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Showing posts from March, 2016

Living among the Dead

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“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how He told you, while He was still in Galilee that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise” (Luke 24:5b-7). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! We’re going to hear a story today, a story that most of you have heard many times, but it’s worthy of being heard again. I use the word “story” with caution, for some are concerned that to call this account a “story” is to diminish it. But I use the word story here in the best sense: “a narrative of historic events and real people,” rather than “a work of fiction for entertainment purposes.” Our story today is a history and mystery. It’s a heroic epic and love story. It is mystical, almost mythical. It’s a riveting drama and comedy (in the classic sense). No wonder this story is often called “the greatest story ever told,” for it…

Christ, the Firstborn, Is Sacrificed

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The New and Better Passover Meal of Meals

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What Is Holy Week?

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What Is Easter?

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When Jesus Was Glorified

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“His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about Him and had been done to Him” (John 12:16, ESV). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! There is some dispute within the Church over whether we should be celebrating Palm Sunday or observing the Sunday of the Passion today. While there are good arguments for both, I like the way that it is combined in our assigned Gospels, two accounts that, at first blush, seem so distant from one another, yet end up being so inextricably connected. We begin the service with the Palm Sunday procession from John 12:12-19. We conclude with the account of Christ’s Passion from Luke, chapters 22 & 23. Here in these passages we see the great mystery of concurrence—God working through the free actions of His creatures (Judas, the Jewish Council, Pilate, the crowds in Jerusalem) to bring fort…

The Promise of a Cosmopolitan Exodus

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I AM [Is] Doing a New Thing

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“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19a). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! The children of Israel had been in this situation before. About seven hundred years earlier, they’d been captives in Egypt, slaves to a Pharaoh who ruled them with an iron fist. But God had not forgotten His people. He met Moses on Mt. Horeb, spoke to him from a burning bush, and introduced Himself as I AM. The Lord told Moses He was sending him to Pharaoh with the command to let God’s people go. When Pharaoh refused, the Lord sent a series of plagues to convince him of the futility of resistance. The tenth plague was the worst of them all, where the Lord took the lives of all the firstborn sons of Egypt—all, of course, except for those who killed the Passover lamb and painted their doorposts with its blood. It was not eas…

Exile and Return from Our Babylons

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Reckless Living, Reckless Love

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“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found’” (Luke 15:31–32, ESV). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! This is a story about a father with two sons who are very different from each other. However, they both suffer from the same sin. As we review the story, see if you can spot the sin they have in common. Here’s one clue: Remember to whom Jesus is speaking—tax collectors and sinners, Pharisees and teachers of the law. These two groups have the same sin in common, too. The younger son is the one we know better. He’s the brash, ungrateful brat who goes to his father one day and demands his share of the inheritance—about one-third of his father’s estate. With so much wealth, he decides he really doesn’t need his father’s help anymore—not to mention the rules and the chore…

Out of Egypt I Have Called My Son

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