Jesus’ resurrection is the central fact of Christianity. Believers’ resurrection is a corollary. Some in Corinth, however, seem to have taught that only Jesus rose and claimed that there is no resurrection otherwise. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul insists that if there is no believers’ resurrection, our faith is in vain.
Paul preached Christ’s death and resurrection as of first importance when he arrived in Corinth. 1 Corinthians 15:5-9 enumerates the appearances of the risen Lord and, in verse 11, Paul insists, “this is what we preach, and this is what you believed” (NIV).
But verse 12 goes on to ask, “But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection from the dead?”… Read the rest
Simply saying Thomas could mean millions of people, but everyone knows who Doubting Thomas is. Generations of preachers have heaped abuse on him. But maybe Doubting Thomas isn’t the best way to describe him. And it certainly shouldn’t make him seem in any way more doubtful than the other apostles.
Let’s take a closer look to gain a more accurate picture of the man.
The first time recorded in Scripture that John the Baptist ever saw Jesus, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29, CSB). The next day, he said the same thing to two of his disciples, Andrew and John, when Jesus passed by them. The two left him to follow Jesus.
The scene has become so familiar that it’s easy to fail to notice how little John’s society was prepared to hear it. Not to mention ours.
Jesus is Lord. That’s the claim at the heart of Christianity. But “lord” is a term that long predates Jesus’ earthly ministry. The Greek kurios has several meanings.
Jesus’ conduct hardly ever looked like the most important ones.
Kurios can mean nothing more than “sir,” a term of respect addressed to social equals or superiors.
It can also mean owner. Owners have certain rights over what they own. The owner of a farm, for example, has exclusive rights to what grows in it. He has the expectation of profiting from it. He can choose to sell it. No one else has those rights over that same property.… Read the rest
Jehovah Nissi, an Old Testament name for God, points to God’s miracle working power. And above all, to the cross. The Old Testament foreshadows the cross in many ways and demonstrates that nothing else can accomplish the same purpose.
In the first battle Israel fought after leaving Egypt, Moses tried and failed to serve as banner, or battle standard.
In Exodus 17:8-16, the Amalekites attacked Israel. As Moses later described the incident in Deuteronomy 25:17-19, they attacked from the rear and killed stragglers. The Amalekites descended from Esau. They had always been bitter enemies of Israel. On this occasion, they attacked like cowards.… Read the rest
This season of Lent invites us to contemplate our sin in order to prepare for Easter, a time of new beginnings. The story of the waters of Jericho illustrates God’s role in new beginnings.
When Israel entered the land of Canaan, it immediately sacked and destroyed the fortified city of Jericho after God collapsed the walls.
In Joshua 6:26, Joshua pronounced a curse on anyone who would rebuild the city. It would cost the lives of his eldest and youngest sons. 1 Kings 16:34 tells us that, in Ahab’s time, someone named Hiel rebuilt Jericho. The curse occurred just as Joshua had prophesied.… Read the rest
When Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the temple, they encountered a prophet named Simeon. We normally think of Simeon closer to Christmas. After all, that’s the season when we pay special attention to the birth of Jesus. But Simeon’s message makes sense to us only in the light of Easter.
By the Holy Spirit, Simeon knew that he held the long-awaited Messiah in his arms. He knew that this child would grow up to accomplish his mission in the face of fierce opposition. And he knew that Jesus’ ministry would inflict great sorrow on his mother. But Jesus would accomplish what God intended.… Read the rest
Nine different places in Isaiah alone, God asserts that his ability to foretell sets him apart from pagan idols. Here’s just one: “See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you” (Isaiah 42:9 NIV).
In a series of four “Servant songs,” God foretells the ministry of Jesus Christ, centuries in advance, through Isaiah’s ministry. The fourth and longest (Isaiah 52:13-53:12), describes his death and resurrection in minute detail.
Immediately after his baptism, Jesus withdrew to the wilderness to fast and pray. That’s why he probably thought he was going there, anyway. Scripture says the Holy Spirit led him there explicitly to be tempted by the devil.
Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness prepared him for his ministry. In this post, I’d like to explore how they prepared him for the events of Holy Week.
A friend of mine once counted all the verses in the gospels and determined that 40% of them deal with Holy Week. That is, the gospels describe the period between the triumphal entry into Jerusalem and his appearances to his disciples on Easter in more detail than any other part of Jesus’ life.… Read the rest