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God.
“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem.
Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned.
Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over for all her sins.”
Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting,
“Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord!

Isaiah 40:1-3 (NLT)

 Devotional

Whenever we are on mission with God like Joseph and Mary were as they waited for the birth of Jesus, we have to prepare. No one plants seeds one day and expects a harvest in the morning. There are things to do.  We are called to cultivate our lives and rest in the fact that God has our future in his hands.

In the story of the prodigal son, Jesus tells us a tale of a father. This father knew that he couldn’t control the will of a rebellious, spiteful son. He just gave him what he asked for and let him go.  But after the son left with his share of the farm in his back pocket, the father began to prepare for a celebration. He started fattening a calf. He bought a ring and a robe. There were things to be done. Their relationship was broken but he still had hope as he watched every afternoon for a familiar figure to appear over the horizon.

Preparation is a statement of faith.  I am going to trust even though I’m hurting and heart sick. Every detail of the Christmas story tells us that Mary and Joseph endured more than their fair share of trials as they waited for the arrival of Jesus. Mary left town. Joseph refused to reject her on the basis of an angelic dream. We can just hear the neighbors’ gossip about the scandalous events of Mary’s pregnancy. But they prepared and endured it all in order to be on a much greater mission than any carpenter’s family could imagine.

As you prepare for Christmas and all God has in store for you in 2015, I challenge you to prepare for all that’s in store in four ways.

Eliminate distractions

Don’t allow the stress of the Christmas season to distract you from what is really is important.  Spend more time with the family and less time at the mall. Simplify your life.  Be still and listen to God’s voice.  Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  (Hebrews 12:2a)

Notice God’s hand

Reflect on this past year.  Perhaps you, like many, have faced financial difficulty. Or maybe you’ve escaped danger or disease through an unforeseen miracle. Perhaps 2014 has been a time of suffering or relationship disasters. How has God carried you through all these things? Remember the words of Joseph in the Old Testament: You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20)

Determine God’s will

Ask God to give you direction. In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

Unite in a mission

From the very beginning the mission of getting Jesus safely to each galvanized their relationship.  There is nothing for powerful than a couple, a family or a church that rally around a cause.

These declarations have the potential of making this Christmas season memorable and life changing.

Next Steps

Share:  Discuss ways you or your family can prepare for the challenges you’ll face in the future.

Evaluate: Identify distractions that will keep you from really worshiping Christ this Christmas.

Pray:  Ask God to help you see what He wants you to do.

Family Activity:  Go on a one-day mission assignment as a family. Find some family or organization you can help as they prepare for their Christmas celebration.

A Pledge to Pray for Our Country

As we gather together to celebrate our independence as a country, invite your church to come together in one mind and one voice and acknowledge our dependence on God.

This joyful pledge to pray for our country can be used in any patriotic worship time.

Congregational Reading

Leader: When Jesus is Lord,

Congregation: our country is blessed.

Leader: When righteousness is celebrated,

Congregation: God gets the glory.

Leader: But sin will send our nation into oblivion,

Congregation: for the eternal nation is the nation of God.

Leader: He rules all nations.

Congregation: Submit to the authorities,

Leader: remembering that the highest one is God and God alone.

Congregation: God ordains the leaders.

Leader: Lord, reveal Yourself to them.

Congregation: Lord, we submit our lives, our country, our leaders to You.

Leader: Teach us to honor human life,

Congregation: to love our families, and the body of Christ.

Leader: We tremble before You.

Congregation: We pray for our president, and we pray he honors You.

Leader: Let Your glory fly over one nation under God—

Congregation: unified,

Leader: sanctified.

Congregation: And may we see You glorified.

Leader: Let Your glory fly over one nation under God—

Congregation: unified,

Leader: sanctified.

Congregation: And may we see You glorified.

We Are Free

Freedom. The celebration of our freedom is more than just barbecue, fireworks and parades. It’s a time to gather together and remember what Christ did on the cross. As Christians, we know that we are really free because the ultimate price was paid by a perfect, spotless lamb.

As we gather together to celebrate our freedom in our country and our freedom found in Christ, feel free to use this reading based on Luke 4:18-19 during your worship time.

Worship Reading

Reader 1: I regret that I have but one life to give.

Reader 2: I chose to die so that others might live.

Reader 1: I fell amidst the flames and in the middle of the night.

Reader 2: I am the eternal way, the truth and guiding light.

Reader 1: I am the soldier on the battlefield today.

