Jesus Between the Criminals

Stephen Witmer
Jesus Between the Criminals

Crucifixion in the ancient world was intended to take as long as possible. No vital organs were damaged, so it took two or three days to die, often from shock or asphyxiation, as muscles used for breathing grew weak.

Luke 23:39–43 is a conversation between Jesus and the criminals crucified alongside him, and it is in the Bible because crucifixion was slow. There was time to talk. This conversation is surely one of the most extraordinary in the Bible. It shows us the similarities... Continue Reading

It Is Finished (Good Friday)

Jon Bloom
It Is Finished (Good Friday)

It is Friday, April 3, A.D. 33. It is the darkest day in human history, though most humans have no clue of this. In Rome, Tiberius attends to the demanding business of the empire. Throughout the inhabited world, babies are born, people eat and drink, marry and are given in marriage, barter in marketplaces, sail merchant ships, and fight battles. Children play, old women gossip, young men lust, and people die.

But today, one death, one brutal, gruesome death, the worst and best of... Continue Reading

It Is Well with My Soul

Marshall Segal
It Is Well with My Soul

God has given us a merciful gift in music authored in the midst of great tragedy. A song often has the power to express and comfort pain when words alone feel empty. Again and again, “It Is Well” has met and carried saints through the worst kinds of suffering, reminding us of the deep, abiding, sovereign Well at the bottom of our joy and life.

Recently, we recorded Jimmy Needham singing “It Is Well.” It’s a track from his latest album, The Hymn Sessions. At the three-minute mark of... Continue Reading

The Greatest Prayer in the World (Maundy Thursday)

John Piper
The Greatest Prayer in the World (Maundy Thursday)

It is Thursday, the night before Jesus’s crucifixion. This evening has been laden with teaching (John 13–17), shocking with foot-washing by the greatest for the least (John 13:3–20), epoch-making with the institution of the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:20–30; Mark 14:17–26; Luke 22:14–20), and pivotal with the departure of Judas (John 13:30).

Now Jesus and the eleven have gone to the Garden of Gethsemane (John 18:1; Mark 14:32). Here Jesus prays the greatest... Continue Reading

When Envy Turns Deadly

Joe Rigney
When Envy Turns Deadly

Holy Week is a wonderful time for meditation and reflection. In addition to prayerfully considering the actions of Jesus in his triumphal entry and his temple cleansing and cursing, it’s worth reflecting on the actions of some of the other key players in the climax of God’s redemptive drama. When we consider the motives and deeds of the Jewish leaders, not only do we see the unfathomable wisdom of God in accomplishing his purposes through lawless men, but we also gain a clearer view... Continue Reading

Spy Wednesday

David Mathis
Spy Wednesday

Wednesday went quietly. Too quietly.

With the previous three days awash in drama — Sunday’s triumphal entry, Monday’s temple cleansing, and Tuesday’s temple controversies — now Wednesday, April 1, A.D. 33, comes like the calm before the storm.

But out of sight, lurking in the shadows, evil is afoot. The church has long called it “Spy Wednesday,” as the dark conspiracy against Jesus races forward, not just from enemies outside, but now with a traitor from within. It is this day when the key... Continue Reading

Propaganda About God’s Purpose in Our Past

Marshall Segal
Propaganda About God’s Purpose in Our Past

Sometimes it’s hard to sort out our lives before Christ. It all feels so bleak, so dark, so destructive, so wasted. Some of us have a hard time finding anything good, anything worth remembering in the stories of our old selves.

In his new single “Crimson Cord,” Propaganda pulls on the scarlet thread of God’s love in the past of the believer. In short, God had a purpose in our past. He was using every pain to point us to life in him, and the emptiness of sin to save... Continue Reading

The Escalating Conflict (Tuesday of Holy Week)

Justin Taylor and Andreas Köstenberger
The Escalating Conflict (Tuesday of Holy Week)

It is now Tuesday morning, March 31, A.D. 33. The disciples point to the withered fig tree that Jesus had cursed the day before. Jesus gives his disciples a simple lesson from it: have faith in God. In particular, he says, if they have undoubting faith they can throw even the mountains into the sea.

Now if the disciples had ears to hear they would recognize that Jesus is talking about more than seemingly magical powers that can curse trees and crumble mountains.... Continue Reading

Five Helps for Your Holy Week

Jonathan Parnell
Five Helps for Your Holy Week

To help you make the most of Holy Week, we’ve ventured into the archive to find five of the best Piper articles related to the Easter season.

Straight-forward and practical, these posts stand as some of the most enduring short-form content on Jesus’s death and resurrection and what it means for our lives.

1. The Overflow of Easter: A Whole Theology of Resurrection in One Chapter

John Piper walks us through 1 Corinthians 15 and uncovers the life-changing logic of the resurrection... Continue Reading

No Turning Back (Monday of Holy Week)

Justin Taylor and Andreas Köstenberger
No Turning Back (Monday of Holy Week)

The sun rises just before 6:30 A.M. in Bethany, the small village on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives, just a mile and a half east of Jerusalem. It is Monday morning, March 30, A.D. 33. Jesus of Nazareth is staying in the humble home of his friends Martha (whose anxiety-driven hospitality had received his gentle rebuke), Mary (who chose the good portion), and Lazarus (whose body would still be in the grave apart from the wonder-working of the Christ).

Just... Continue Reading

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