Well, hi everyone. Hey, and one more time. Welcome to Central and happy Easter. I am so glad that you have decided to celebrate this day with us. My name is Cal Journey Jernigan. I'm the lead pastor here and literally on behalf of all of us, we're just absolutely delighted to have you with you. You come a time or two a year, or you come every week, man, it's good to have you with us today. Well, this might be the oddest place that I have ever delivered a message, uh, regarding Easter, but this is a awesome setting where I am. It's called the Dorrance Planetarium at Arizona Science Center. This place is remarkable. Uh, it is one of the largest planetariums, uh, literally in the world. There's a dome over me, right? At 60 feet up. It's just the, a massive building. You, you can just experience the vastness of space and the greatness of what God's created. Now, let me explain something to you. You're gonna be blown away by how big it all is. How big space is. It will absolutely take your breath away and you're gonna be blown away by how small our galaxy. The Milky Way galaxy in the big picture. You go, wow, I thought it was huge. But you're gonna see it's just a small, small, small part of a much, much bigger story. Now, why are we here? What's the point of being here? I want to talk to you today about a thing called perspective. Perspective. It perspective is literally your view of something. It's how you look at something. Often you have gain a a perspective. You look at it from a distance. A perspective is a mental. Outlook, a view, a way of perceiving something. And, uh, I want to talk to you today about the ways you might be perceiving something, and you'll understand here in just a few moments as I work my way through that. Uh, I want to talk about the perspective you experienced when you use a camera. This was the camera that was used earlier in the service. And, and again, we showed you pictures, but you know what a camera tries to do is just simply freeze a. It is literally trying to stop time in a moment. It's, it's trying to capture, uh, when you look at a picture, what you're hoping it will do is that it will evoke the same emotion and the same response you felt when you were actually looking at something. And, and often you do it for the stick, not so that you would just remember it, but also that you could share it with other people. I want you to see, You know, it's also interesting though, so often what happens, you know, we say it's worth a picture's worth a thousand words, but so often what happens, you show somebody the picture, oh, it just doesn't do it justice. If you could be there, it would look so much better. This gives you an idea. It's trying to capture what is as best as it can, but it has to use the perspective of your eye. Often when you take a picture too, you'll discover. When you look at the picture, you'll see things in the background. You never notice when you were looking because you were distracted, you were looking at the objects you were taking a picture of that all kinds of things could be going on behind the scene. And you look at the picture and you go, well, who knew? Well, who knew? Well, that's one, uh, instrument I want to talk about. And then I wanna talk about this instrument. This is, uh, a telescope, obviously. A telescope is not trying to capture, you know, just what is, uh, it's literally, it's, it's trying to get a macro perspective on something. It, it's looking out, it's looking beyond, it's going as far out as it possibly can. Uh, we, we've all experienced, and again, just kind of look around here, we've all experienced going out. In the evening, uh, walking around and you do this as a little kid, you look up and you see all the dots in the sky and your parents explain those are stars. And they're literally sons way out there in planets. And as a kid, you're trying to get your brain around that. You're trying to like, make that make sense and, and you know, all the little dots. And then, and, and then they start to explain, you know, those are actually light ears away. And you're like, well, light years. I'm like, what are you talking about? What's a light year? It makes no sense. And you look at the, the moon and I just picture the moon coming up over the horizon. You know, when it's so big and bold and bright, they feel like you could reach out and just touch it. We, we have always been fascinated by what's out there. But here's the point. You know, if all you ever knew about stars was what you saw when you walked on the earth and. You're missing so much now, you know that because now we have telescopes and telescopes. What they do is they take what is way, way, way out there and bring it really, really close. And uh, a telescope is able to see so far beyond. And so like now what we're doing is we're actually launching, I know you know this, but we're launching telescopes into space so that we can farther and farther and farther in the transferring. So the James Webb telescope is sending back. Images of what's going on in space that are absolutely mind blowing. And we get to look and we go, wow, that is out there. But who would know if you didn't have a telescope? All you think it were, uh, that, uh, that was out there were just those little lights in the sky. And then I wanna talk about this instrument. This, of course, right here. Now this is a microscope. This is the exact opposite. It's used for magnification, but it's a different kind of magnification. This is trying to not see what's out there and beyond. It's trying to see what's little micro. It's literally trying to take the smallest things that make 'em big enough to see and to experience. And you probably remember being in school and playing around with the microscope and looking, you know, at a Petri dish or looking. You know, living organisms of, you know, amebas and peress and all this kind of stuff, and you're like, it's unbelievable. But it's also fascinating because you can also look within, because you can see things that are, I don't know, just have to do with your body. You can see what a, a blood cell looks