An adapted post from Devotional Doctrine, my new book written for The Gospel Project.
Rev. Graham dedicated his life to the importance of this day: an encounter with the crucified Christ changes everything. When Jesus bore the burden of our sins on the cross he paved the way for us to accept his free gift of forgiveness and ultimately be reunited with him.
Like a shepherd gathering his sheep, there isn’t a distance our heavenly father wouldn’t have ventured—no wilderness He wouldn’t have braved—to bring us back to himself.
When I was younger, I always thought that what made Jesus’ death so bad were the physical horrors. And they were, by all accounts, terrible. But that is not what made Jesus stagger in Gethsemane. Jesus staggered because he faced abandonment by God. Thatwas the horror of the cross for him. That’s why the Gospel writers don’t focus much on the physiological aspects of the crucifixion. The physical suffering, as bad as it was, wasn’t the essence of Calvary. The essence of Calvary was abandonment by God.
Bryan Elliff writes an important letter to good church kids.
Even though I have experienced only one of the forms that childlessness can take, I’m well acquainted with the grief of being unable to have a biological child. For women like me who want to be mothers, childlessness contradicts what we know about the created order of the world. We have godly desires to parent. Our physical composition tells of this truth. We have breasts to feed a newborn; we have a uterus to grow a fetus. Our bodies were intentionally designed to fulfill God’s mandate to “be fruitful and multiply.”
The Bible includes a fascinating cast of characters, if you want to call them that. They’re not “characters” in the novel sense. They’re real people, with real lives and real sins, who experienced real grace or real judgment. So let’s call them people, for that’s what they are. These people come in all shapes and sizes, they’re of every profession. Some are of no profession at all—nomads following God through the world. And there are, of course, legitimate professions and illegitimate professions. Prostitution falls in the illegitimate column. That’s why it’s a surprise that the Bible presents a prostitute as a model of faith.
A favorite from the archives:
Let’s just admit it right now: we think far too highly of ourselves.
And no, those aren’t the ten words I’m talking about (and not just because there are 13 words in that sentence).
We westerners have an obsession with autonomy. We are self-made people who are motivated to actualize our potential to live our best lives now so that every day can be a Friday after we’ve worked a four-hour work week (which gives us more time to work out at the gym and experiment with fad diets, y’know).