At this time of year, I always have trouble separating Easter and Good Friday. If Jesus didn’t offer His life as a sacrifice for sin, we wouldn’t have a resurrection to look forward to. Either in Easter, or for those who believe on the day when these mortal bodies are transformed into the immortal.
The sacrifice of Jesus was unique. Though it was symbolized for centuries through the sacrifice of lambs, bulls, and goats, it is only the precious sacrifice of Jesus which makes us truly right with God.
Christ entered the Most Holy Place only once—and for all time. He did not take with him the blood of goats and calves. His sacrifice was his own blood, and by it he set us free from sin forever. (Hebrews 9:12 NCV)
But what about us? Though Jesus “paid a debt I could not pay” according to the old hymn, is my life in Him without its own sacrifice? Or am I also called to lay put aside, consider dead, sacrifice something of me?
Continue reading “What does Easter remind you to sacrifice?”
Jesus made a lot claims during His life. Son of God. Forgiver of sins. Son of David. Lord of the Sabbath. The “I AM”. When Jesus asked what the Disciples thought of Him, Peter called Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 16:13-16).
Messiah literally means “anointed one”. It is, in part, a reference to the anointing of a new king. It is a perfect match for the One destined to ascend the everlasting throne of David, to rule over Israel, every nation, and all of creation.
When Jesus was received like a king to Jerusalem, everything the people hope for falls into the picture of Messiah. The title drew a very distinct picture in their minds. it should do the same for us. But are we looking for the right Messiah?
Continue reading “Which Messiah are You Looking for?”
This weekend we celebrate Palm Sunday, a remembrance of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. It was the first day of a significant week in human history. But the people didn’t know it was the week Jesus would die. For them, it was a time of celebration.
When Jesus rode a donkey into the city, people were excited, joyful, and basically threw a city-wide party. All of the commotion even got the attention of the city’s big wigs. No one, other than Jesus, was looking to the cross and tomb. They were ready for a new reality, a new King and Kingdom.
The gospels tell us about the crowd who lined the streets, the branches and cloaks thrown on the ground, and the shouts of “Hosanna” and praises. Despite all the events of the end of the week, the people gladly welcomed Jesus. I wonder if He would be so gladly welcomed into our cities.
Continue reading “5 Ways to Encourage Our World to Want Jesus Again”
Just four months ago, we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ. Regardless of whether it is the right day of the year or how it is misused, Christmas is a time of celebration and joy.
Good Friday is different. Those who know Easter is coming recognize the darkness of today will turn to eternal light on Sunday. Grief will turn to wonder. Jesus’ victory overshadows Satan’s temporary victory. We tend to treat Good Friday as a hiccup. It appears and then it’s gone, a blip on the radar.
Maybe it’s because Good Friday reminds us how broken our world is. Sure, we see the news and pray for nations and people hit by tragedy. Brokenness seems obvious. Yet today’s message of brokenness is about sin, judgment, and justice. But the good news of the Gospel is how God sent Jesus to redeem our brokenness and make us whole and new again.
Continue reading “10 Broken Pieces God Used to Make Us Whole Again”
The Death of the Messiah wasn’t a spur of the moment turn of events. It didn’t come out of nowhere and take everyone by surprise. Two groups were involved in the condemnation of the Messiah. Both rejected the Messiah for their own reasons. These two reasons for Jesus’ death are simple, and they can creep into our own lives if we aren’t watching and guarding our hearts.
There are few who would ever choose to lay Jesus on a cross and nail Him to a tortuous death. Yet the danger still lies nearby that we would reject His rule in our lives. So let’s look at these Two Reasons for Rejecting the Messiah, and search our hearts to push out any sign of them.
Continue reading “2 Reasons the Messiah was Rejected”