The demands of the cross

If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up all right to himself, carry his cross every day and keep close behind me. — Luke 9:23, JB Phillips To endure the cross is not a tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ. When it comes, it is ... Continue reading

Before Easter comes…

Before Easter could come, he passed through betrayal, abandonment, false accusations, humiliation, mob rule and a judicial system disfigured by the lust for power, a system that mocked truth.Before Easter could come, he stumbled through a gauntlet of angry fists, hurled insults, a shower of ... Continue reading

Connecting Pesach and Easter

On this Easter weekend two millennia ago, Judaism and Christianity broke apart on the rough sawn beam of a Roman cross — and their conflicting interpretations of the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth.Strangely, I, a Gentile, am a follower of a Jewish rabbi. On Easter's cross God flung open the ... Continue reading

Celebrating greatness

In the morning, we celebrated communion, drinking grape juice and eating crackers in remembrance of Jesus' blood and body. We "celebrate," but in the older sense of the word. It's a time of solemnity where we recall our sin and seek the forgiveness of the One whose death was caused by our sin.We ... Continue reading

Gunslinger justice

For [God's] purpose is that all [humanity] should be saved and come to realize the truth. And that is, that there is only one God, and only one intermediary between God and [humanity], the man Christ Jesus. He gave himself as a ransom for us all—an act of redemption which happened once, but which ... Continue reading

The unbearable lightness of redemption

I know what I did and I don't want forgiveness... I don't deserve it... I can't bring Abner Easley back like he's some stolen chicken; I certainly made sure of that 23 years ago. I don't believe in some god who's going to open his arms to me even if I did. ... Which is why for me, I know I'll never ... Continue reading

An Easter dialogue

I was late when I walked through the door. I spotted him after a quick scan of the little clutches of coffee drinkers, sitting alone at the back of the room. He'd seen me right away, of course, and lifted his head slightly in recognition.I purchased my drink and made my way to the table. He had ... Continue reading

Beneath the cross

Please come as soon as you can. Demas has deserted me... Only Luke is here with me. Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me... The first time I was brought before the judge, no one was with me. Everyone had abandoned me. ... But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength.... ... Continue reading