Reader 2: I came 2000 years ago to show you the way.

Reader 1: Freedom is never free but let us celebrate that freedom rings.

Reader 1: We are free to choose

Reader 2: Free to serve

Reader 1: Free to love

Reader 2: Free to worship

Reader 1: Free to speak

Both: We are free!

Reader 2: In this life, as Americans,

Reader 1: And in the eternal life to come, because Jesus paid the price

Reader 2: There is a price to be paid.

Reader 1: Praise God for those who paved the way to freedom.

Reader 2: Praise God for his Son

Reader 1: The perfect, spotless lamb and the blood that bought our eternal freedom. Jesus said:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Reader 2: Jesus proclaimed freedom.

Reader 1: And His blood brings us safely, eternally home!

Easter Week Communion Service Plan

This brief multi-sensory worship plan can be used on Good Friday or Palm Sunday.

Scripture Reading & Prayer

Pastor: Jesus said, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

Reader #1: (Praying) Lord, I don’t understand how You, in all Your holiness, could offer Your body as a sacrifice for mine.

Reader #2: I’ve made so many mistakes.

Reader #3: You died for me.

Prayer: When I stand before the righteous throne of God, You will cover my iniquities because before I was even born, the price was already paid. You laid down Your body as a sacrifice for my guilt. I stand clean because You stood in my place.

Prayer: There was never a greater love than the love You had for us when You laid down Your life for Your friend.

Pastor: While they were eating, Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take, eat, this is my body.”

(Congregation eats of the bread)

Worship Song

Worship Song:  Revelation Song

Testimony

I have been made clean. The blood that Christ shed on the cross for me gave me freedom when I deserved death. Like Barabbas, I was condemned to die. But Christ took my place.

Every painful scourge should have pierced my back.

Every accusation.

Every mocking blow.

Every thorn.

Every nail.

Every drop of blood.

You stood up for me.

I stand in His presence, free and forgiven.

Prayer

Prayer: Jesus Christ, Lamb of God, Redeemer, we remember the torment, the humiliation, the pain that You endured because You loved us. We remember how You loved even when You knew that You would be betrayed and denied. We remember that You, the spotless Lamb, became sin. We remember that even Your Heavenly Father turned away from You that day. Our minds aren’t capable of comprehending a love that pure, that everlasting. Your love has no bounds. We remember, and our hearts are filled with unspeakable thanksgiving.

Reading

Reader #1: He was pierced for our transgressions.

Reader #2: He was crushed for our iniquities.

Reader #3: The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him.

Reader #1: And by His wounds we are healed.

Reader #2: We, all like sheep, have gone astray.

Reader #3: Each of us has turned to his own way.

Reader #2: And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Reader #1: He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth.

Reader #2: He was led like a lamb to the slaughter

Reader #3: For me.

Reader #1: For me.

Reader #2: For me.

Reader #1 ,2 & 3: For me.

Worship Song

Soloist: (a capella)  Amazing Grace (Congregation invited to join on the last verse)

(Congregation drinks of the cup.)

Prayer

Prayer: Lord, I want to ask for Your forgiveness. Tonight my eyes were opened as we sang the words to those hymns that I’ve sung thousands of times. For the first time in my life I was struck by the vastness of Your grace and love for me, and it pierced my heart. I looked at my hands that have so many times brought You shame as I have clinched them in anger. As I have pointed the finger of blame at the innocent. As I have held forbidden fruit . . . These hands were never pierced. And yet the loving hands that fed and healed and served—those perfect hands of grace were pierced for me. As we prayed, I touched my forehead and I remembered my moments of rage when I accused and fussed and frowned. But my brow was never pierced. And yet Your brow was pierced by thorns. Your wounded head was bleeding. You shed Your blood for me. Lord, I know that I’ve heard the story a thousand times. I believed it. And it was true. But tonight . . . it was as if for the first time I looked You in the eyes and I felt the holiness of worshiping a God who died. A God who gave His own life for me. My feet have never felt the knawing pain that You endured of the cross that day. My shoulders have never carried the burden of the world in the shape of a cross. I have never been stripped of everything to die a sinner’s death. My back never scourged—my face never spit upon—Oh Lord, the agony, the humiliation, the torment—the love. How could it be? How could You love me that much? Tonight, as we took the bread and drank from the cup, I felt the holy presence of Your love. Thank You, Lord. I don’t understand Your love. I probably never will. But I want You to know that tonight I saw You, and I will never be the same again.

Written by Matt Tullos