The Clarity of the Crucifixion (John 18-19)

[Joseph of Arimathea] was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night.  Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. (John 19:39) The crucifixion of Jesus brought many things to light and it was a clarifying event in the lives of those who were Jesus' followers.  In fact, it was until after the crucifixion that ... [Continue Reading]

Still In Control (Mark 15)

Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So!  You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” (Mark 15:29-30) In the world's darkest moment – when Jesus hung in misery on the cross – God was still in control.  It’s a truth that’s so hard for us to understand sometimes.  How ... [Continue Reading]

The Greatest Love (John 15)

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13) There are a lot of ways to express love to other people, but there is no greater way than to actually trade your life for someone else's life.  One of the things that makes Jesus unique among other gods is that he willingly gave up his life for those of us who deserve death.  But, ... [Continue Reading]

What is Your SQ? (John 13)

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. (John 13:3-4) In most cases, powerful people use their power for their own glory and for their own ascension to greater power.  Right now my mind goes to the ... [Continue Reading]

With A Little Help From My Friends (Luke 22)

An angel from heaven appeared to [Jesus] and strengthened him. (Luke 22:43) It's encouraging to know that, in his moment of great trial, Jesus was ministered to by an angel.  God didn't leave Jesus alone to fend for himself, but an angel appeared and gave him strength.  Isn't that encouraging? I'm certainly not an expert on angels, nor do I think that the Bible gives ... [Continue Reading]

A Crisis of Faith (Mark 14)

[Peter] began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” (Mark 14:71) There are moments in time when a crisis of faith comes about, and even people with deep resolve call into question the things they believe.  How does a person like Peter, who promised that he would never leave Jesus' side, somehow come to the point of ... [Continue Reading]

Victory or Defeat? (Matthew 26)

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) Can you imagine being a soldier on a battlefield and curling up to take a nap in the midst of enemy fire?  Napping doesn't make sense in the midst of physical combat any more than it makes sense in the midst of spiritual combat.  I believe that's why ... [Continue Reading]

Missing God (Matthew 25)

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look ... [Continue Reading]

Keep Your Bags Packed (Mark 13; Matthew 24)

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:36) A number of years ago I read a story of Sir Ernest Shackleton, the great explorer from England who went to the Antarctic.  He left some men on Elephant Island with a promise to return to pick them up.  However, the water iced over, and he was delayed ... [Continue Reading]

Giving Graciously (Matthew 22; Mark 12)

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:43-44) It's interesting that Jesus taught more on money that he did on any other topic - including the combined topics of Heaven ... [Continue Reading]