Local pastors discuss importance of Easter

Published 12:36 am Sunday, April 16, 2017


NATCHEZ — Area pastors are ready to lead their congregations  in the celebration of the excitement of Easter today.

“It is really the foundation of the Christian faith,” the Rev. Dr. Doug Broome of Natchez First Baptist Church said. “Because of the resurrection, our faith is victorious. It gives us power over doubts, despair and depression. Jesus was not a victim. He was a victor.

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“I invite everyone in the community to attend a service Sunday morning. You are welcome at First Baptist Church, but I hope all churches are full to experience the excitement of Easter.”

The Rev. Clifton Marvel of the Greater Macedonia Baptist Church, which will have service at 11 a.m., said today his message would be about remaining anchored in faith.

“When you tell someone that yes, Jesus is real, you hear all kinds of objections these days,” Marvel said. “You have to tell them, ‘This is my story, and I am sticking to it.’

“I am sure about what I am and who the Lord is. I know He is a risen savior.”

Easter is an important time of year for Christians because it serves as a refresher for faith in the heavenly Father, Marvel said.

“This is one of the highlights of the Christian experience because we are remembering and acknowledging that Jesus died on the cross so that we might be made right with God,” he said. “There are many naysayers out there. We have to be strong enough to maintain our stance that we are sure that Jesus is the Christ.

“We have to reaffirm with ourselves and to God that this is my story, and I am sticking to it. Because I know He is real.”

The Rev. Andy Blair of Crosspoint Church will have service at 10:30 a.m. Blair said Easter is the reason for Christians to gather.

“If Easter had not happened, we are all wasting our time,” Blair said. “Easter is just a celebration of how much God does love us because He sent his Son. Easter is a good time to reflect on how much God does love us.”

Blair said he is planning a message today called “The Warrior.”

“Jesus was the ultimate warrior,” Blair said. “He fought the war for all of us.”

Blair said “The Warrior” would be a series in which over the next few weeks the church would be targeting men.

“We all have a cause that we need to be fighting for in our society today,” Blair said. “There are many more women in church than men. I think it is time for men to start fighting a fight that is important.”

Society does not praise men for being the spiritual heads of the household, as the Bible asks, and Blair said he wanted to turn that perception around.

“This is not just a service for men, as women can be warriors as well,” Blair said. “But it is going to be of real interest to men in the community. We need to do more honoring of men living Godly lives and doing the right thing.”

The Rev. LeRoy White of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Ferriday and New Beginnings Missionary Baptist Church in Natchez will have services at 8 a.m. in Ferriday and 11 a.m. in Natchez. White said he would be speaking about Jesus, the greatest substitute.

“Jesus was the substitute for all of us, all of our sin, all of our problems, and because of Him we can have eternal salvation,” White said. “It all happened on resurrection day — Easter. Though He died, He got up, He rose from the dead.”

White said if Jesus had not risen from the grave, no Christian faith would exist.

“He went back to His Father in heaven, which means He made the full circle,” White said. “How is Jesus going to save me if He is still in the ground?

“There was nobody who was alive on this Earth who could step up and do it for us. He was the only one who could be the greatest substitute. None of us could do that. We all have problems.”

The message behind Easter is important to Christians, White said.

“If Jesus got up from the grave, that means we are all going to rise,” White said. “That is important because when I go into the ground, that’s not the end — that’s the beginning.

“Yes it will be an ending, but it will be a new beginning for our spiritual form with Jesus Christ for eternity.”

Broome, whose service will be at 10:30 a.m. at Natchez First Baptist, said his sermon would be titled, “The Comeback Christ.”

“Everyone loves a good comeback story,” Broome said. “Jesus coming back from the grave is the greatest comeback of all time.”

In the Bible and in the world, many comeback stories have occurred. Moses committed murder but God used him to come back from that previous sin to become a great leader for his people. Broome said Sampson, David and Joseph were also examples.

In the modern day world, Bernie Marcus was fired from Handy Dan but went on to found The Home Depot, Broome said. It took three tries for Douglass MacArthur to be accepted at West Point and both Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison were kicked out of school, Broome said.“The Greatest comeback is the comeback of Christ — how Jesus came back from the dead,” Broome said. “It gives us all hope to place our faith and trust in a powerful savior. If He can conquer death, He can conquer anything we will ever encounter.”

Easter is the cornerstone of the Christian faith because the resurrection provides hope, Broome said.

“If Jesus had the power to resurrect from the grave, we too have hope of life beyond the grave,” Broome said. “I think life is created to be eternal. Jesus’ resurrection gives us our victory that knowing one day we too shall live forever. Death is not the termination of ones’ life, it is simply a transition to a much better life.”