like. Okay, this, what, why am I telling you about this? If you look up at this sky, is that all there is? No, that is not all there is. You need something that can take and, and, and, and magnify and show you something way beyond. No. I'm gonna change objects here cuz there's one more thing I want to talk about and, uh, this is gonna seem like it's just kind of a weird thing, but you'll understand what I'm doing here in just a moment. I wanna hold this up. This, uh, of course is a clock. And, uh, from the time you were little, uh, your parents and your teachers tried to explain to you the idea behind a clock. Um, because a clock is, uh, uh, it records a thing we call time. And you have to know how to tell time and you have to know how to keep time, and you have to understand the concepts of time. And so what they do is they begin to explain to you that it all starts with the littlest thing. A second, and then there's so many seconds, and then that makes up a minute. And then there's so many minutes and that makes up an hour and there's so many hours and that makes up, you know, a day and so many days, make up a week. And so many weeks make up a month. And so many months make up a year. And so many years and so many years makes up a lifetime. Uh uh. How long is your lifetime? Your lifetime is, well, it's from the time you were born to the time that you die, that's gonna be your life. You know, it, it's an interesting thing. We, we don't know how long our lifetime's gonna last, but we all understand we only get so many days. So time is like the, the grains and an hourglass that are slipping through and we realize that they're more and more and more are getting behind us. And fewer and fewer are ahead of us. Wanna challenge you to think about something. You know, one day your lifetime's gonna come to an. In, in the world that we're living in, um, they, they basically say all there is to life in a lifetime is from the day you were born to the day you die. That's all there is for you. The day you were born to the day you die. One day in the future, you're probably gonna have a tombstone over a grave in which you'll lie, and they're gonna have on that tombstone your name and they're gonna have a date and a. And a dash, a date when you were born, and a date when you died. And a dash and the dash will represent the days of your life, how you spent your time while you were alive. Here's the point I'm trying to make you and I live in a world that is telling us that all there is is from the beginning of your birth to the day of your death. That's all there is. What if there's more than that? What if that is not the whole story? What if that's as naive as. Those little dots in the sky. That's all there is, that little thing that you can't see anything with. What if there was so much more to see, so much more to understand. You know, you only get so much time. It doesn't matter who you are. You can, you can be the literally the most important person on the planet. You only get 24 hours a day in 168 hours a week and only, and you, you can waste time, but you can't save time, but you can use your time for something incredible. Now as we wrestle with this, I wanna just, I wanna challenge you to think that maybe God is trying to show you something, that maybe God is trying to communicate something to you that he wants you to understand that he's trying to get across to you. And maybe it's not just in words that he's trying to do it. Let me, let me read to you a passage. This comes from Psalm, uh, 39, verse four and five. And again, I, I think these scriptures are so powerful now the Psalmist said to show. Lord, my life's in and the number of my days let me know how fleeting my life is. You've made my days a mere hand breath. The span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is, but at breath. Even those who seem secure in Psalm 1 0 2, 3, the psalmist said, uh, they said, uh, in my days, vanish like smoke. Let me repeat what I've already said, cuz you've gotta get the point. We live in a world that's telling you that all there is to. It's what's represented in the dash between the day you're born and the day you die. When I was a kid, there was a beer commercial that had a little motto, and we used to say this, you know, you only go around once in life, so you might as well grab for all the gusto you can. You only go around once a night, so you take each day with all the gusto you can. It's kind of the parallel to eat, drink, and be merry. You know, for tomorrow you're gonna die. What if they're. What if that's not true? What if they just don't see what is beyond your death, beyond the grave? What if they don't see that there was more to life? Is that really all there is? I wanna just challenge you for the next few moments to think about your perspective on God. How do you see. How do you see God? If you were to describe God to me, how would you describe him? How do you see him? It's been said that the absolute most important thing about you is how you see God. Because how you see God is gonna determine so much about how you live your life. How do you see God? What's your perception of who he is? What if God was trying to tell you something, but you needed an instrument to understand it beyond your own? Just under. That you needed, I don't know, like a microscope or a telescope or a clock, or you needed something that would aid you in being able to pursue what if there was a dimension beyond what we can just go outdoors and experience as beautiful as nature is? And I love nature. I love the outdoors. But what if there's a whole lot more than that? But I'm just not naturally wired to be able to see all of that. There's there, what if God had so much more? Would you wanna live the life that missed out on all of that because you never were willing to think that possibly there could be more than the world you're living in is telling you. And we have an expression, uh, you know, you've heard this outta sight outta mind, outta sight outta mind to me. This is what people do to God. I don't see God. He's outta sight and therefore he's outta. A A as if, because I don't look, he doesn't exist. And folks, I wanna challenge that perspective. What if God is literally trying his hardest to communicate to you, to get you to see and to understand that there is so much more. I think about this Psalm 19. It says, the heavens declare the glory of God and the skies proclaimed the work of his hands. Day after day, they pour forth speech. Night after night, they reveal knowledge. They have no speech. They use no words, no sound is heard from them. