This Easter was extra special to me. For the past month, I’ve been reading and thinking about the resurrection story from each of the four gospels over and over again. I put myself in the story each time.
What if you were one of Jesus’ followers at that time? For 3 days, you were deeply depressed and grieving over Jesus’ death, then Jesus rises and you celebrate. Then, 40 days later, He ascended to Heaven, and was gone again, leaving you to wait for another Helper.
If I saw that Jesus was ascending to heaven, I would’ve shouted, “No! Stop! Don’t leave us again!” And I would’ve sadly watched Him disappear into the cloud.
This coming Sunday, we will be celebrating the event that changed everything. The resurrection of Jesus our Savior. Over the past several weeks, I have been reading and rereading the accounts found in the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection. My prayer has been, “Lord, show me something I haven’t seen before in the Easter story.”
And here’s the truth I encountered. Maybe I saw it before and forgot. Or ironically, maybe I never saw it:
This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday. It’s when we reflect on the time Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, and crowds of Israelites gathered to cheer on their Messiah – the long-awaited One whose coming had been foretold many years earlier by the prophets. And even though some of the prophets had clearly communicated that Jesus would be lowly and riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9), and that He’d be despised and rejected by mankind – a man of suffering, and familiar with pain (Isaiah 53:3), the crowds only seemed to remember the prophecies about His royalty and power.
It had been spoken that He would reign on David’s throne forever (1 Chronicles 17:12), and that He would rule the nations with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:8). It was this type of prophecy that people embraced, and they were convinced that Jesus’ rule was “of this world”. They were sure He had come to save them from their enemies in this world, and not from something else. And they were disappointed.
How about you? Ever been disappointed by Jesus?
When Jesus first met Peter, his name wasn’t Peter. It was Simon. Simon was a fisherman, and fishermen had the reputation of being vulgar, reckless and uneducated. Yet Jesus immediately changed Simon’s name to Peter, indicating that He saw him as a firm, faithful rock. As we know, Peter made the big mistake of denying that he even knew Jesus 3 times. And Jesus knew he would.
But Jesus still named him Peter, “The Rock”.
Are you missing out?
The story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in John chapter 11 is one of my favorite stories in the whole Bible. Yes, partially because it was such a tremendous miracle, but much more so because of the tremendous example of Didymus, or, “Doubting Thomas” as we better know him.
When Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea,” one disciple replied, “Judea?! But Jesus, not too long ago, the Jews there tried to stone you there! Are you SURE you’re talking about the right place? Do you REALLY want to go back to THAT?”
My husband said to me this past weekend, “Wow, it seems like you’ve really been on a quest lately to find out why we don’t read our Bibles as much as we want to. What sparked that?”
Here’s the deal. I struggle with reading it. I don’t read it as consistently as I want to, and I’ve been through seasons like this before in my walk as a follower of Jesus. Maybe you can relate.
My hope is that the solutions and resources offered in this week’s video will help us all spend more time in God’s love letter.
In this “Love Letters” series, I wanted to discover and address some of the reasons why we don’t read God’s “love letter”, the Bible, as much as we want to, or as much as we think we should.
With 5 days until Valentine’s Day, there’s extra love in the air, so I wanted to go back to my husband’s and my love story, and remember just what kept us together when he was on the other side of the globe and we couldn’t see each other. Warning: Extra Sap Included
Happy Groundhog Day!
What does the future hold? An early spring or a longer winter? I was hoping to find out the answer directly from special guest, Gretchen the Groundhog. Hmmmm…. Let’s see if we actually get an answer from Gretchen.
Are there people in your life who are just a breath of fresh air to be around? I know I have quite a few in mine, and I am so grateful for them. More importantly, are YOU a breath of fresh air to those closest to you? That is SO what I long to be.
I asked my dad this week to list some qualities of a “refreshing” person. He immediately started a list: “Unselfish. Someone who thinks about others. Someone with a sense of humor, who doesn’t get so uptight about things.” Then he nodded in agreement to the list I had already been forming: “Positive. Encouraging. Helpful. Hopeful. Grateful.”
This week’s video is about the most “refreshing” guy in the Bible, according to Paul. I wonder if you’ve heard of Him.