There was a time I wondered why so much emphasis was placed on the resurrection. Jesus died on the cross as the all-sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the world. Even if there had been no resurrection, his sacrificial death would have brought salvation; what could be more important than that?
The blood of Jesus was a more excellent sacrifice than that of bulls, sheep and birds. His death on the cross brought an end to the temple sacrifice system. The entire Gospel pivots around the cross. It is the universal symbol of Christianity. But the implications of resurrection are equally powerful, a fact that I can now appreciate as well. Continue reading →
The 23rd Psalm; a very familiar passage and perhaps the most quoted poetry from the Old Testament. In John 10, Jesus explains that he is the good shepherd. He is not a hireling, but loves the sheep, and would lay down his life for them. He has been entrusted by the Father to care for the sheep. And of course, we’re the sheep.
We’ve all seen pictures of Jesus holding a lamb. But it’s more than a cute analogy. Sheep must be cared for. They have few natural defenses, and are very near sighted. They need the shepherd. We too are no match for the devil, often nearsighted (or blind), and desperately need the Good Shepherd. Continue reading →
The invisible sky bully; have you ever heard God referred to that way? Even worse than calling him the “invisible man in the sky” is the notion that God pushes people around because he is bigger than them. A real bully is often a coward, and throws his weight around or intimidates those smaller than himself with words. Those promoting the sky bully myth would have you to believe that God orders people to worship him, and sends to hell anyone that doesn’t. It makes it easier to not believe in a God that could be like that, or helps people to doubt there is such a God. In a way that’s good, because there isn’t a god like that. Continue reading →