Jesus came to earth with a clear mission in mind. Neither pain, betrayal, depravity, disinterest, or sin would deter His focus or sway His steps away from His ultimate purpose.
Like the narratives of Christ's birth, the accounts of His crucifixion and resurrection are so familiar that we can miss the full intensity of the unexpected event. Though Jesus warned His disciples, they were not at all prepared for the trauma of His death or the shock of His resurrection. Because we know the outcome, it's hard for us to identify with what they must have felt.
Although we may wish we could have been present at Jesus' birth, who wishes to have seen His cruel, torturous death? Few want to read the details of what He suffered. We've sanitized Easter with aromatic lilies and colourful eggs.
But we must know exactly why the Father let His Son hang on the cross and why Jesus chose not to escape it. We need to grasp the glory of His resurrection. What blending of love and power can we see in these events? It's almost as if Jesus could hear the tearful praises of future believers singing:
My sin—O, the bliss of this glorious tho't—
My sin—not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!1
We hope these resources will help you better understand what really happened when Jesus died and rose from the dead, why there was no other alternative, and why it makes all the difference today!
¹Horatio Spafford, “It Is Well with My Soul.”
The death and Resurrection of Jesus is the most important event in all human history. This three-week reading plan will help you to better understand and appreciate these events and help you prepare for Easter.
If Easter was the most exciting day of the disciples’ lives, quite likely the ascension was the most exciting day of Jesus’ earthly life. He had finished His mission. There was just one thing. Jesus’ departure opened the door to one great risk: being forgotten.
Simon, through the power of the Holy Spirit, was transformed into the man he was created to be. Jesus can do the very same for all of us—untying the death ropes and releasing us to live as He created us to live.
Are you afraid that if God really knew you He would disapprove of you? Chuck Swindoll wants you to understand what Jesus' death was all about.
Have you ever felt like you were surrounded by the things of God—the programs, people, and praise of God—but couldn’t find Him anywhere? While we’re around His people regularly, talking His language, watching Him work, enjoying His blessings, we can start to take Him for granted.
The Apostle Paul warned us to turn our attention to what really matters—the cross of Christ—even if the world thinks it foolish and weak. Because through the cross, God blesses.
Those who are meek and mild possess a character too wimpy for the times, so we think. We love lions, not lambs. But Jesus demonstrates that meekness isn't weakness—it is incredible strength.
What the world shuns as foolishness, the Lord embraces as wisdom—the wisdom of pain to turn mere followers of Christ into disciples of Christ. Jesus called it “the cup.” To Him the cup was the anguish, humiliation, and torturous death on the cross. To us it means “taking up our cross” and following Him daily.
Here’s a great fishing story from Chuck Swindoll that helps us understand Peter’s experience in John 21 a little better.