“Many people know in their head about Jesus Christ,” said Matt VanCleave, the teaching pastor at Blue Oaks Church (pictured with his wife Kathy and their children Lily, Amryn and Ezra.
“They’ve heard the story about God coming down as a man to do what people could not do: save them from themselves and from their sins.”
Blue Oaks Church will hold Easter services at 8:45, 10 and 11:15 a.m. Sunday in the multipurpose room at Foothill High School, 4375 Foothill Rd.
Other services in the Tri-Valley include:
Cornerstone Fellowship of Livermore, 348 N. Canyons Pkwy. is holding services at 6:45, 9 and 11a.m.
GraceWay Church, which meets at Alisal Elementary School, 1454 Santa Rita Rd., will hold an Easter service at 10 a.m. with an Easter Egg hunt for children after the service.
Lynnewood United Methodist Church, 4444 Black Ave., will hold services at 9 and 10:30 a.m., with both services featuring Easter Brass and the Chancel Choir.
St. Augustine Catholic Church, 3999 Bernal Ave. will have masses at 8 and 10 a.m. and at noon. There will also be a mass at 10:15 a.m. in the Grotto behind the church. St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, 4001 Stoneridge Dr., will have Easter masses at 9 and 11 a.m.
Trinity Lutheran Church, 1225 Hopyard Rd., will hold an Easter service at 9 a.m. Sunday. This will be followed by an Easter brunch at 10:30 a.m. and an Easter egg hunt for children at 11 a.m.
Valley Community Church, 4455 Del Valle Pkwy., will hold three Easter Day services, at 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m. Breakfast will be served continuously from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Matt VanCleave said that in theory, the story about God coming down as a man sounds nice, like a fairy tale, the sacrifice of one for all.
"But Jesus didn’t just sacrifice Himself for all of humanity, but for us, because He loves us," he said.
VanCleave continued: “What a world it would be if we could all just move the knowledge of being deeply loved just as we are, from our heads to our hearts. To believe this in your heart means you humbly acknowledge that every one of us is equal in our sin, all on the same boat of missing the mark of the standard of perfection.
“Jesus came so that we could live as free men and women, loving and being loved as He originally intended. That is why we celebrate on Easter that Jesus conquered not only death, but shame for our failures, guilt that cripples us, bitterness that paralyzes us.
“God has such affection for you, that he will give you the gift of life if you will only choose to move what’s in your head to your heart," VanCleave concluded.