Easter at the Rock can only be described as an extraordinary experience. On Good Friday we do a worshipful and ‘almost’ traditional service centered around the passion of the Christ and His cross. It is beautiful, touching and meaningful. Easter, however, is something all together different. It has always been about celebration and joy… for Christ has risen. But nobody on the planet does it quite like Church of the Rock. We have taken the amazing story of the resurrection and have presented it in modern parable form that can only be described as ‘Hollywood does Easter’. Donning sets, costumes and a home grown script written by ‘yours truly’ we have had some of Hollywood’s finest masquerading as the Christ. In The Wrath of Khan it was Captain Kirk who died and rose again. The next year it was Captain Jack Saviour (Sparrow) in the Pirates of the Galilean. I appeared as the villain Captain Barabbas (Barbossa).
Last year it was Westley from the Princess Bride of Christ. I did a cameo as Miracle Max and if you are watching on television this Easter Sunday you will catch at least a snippet of my performance doing the memorable “he’s only mostly dead” scene. One year I did my best impression of Michael Jackson in Robin of the Hood.
This year we are pulling out all the stops and doing Batman: The Dark Night. The Caped Crusader along with Robin the Boy Wonder will be arriving in the Batmobile. I will be making the requisite cameo, but I am afraid at this writing, that information is top secret.
If you are from out of town and ever wanted to come to a Church of the Rock service, Easter is the one to come to. If you had to drive half way across the country, I guarantee it would still be worth it. We have some immensely talented singers, actors and musicians that bring the resurrection story to life. Last year we had 4,000 people show up for our three services so you have to come early to get a good seat.
We had a record attendance over the Easter weekend. Probably close to 5,000 people. Dozens of seekers came to faith in Christ which is the whole reason we do it. The Winnipeg Free Press covered the story and we got a front page mention.
Despite what our critics said about using Batman to tell the story of Easter, those who actually came, realized it did not cheapen the message of the resurrection at all. I will say this again. We do not think that Jesus is Batman, Jack Sparrow or Captain Kirk. The play is an allegory along the lines of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The key to telling a parable is to take a well known cultural truth and use it in an analogous way. Before you call foul consider this: In Jesus parables He compared God to an unjust judge that does not fear God or man (Luke 18), a hard man who reaped where he did not sow in the parable of the talents (Matt 25:26), a rich man that commends unrighteous dealings (Luke 16) and an unjust and cruel nobleman in Luke 19… to name a few. He never says God is like these people in ever way. They are only analogies. He uses some aspects of their life to explain spiritual truths about God and His kingdom.
Just because Batman is a vigilante in our modern day parable of The Dark Night, that in no way implies that Jesus is one. Parable telling is a perfectly acceptable and orthodox homiletic and has been used for centuries. The religious mind will always be offended just as it was in Jesus day. If we read the gospels the religious elite were offended almost every time Jesus opened His mouth. It was not that they did not get the point He was trying to make… they did not ‘want’ to get the point because more often than not, they were the ones getting skewered.
Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” Matt 15:12