The empty tomb signals the truth: He is risen from the dead. He has paid the price. And now? Now He offers us eternal life with Him.Read more
“Good Friday goodness.” The phrase seems a crass contradiction. How can goodness and a horrible death share the same space? What’s good about Good Friday?
Sometimes suffering and joy coexist. Jesus suffered the agony of the cross for the joy set before Him. What was that joy? Gaining intimacy with us.
The cross is love in action. There Jesus lives out God’s law by loving God, loving His “neighbors” (soldiers, thief, mother, and friend), and loving us.
At Christmas Jesus left heaven. At the cross heaven left Jesus. Both were costly gifts.
We think, and rightly so, that we’re to ask God for forgiveness. Jesus tells us to do just that when we pray. You know His words: Forgive us our sins. We are to ask. But there’s more to forgiveness than asking for it. There’s also confession. And cleansing. And responding to being cleansed and forgiven by saying thank-you. For cleansing and forgiveness are gifts, and it’s important when we get gifts to say “Thank you.” There’s more to forgiveness than asking for it. Let’s explore what’s involved.Read more
When Jesus dies so do the dreams of those who counted on Him. No Sabbath joy this week – just Sabbath sorrow. Blackness, bleakness, numbness, and tears. A dead body and dead hopes. A lifeless body and lifeless hearts.
Those dark hours make Jesus’ promises seem unreal. He’d told them He’d die; He’d told them they would weep – this they remember. But He’d also promised them He’d be raised; He’d promised they would see Him again; He’d promised their sorrow would be turned to joy – all this they seemingly forgot. ((Matthew 16:21, Mark 20:19, Luke 9:22, John 16:16-20). In those bleak hours between crucifixion and resurrection, the gospel texts record only their sorrow. There’s no hint that any of them remember Jesus’ promises and use them to connect with hope and help each other hope. Remembering might have given them hope. But there’s no mention of hope. Pain fills their awareness … and their hope dies.
How like us. We do the same. Pain’s presence effectively erases our memories as well; it’s intensity fills our awareness. We too forget the Lord’s promises and His power. Both seem unreal. And our hope dies.Read more