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. The words are what you can see. It says, God as if God's screaming at us going, look at this. Do you really believe out of nothing? Just mere consequence, mere chance. I think the heavens tell you a great deal about God. I think it tells you how big he is, how great he is, how creative he is, how organized he is, how generous he is. I think they declare the glory of God. And what about time? What if? What if you were made for so much more than that little short dash? What if you were actually made to not die? What if you were made to live beyond the dash forever? Let me take you to the book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes three 11 says, God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also said eternity in the human heart. What does that mean? Have you ever found yourself yearning for something you can't describe? Yearning for more yearning like I don't wanna. Because the, the feel, it's like, this isn't fulfilled me yet. I, I'm looking for something more than this. This can't be all there is. What if that eternity, that's eternity, that God's placed in your heart and he's calling out to you? What if you could see beyond that date? You know, one of the fascinating things to me about time is we talk about it. You know, it flies and, and by the way, it flies when you're having fun. It's not necessarily flying when you're not. We'll, admit, But you know that time always flies to God. Let, let, let me share a scripture second Peter 39. Okay, let me say this and then I want to ask you, could there be a place, a dimension, something out there that's just is different enough? Second Peter three, nine says, do not forget this one thing. Dear friends with the Lord. A day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day. Could it be possible? Time is just this artificial thing in which we're trying to get some grip to hold on to some sense of control, but there's a God that's out there that isn't bound by time. That somehow the rules that you and I that could there be not a natural world, but a supernatural world in which so much more exists than anything you can perceive. Here, I want to tell you why Easter's such a big deal. And you know, for those of us who literally, uh, staked everything on Jesus, this is the greatest day of the year. Why is Easter such a big deal? Well, let me, let me go on number one, because God became one of us in Jesus. Now of course, this is the message of Christmas. This is what we celebrate every year, that God became a man. And uh, first John one 14 says, the word of God became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only. Who came from the father full of greats and truth, God became one of us. He literally took on flesh and bone. That is incredible. Well, the second reason why Easter is such a big deal, Jesus was the fullest expression of the nature of God. In our church right now, we're going through a series in the book of Hebrews. Hebrews is all about Jesus, okay? The book of Hebrews. But we're calling the series something better. And the reason we're talking about is because what God has for us in Jesus is better than anything in the old covenant, and we're just talking about that as a church. But one of the coolest things about the book of Hebrews is what begins with almost like a doxology in chapter one, verse one to four, we find this magnificent statement, but lemme just extract one verse out of that, that I think is so. It says this in Hebrews one, three. The son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being. You know what that means? That means Jesus is what God meant. If you know anything about the old covenant, you know that they made all kinds of rules and all kinds of laws and all kinds of regulations and rituals and all of this stuff, and they made religion so cumbersome to carry around and like people going, you're just overloading me with all these rules and. Jesus came because God was trying to say, that's not what I meant. This is what I meant. And people are so magnetically drawn to Jesus because he is so incredible. When you look at him and you start to understand who he really is. The third thing that makes you so so cool is in Jesus. In in, in. Literally in Jesus, God lived. Among us, he lowered himself to our level. What you've gotta understand is he literally was in that other dimension of the place we call heaven, and he was willing to venture to earth to save you and me. In Philippians two, six and seven, it says about Jesus, who being in very nature, God did not consider equality with God, something to be used to his own advantage. Rather, he made himself nothing. By taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness, he emptied himself of all that he had so that he could come and walk among us and understand what it feels like to walk in our skin. The fourth thing that makes Easter so incredible is that Jesus died for our sins. He died for our sin. Philippians two eight says, being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. You might not understand this yet, but here's the great news I can tell you, is that the thing that you deserve to be punished for, he died for whatever you have coming to you. He took for you. He, he literally came to die to bear your sins, to bear the consequences to pay the penalty. And we celebrate that on this day because he did not have to do that. Then the fifth thing that makes Easter so incredible is that death wasn't the end of the story. He rose from the dead. First Corinthians 15, three and four for what I received. I passed on to you