Sunday April 5, 2009 – Rick opened the service asking his
audience to think on the question; “what does Easter mean to you”? His
scripture passage was Matthew 27:11-26:
Now Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman
governor. “Are you the king of the Jews?” the governor asked him.
Now Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman governor.
“Are you the king of the Jews?” the governor asked him. Jesus replied, “You
have said it.”
12 But when the leading priests and the elders made their
accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. 13 “Don’t you hear all these
charges they are bringing against you?” Pilate demanded. 14 But Jesus made no
response to any of the charges, much to the governor’s surprise.
15 Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the
Passover celebration to release one prisoner to the crowd—anyone they wanted.
16 This year there was a notorious prisoner, a man named Barabbas. 17 As
the crowds gathered before Pilate’s house that morning, he asked them, “Which
one do you want me to release to you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the
Messiah?” 18 (He knew very well that the religious leaders had arrested Jesus
out of envy.)
19 Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat,
his wife sent him this message: “Leave that innocent man alone. I suffered
through a terrible nightmare about him last night.”
20 Meanwhile, the leading priests and the elders persuaded
the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death.
21 So the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release
The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!”
22 Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who
is called the Messiah?”
They shouted back, “Crucify him!”
23 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”
But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”
24 Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a
riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before
the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is
25 And all the people yelled back, “We will take
responsibility for his death—we and our children!”
26 So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus
flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to
After leading the boys in an opening prayer he introduced
two young men, Robert and Malic who had successfully completed the Pegasus
program and would be going home. He encouraged the audience to pray for
Robert and Malic and then asked Ken to come forward and bless them.
Ben came forward encouraging the boys to find out what their
goals in life are and to make Jesus Christ the center of those goals.
After he sang; “Jesus Please Use Me”, “He is My Everything”, “I am crucified
with Christ” and “The Old Rugged Cross”.
C.J. asked the boys to ponder what the future has to bring
to their lives; will it be better or worse? Without God I can guarantee
it will be worse. He introduced the guest speaker; John
John asked the boys to stand up and give God praise and to
be thankful for the staff and those who minister to them. After a word of
prayer he talked of his own experience with sexual and physical abuse, feeling
no one cared for him and there was no reason to go on living. He spoke of
living in the streets using, running and selling drugs, of sleeping under a
tree every night, of the hatred he had for his parents.
It was Jesus Christ that rescued him from sure destruction
and changed the path he was walking on. He learned to forgive others and
himself. He encouraged the boys to change their direction before it was
too late. To realize that now was the time; that their incarceration at
Pegasus was a blessing and an opportunity to turn from their sin; to give
reason and purpose to their future. Don’t be anxious but learn to wait on
He spoke of the Bible as “Basic Instruction before Leaving
Earth” and our need to ground our lives its precepts.
He closed with telling the boys of his dedication to their
future and the promise that he would be there for them.
C.J. told the boys it does not matter what they look like or
where they came from. What matters is what choices they make today.
Change in each of their lives will come when change comes in each of their
Ken read a letter to the boys from Ms Pam and after, asked a
young man to come forward and pray for Ms. Pam. The service was closed
with the Lord’s Prayer.