Page 1

“I will open my mouth and tell stories; I will bring out into the open things hidden since the world ’s first day.” —Jesus, speaking to His followers in Matthew 13:35

Easter: An Epic Story of Love, Sacrifice, and Hope We all love to watch and listen to a good story. When people live lives that rise above the ordinary, lives filled with courage, adventure, and devotion to something bigger than themselves, their stories capture our imagination. We say those stories are epic. Epic stories are big stories about love, war, and sacrifice. In Braveheart, William Wallace and his ragged followers take on the English army to bring freedom to Scotland. In Lord of the Rings, Frodo and Sam journey to Mordor to destroy the One Ring. An epic story involves a great battle, and in that battle there is an enemy and a hero. The heroes we love the most are the ones who are willing to sacrifice themselves for others. Think of Aragorn charging the gates of Mordor to buy time for Frodo, or Luke Skywalker daring to take on Darth Vader.


The Thorn Easter Experience

In an epic story, a lot is at stake—many times the very survival of a people or even the future of humankind. When everything hangs in the balance, that’s the kind of story that draws us in and inspires us. The Thorn Easter Experience is one of those epic stories. It is the greatest story ever told— the epic story of God’s power and love displayed during the first Easter. In this story there is a battle and an enemy. It is a spiritual battle between God and His angels and Satan and his followers. As in many epic stories, this is a battle for the future of humankind. Best of all, the Easter story has a hero like no other. He is God’s own Son, Jesus, come to earth to sacrifice Himself for those He loves. Finally, unlike some of the stories mentioned earlier, the Easter story is a true story, lived out by real people and a very real God. Copyright © 2012 by Outreach Publishing. Published in partnership with The Thorn LLC

A Personal Encounter with God’s Epic Story


“Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for these people...’” –Matthew 15:32

A Story of Love When Jesus came to earth, He came with a clear mission: “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). And what was lost was, well … us. Humankind had sinned— rebelled against God and destroyed the perfect, loving, and eternal relationship God intended. Our Creator’s solution for restoring that relationship is mind-boggling, almost unbelievable—God chose to set aside His power and glory and descend to earth in the humble form of a man. All for love. While He was here on earth, Jesus marked his ministry with the miraculous, full of heaven touching earth. He opened blind eyes, healed the diseased, championed the disadvantaged, and befriended the forgotten. One of the most frequent lines in the accounts of Jesus’ life is, “Jesus had compassion on them.” In His humanity, Jesus reflected God’s perfect love and demonstrated His ability to be in our deepest pains, hopes, and joys. At the same time, those who followed Jesus experienced the very presence and essence of God!


The Thorn Easter Experience

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” —John 3:16

A Story of Sacrifice In His thirty-three years on earth, Jesus lived a life completely free of sin and full of power, love, and compassion. But even after He had performed incredible miracles and clearly demonstrated that He was God in human form, Jesus had not fully accomplished His mission. There was one humiliating, incredibly painful, sacrificial act yet to be completed. You see, Jesus had come to earth to die—for you. Sin had separated all of humankind from God. While God is infinitely loving and gracious, He is a perfect God and He cannot tolerate hatred, pride, murder, theft, greed, sexual immorality, or other sins. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). That verse makes it clear that no one is free of sin. How could a perfect, righteous God accept imperfect, sinful humans into His heaven? Jesus is the answer. God in His love gave His Son to take our punishment upon Himself. Jesus allowed Himself to be arrested and whipped and then to suffer the worst type of death—a slow, painful death on a Roman cross. His death atoned for our sins, and His sacrifice offers us the one and only way to an eternity spent with God. A Personal Encounter with God’s Epic Story


A Story of Hope Throughout history, humankind has had a dangerous enemy. The Bible tells us that Satan is a real being who defied God and now prowls the earth, looking to destroy what God loves most. When Jesus died on the cross, Satan appeared to have won. God’s plan to save us seemed thwarted. Jesus’ death devastated those who had followed Him during His three-year ministry—how could the one they thought was the Savior of the world be gone? Their hopes had been so great, but now their Lord was dead, wrapped in grave cloths and buried in a barren stone tomb. Thankfully, Jesus’ story does not end in a cold tomb. Easter is an epic story, remember? Jesus is the ultimate hero, and His sacrifice was always intended to change our future. God is able to take even the worst kind of evil and turn it around for good. The Bible tells the rest of the story this way: On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” —Luke 24:1–6 Jesus later appeared to His disciples and then to five hundred more people. Before ascending to heaven, He charged His followers with their own mission—to go and share the good news of His resurrection with the rest of the world. Jesus’ followers did exactly that. After they were filled with God’s Holy Spirit, they poured their lives into sharing the message and becoming a part of the early Christian church.


The Thorn Easter Experience

Your Epic Story Now comes your story. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection were for you! He loves you dearly. He has a purpose for your life, and He wants you to spend eternity with Him in heaven. The Bible tells us, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). If you would like to follow Jesus and have eternal life in His name, simply pray a prayer like this: Dear Jesus, I don’t know why You love me so much that You were willing to die a terrible death for me. But I know that You did it so my sins could be forgiven, and I could enter into a relationship with God. Thank You for loving me and dying for me. I receive your amazing gift of forgiveness and salvation. I offer my life to You today, Jesus, and I commit to following You. Thank You for Your sacrifice and for allowing me to know Your perfect love. Amen.

A Personal Encounter with God’s Epic Story


Come Experience an Epic Story of Love, Sacrifice, and Hope!

Easter— it’s the greatest story ever told, and this

year at (Church Name) it comes to life with The Thorn Easter Experience! Through live dramas, beautiful music, a heart-lifting message, and high-quality video, you will experience the power and compassion of Jesus’ life, the pain of His crucifixion, and the triumph of His resurrection. Two thousand years ago, when Jesus rose from the dead, He sent His followers out into the world as witnesses to the incredible story of His resurrection and the hope of eternity for all who believe.

This year, what if you did more than just listen to the Easter story—what if you became a witness?


US $19.99 PK/50


The Thorn Evangelical Booklet  

This beautiful, full-color booklet invites seekers to experience the epic story of love, sacrifice, and hope that is Easter. Using dramatic...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you