as a first importance that Christ died according, died for our sins according to the scriptures that he was buried and that it was raised on the third day according to the scriptures. And, and what you gotta understand is we celebrate the risen Lord. We celebrate that he did not stay in the grave. And you go, that would take a miracle and that is exactly what you have. And that's exactly why it's such a big deal because let me ask you, friend, have you ever needed a miracle? Have you ever needed something that the natural world said is not possible, but you needed supernatural intervention to make a difference in your life? Do you understand that the power that God used to raise Jesus from the dead is the same power that dwells in you in me? When we open our hearts up and let Jesus live in them, literally let him come into our hearts, the spirit of God. Power of God in you. You need a miracle. I'll tell you where you find one. You find one in Jesus. And then the very last thing that I think is so cool is that all who believe in Jesus will live with him for eternity. Jesus is absolutely positive. The dash is not all there is. And that second date on your tombstone, that's just the beginning of the good stuff. That's the beginning of the good. John 1125 records you Jesus saying these words, I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die. And whoever lives by believing in me will never die. So let me, let me wrap this up. Okay. Let me, pastor, what have you been trying to tell me? What I've been trying to tell you is you can take a camera and all that. You can see, you can try to record and you're gonna miss a bunch, but you're gonna see which are ics. This is gonna capture, you can take a telescope and you can see so far beyond. And, and you can begin to realize that there's so much that is outside of your realm of understanding without an instrument to in introduce you to this, the greatness of this universe. You take a microscope and there's so much going on that you cannot see with your eye, but it's there. And if you have this instrument, then, then it will start to make sense. You can take a clock and begin to count days, and you can count time and you can begin to understand that something is incredibly ordered in this. Jesus is the portal that allows you to experience the presence of God. What? What The portal. Jesus is the portal that literally opens up a dimension that you'll never see without him, and God gave us Jesus. And he was there. He's here. He's there, he's here. You understand, in Jesus, you can see what you could never see and understand what you could never know. So you would never know what God was like without Jesus. Without Jesus, you would never know how far God would go to reach you. Without Jesus, you would never know that there's far more to the spiritual dimension than meets the eye. Without Jesus, you would never know that death is not the final. Without Jesus, you would never know what eternity is enough, what you were actually created for. That's why you yearn for it. Without Jesus, you would never know how good God is. So here, here's the conclusion. You had enough of just all there is is life here, have you had enough of just like, you know, this is it. This is it. There's so much more. There's so much more. Jesus is the portal to a whole new life. Just a doorway. You just gotta be willing to go. You know what? I'm so glad I'm willing to look through a telescope and see what my eyes can't see and look through a microscope and see what I'm so glad I've been able to enter into a dimension that is not natural, it's supernatural. And the greatest thing I can tell you about all those wonderful things about Easter. The greatest thing I can tell you is the door is open for you right now. Right now the door is. Jesus is literally saying, come all you who are done with religion, all you are done with a, like a, a life without direction. All of you who are f are just full of futility, and I'm just fed up with it. I don't, it seems to be no meaning. You want to experience a dimension that'll change you forever, not just till the day you die. It begins today. And it just goes on. You know what's so cool? Today is a very, very special day because today can be the day for you where you said, Jesus. I say, yes. And when you say yes, you're gonna begin to see things that God has for you that'll absolutely blow your mind. So here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna pray, I'm gonna ask you right now, which on all of our campuses would you just for this moment, just stand up and let me just pray for you. And then as soon as I get done praying, there's gonna be prayer partners who are gonna come forward. I invite you to come forward and say, yes, I. I want to experience what God has for me. I want to live in a life of miracles. I wanna live a supernatural. I wanna live a life that you can't explain outside of Jesus and the power of his Father God. And you say Yes. So I'm gonna pray worship leaders are gonna take over on all of our campuses, but this is your moment to say, yes, you come forward. We'll have some prayer partners down front and they'll. Let's pray. So, God, thank you for opening our eyes. Thank you for creating this incredible world that we live in. But God, this is not all there is. This is a great teaser for the real thing. God, this is about a mere shadow of the greatness of what you've created in heaven. There's so much that we love about your creation, but God, this is a broken place. It's a broken planet, and we're broken. And God thank you that we don't have to just live the rest of our taste and brokenness and then it all just ends in futility. Thank you for giving us a hope and a life. Thank you for raising Jesus from the dead, basically telling us that what you did for him, you'll do for us. If we'll just believe in Him. The door is open. All we gotta do is say yes. And so, Lord, I pray for every person here who has never said yes, that today would be the day they begin to experience what a supernatural, miraculous life feels like. I pray for them. In Jesus' name, amen.