Ninety-eight and a half, a week away from eternity, and no interest in Jesus. He didn’t know he was about to make a last minute entrance into paradise.Read more
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.
Each Good Friday I open Robert Doares’ book to gaze at his drawing of the crucifixion. I stand with Doares behind the cross and see what Jesus sees.Read more
Bolted into a socket in front of the platform of the Presbyterian Church of Old Greenwich, Connecticut stands a 5-foot bulky wooden cross. It’s intrusive. The preacher has to walk around it before the congregation can see him. The message is clear: this church wants the cross to intrude into our lives.Read more
At Christmas Jesus left heaven. At the cross heaven left Jesus. Both were costly gifts.
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