“When Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment . . . the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people” (Matthew 27:50-53).
For hours, Jesus suffered the horrible wrath of his Father and battled death. Then, at the moment of his choosing, he died. Death thought... Read More
Professional golfer Tiger Woods was serially unfaithful to his wife. Still, he draws crowds. Adrian Peterson beat his son. Fans hate what he did yet root for him to help his team win. Michael Vick found work again after time in jail for dog fighting.
One commenter, referring to sports stars’ relationships with their fans, caught my attention with his insight: “In our society forgiveness is not for those who truly repent, it’s reserved for those who still have something... Read More
What is actually happening when people receive Lord’s Supper?
You can’t see much. It may only look like some reverent people getting a morsel of bread and a sip of wine. But what is really going on is a personal encounter with the risen Christ, their Savior from sin. Through the mystery and miracle of the sacrament, they are receiving the body of Christ; through faith they then become part of the body of Christ, i.e., the great union of... Read More
Would you believe it if I told you that someone needs you to be a friend to them? God wants you to know and believe that you can be that friend.
Never fake, always faithful, Jesus loves you with a sincere love. Who needs your love to be more sincere?
Jesus rebukes evil, chases temptation from bullying you, and provides you opportunities to do what is right. What group of friends needs your help to avoid evil and pursue good?... Read More
The Bible tells some intense stories of sibling rivalry. Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers . . . their drama is worthy of the Jerry Springer Show!
Most of us have experienced sibling rivalry, but probably to a lesser degree. I doubt that you murdered a sibling, stole his birthright, or sold him into slavery. So what does God teach us through these stories?
Do you notice a common theme? Jealousy and hurt. “When [Joseph’s] brothers... Read More
You probably know people who make up their own version of Christianity based in part on things they’ve heard, part on their own logical conclusions, and part on wishful thinking. Quoting the “Good Book,” they say things like, “God helps those who help themselves,” unaware that those words don’t come from the Bible.
Jesus spent a lot of time in his Sermon on the Mount correcting various aspects of the “folk religion” of his day. For instance, he saw that... Read More
Of the many paradoxes of Good Friday, one of the strangest is the way in which Jesus’ death transformed something totally ugly into something stunningly beautiful. Crucifixion was a punishment reserved for the worst of the enemies of the state. It was cheap—prisoners could be nailed to any tree and left to hang there till dead. It was public—the passersby could come by and gawk, suitably discouraged from committing such crimes. And it was excruciating—beheading was instantaneous, but a crucifixion... Read More
If you visit the Tower of London, you may wish to see the dazzling display of the royal crown jewels. Included in the treasury is Queen Elizabeth’s consort crown, platinum and purple velvet, encrusted with a dazzling array of gems including the 105-carat Koh-i-Noor diamond. Its value is beyond estimating.
King Jesus was given a crown to wear as well, but there was no velvet, platinum, or jewels. The “obeisance” he received from the Roman soldiers was mockery and jest.... Read More
The Irish are really on to something. For at least one day every year, everyone wants to be one of them. The Norwegians missed that boat. But the Irish own our alter egos. With enchanting customs and good merchandising, things Irish are everywhere on St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not aware of any resentment from the true Irish that a bunch of imposters are crashing their party. They say, “Be one of us.”
That’s in keeping with the work of St.... Read More
There’s a reason why Christians like to hold up signs at sporting events that read, “John 3:16.” Those 25 words express the mystery and beauty of the gospel of Christ more clearly and tenderly than almost any other Scripture passage you could think of. It helps people remember what Jesus is all about and gives them a simple but powerful vocabulary for sharing their faith.
To a learned but simultaneously ignorant Pharisee named Nicodemus, Jesus once gave an insightful explanation... Read More