{April 17, 2022}

Heartland Community Church


A Good, Better and Best Easter Sunday

By Brooke Hodnefield

You know those days when you just don’t feel like yourself? Whether circumstantial, mental or emotional…you just aren’t yourself. While you may want to self-regulate back to some sense of normal, sometimes you just can’t. Especially in intense or overwhelming circumstances, you may find yourself wanting to escape, or find a stand-in, a substitute who can take it from there. 

I remember the early days when our first son was born – it rocked my world. I found myself in a very disoriented state and would have loved to call in a sub every now and then. That time was also what brought about one of the sweetest moments I’ve ever had with Jesus. Baby Tyson  was sleeping, and I had escaped outside to sit out on our teeny-tiny deck…feeling a bit suffocated by my new reality. At that moment, the weight of it all nearly crushed me. But what followed was an unexplainable feeling of peace and the felt presence of Jesus’s hand on my shoulder. I was going to be ok, and I wasn’t alone. I was reminded at that moment that he is covering for us, and present with us in these fragile and desperate places. 

A churchy term (but quite appropriate), is ‘atonement’. Simply put, it’s the offering of a substitute in the place of another. The Hebrew verb ‘to atone’ (kaphar) means ‘cover’, so the noun ‘atonement’ (kippurim pl.) is a form of ‘covering’. This can be found in the Old Testament and the New Testament, but on Easter Sunday, we see Jesus’s ultimate atonement, covering for us in all our brokenness and sin as the ultimate substitute. He stood in our place to free us from the sins that each of us carries from yesterday, those we have yet to commit today, and what will be tomorrow. Knowingly, he still took our place!

Despite this cataclysmic act of sacrifice for all humanity, I am reminded how he seeks to be with us in the most individual and personal places. In the mundane, idle places. In the desperate and fearful places. In the gut-wrenching painful places. In the disorienting and confusing places.  In the struggle to simply be me in my own skin places. His covering for us is far greater than you or I can imagine, not to take it away, but to bear that burden with us in that moment. To place a hand on our shoulder…as reminder that we are not alone. 

Where do you most need his covering in your life? Today is a reminder of the big, but Jesus is with us in the small, too. 

He will cover you with his feathers.

He will shelter you with his wings.

His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Psalm 91:4


{Sunday, April 17}

Read Luke 24:1-8, Matthew 28:6-7

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This had to be a stunning experience, right? Imagine yourself in the scene. What would you wonder? Say? Think? What would be your next action? The angels that appeared to the women gave them specific instructions on action…come and see, go and tell. Where in life have you been able to come and see Jesus? Who might you go and tell your story to?


{bible reading plan: book of hebrews}

For the next few months, we invite you to engage the Bible differently along with us. Each week we will be reading a book from Hebrews 4 times, in 4 ways, as directed below. Instead of daily verses, you are free to engage in the practice outlined below as a "choose your adventure". You might do this all in one sitting, or choose to do an exercise a day. We’d love to hear your feedback, just drop an email to Lisa Zulke.

For an overview of Hebrews, watch this 8 minute video from our friends at The Bible Project.


{Week of April 17-23}

Read Hebrews 12

Read the passage slowly, sitting with it and allowing it to frame and fill your mind. Listen for a single word or phrase that catches your attention. Something you want to ponder further or hold on to.

What word or phrase caught your attention?

"I heard _____________________________________________"


Reflect on Hebrews 12

The second time you read the passage, reflect on what you have heard. Use your imagination to put yourself in the story, in the context of this letter to the Hebrew people. What do you THINK or NOTICE? What do you SEE? What do you FEEL? What do you LEARN about Jesus? What QUESTIONS are you pondering about Jesus in this reading? Engaging our senses invites curiosity about what we have read.

"I saw, I felt, I noticed _____________________________________"


Listen/Pray Hebrews 12

The third time you read the passage, listen specifically for a personal invitation. What am I being invited to consider? What am I being invited to do or try? Sit quietly and listen. Pray, asking God for insight into what he wants to share with you.

"I believe Jesus is inviting me to ___________________________"


Respond to Hebrews 12

After the fourth reading, respond to Hebrews 12. Read it again, and noodle on what you’ve experienced and taken note of so far. What are you sensing or hearing from Jesus or about Jesus? Pray, inviting Jesus to nudge you in a decision: what am I going to do with what I’ve heard? How will I act on it? How might I integrate it into my daily life?

"I will __________________________________________________"


{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources). You can also download The Bible Project App HERE.

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

The Bible App For Kids YouVersion partnered with OneHope to develop the Bible App for Kids, designing it specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 60 languages.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and share what you are learning, questioning or experiencing. We love conversations!


© 2022 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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