Olive Branch Easter Message Series
THE FREEDOM CONSPIRACY

The word conspiracy raises all kinds of weird images in our minds.  It actually means a secret plan sometimes for astounding good. A good ending that no one would ever suspect. God’s conspiracy was to set people free from slavery and oppression; people who were always intended to be free – created in the image of a Being with absolutely no limitations. To have no limitations, no barriers, no aging – and all the wisdom, power, time, and authority to do what you want is true freedom! That’s Who God is – and He always intended us to be free. But He knew that we would be free to love and respect Him – or not.
From the beginning there was a conspiracy to end our freedom – and it worked. The record says that we were tricked into trading our freedom for slavery. Since that moment when the handcuffs slipped over our wrists and the prison door slammed – the God who made us free has been determined to set us freeBut doing that would take a plan – a plan so unexpected and yet so powerful and good that all other conspiracies would collapse into nonsense. In some ways it would be a conspiracy – a secret plan no one expected.  It would take time. God would need key players He could trust.  And we now know that the price would be staggering.
The irony of it all is that the One who laid it out, God – the most astoundingly free Being in the universe – would have to confine Himself, restrict Himself, offer Himself to make that happen.

Sunday March 24. 2019
2 Services 
@ 9:30 + 11:15 AM
Speaker: Ken Davis
SLAVERY IS DECEPTIVE
The narrative of Exodus is actually the core narrative of God’s ongoing relationship with His people – and His Church. God want’s His people free! Through all the plagues that infested the Egyptian empire was the one phrase: Let my people go! Through ten powerful smashing blows, they finally released Israel. You’d think, “Wow!  They did the Happy Dance all the way to the new land!” What you don’t expect is what happened next. They actually turned on the ones – both God and Moses who made freedom possible. God got them out of slavery within months – but it took years to get the slavery out of themTruth is – we can relate to that. When we get into difficulty – or we want something – we will choose slavery; usually without knowing what we’re getting ourselves into. God still wants His people to be free!

Sunday March 31. 2019
2 Services 
@ 9:30 + 11:15 AM
Speaker: Ken Davis
DID WE JUST TRADE ONE TASKMASTER FOR ANOTHER?
They were barely out of Egypt when God made it clear that He needed their attention and obedience. And then on Mt. Sinai, a scary place by any definition, God gave them Ten Words – we call them the ten commandments – to govern their lives by. In our culture, our phrase to describe this would be, what a bummer! I wonder if some of them thought, “Man, we just traded one  taskmaster for another…God!” Actually? God was showing them how to be free and not turn back to slavery again.  And that gets into a key question; What does freedom look like?  Does freedom mean that we’re ‘gods’ of our own little universe? A kite, as you know, pulls hard on a string as if it wants to be free, needs to be free, and yet, when you cut the string…?

Sunday April 7. 2019
2 Services 
@ 9:30 + 11:15 AM
Speaker: Ken Davis
DABBLING IN PRISON JEWELRY
Most people would be terrified of the prospect of being hand-cuffed and chained in a prison cell – for themselves or someone they love. But we will dabble in it – just for kicks, or out of curiosity. See, on the slavery highway – there are on ramps and exit ramps.The on ramps are wide and disguised as a kind of pleasurable afternoon trip. A diversion. The exit ramps are hard to find. It feels cool to dabble in talking smack about people – and feel the ego surge and power that pride brings. Buying stuff you can’t afford – or clicking onto a porn site brings a surge of adrenaline. Smoking weed or getting drunk for the first time makes you think, “What’s the big deal with trying it?” Sex, whatever it’s nature or twist, brings an addictive intensity – and in a world of, “Hey, it’s my body…!” apparently not a big deal.” Over time – as anyone who’s lived long enough knows – this stuff wraps around our lives. The more we twist and turn, the more tangled we get – and the more ashamed we are. God wants His people to be free!

PALM SUNDAY / April 14. 2019
2 Services 
@ 9:30 + 11:15 AM
Speaker: Ken Davis
THE CROWD
The most obvious fact about Palm Sunday was the crowd. Most of them were all chanting the same thing; “Hosanna!  Save us, Son of David!” But some of them just inwardly seethed – hating Jesus and the publicity He was getting. Some, like the children running through the temple – were clueless about what was happening.  That day could not go unnoticed – not with all the noise and crowding. One thing they all had in common, though, was the desire to be free – and to have a better future than their present.  We all know that wanting freedom is way different than getting it.  To be free – we have to give up our chains. The Son came to set you free – and if the SON sets you free, you WILL be free!

GOOD FRIDAY / April 19. 2019
1 Service
@ 10:00 AM
Speaker: Ken Davis
THE CROSS
In that culture, there was no more gruesome picture of the lack of freedom than being nailed, immovable to a cross beam. There was no way to get out of that situation alive. Soldiers who allowed someone to escape would pay with their lives. It had to be an eerily strange seen from the perspective of Heaven. Most people watching from beneath didn’t really understand Who Jesus was. He claimed to be God – but by hanging there, groaning, covered with blood – gasping – it couldn’t be. But from above – where angels alone could see – it had to be unthinkable. The most free being in the universe – impaled like a bug on a piece of cardboard. Would He make a dramatic escape and destroy the people who put Him there?
Why not bring to the cross all the things that hold you back, all the things that keep you captive, the things that shame you, hurt you, chain  you, and keep you from the freedom you were created for? See, if the Son sets you free, you WILL be free!

EASTER SUNDAY / April 21. 2019
2 Services
@ 9:30 + 11:15 AM
Speaker: Ken Davis
THE STONE
So, Jesus really did die on that cross. He was really pried off the cross, wrapped in spices and linen – rigor mortis and all – and then placed in grave. And then a massive stone was rolled in front of the opening. As if a stone created by the maker of planets and mountains could imprison – hold back, contain the King of the universe! Simply put – it didn’t – and that is how the Son made freedom possible for everyone – for this life – and forever.
Do you want to be free?

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