Blog Posts on The Life of Christ

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

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

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

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

The Problem of Palm Sunday

Jonathan Parnell
The Problem of Palm Sunday

It was the palm branches that made this day unique, and then again, it wasn’t.

For centuries, the church has memorialized today, the first day of Holy Week, as Palm Sunday because of the palm branches and cloaks that the people spread out before Jesus as he entered Jerusalem.

The Gospel writers tell us a crowd gathered, gushing with excitement, and lined the road in front of Jesus as he slowly rode into the city. As he made his way, one step at a time by the beast of burden on... Continue Reading

Five Truths About the Incarnation

Joseph Scheumann
Five Truths About the Incarnation

Christmas is about the incarnation of Jesus. Strip away the season’s hustle and bustle, the trees, the cookies, the extra pounds, and what remains is a humble birth story and a simultaneously stunning reality — the incarnation of the eternal Son of God.

This incarnation, God himself becoming human, is a glorious fact that is too often neglected, or forgotten, amidst all the gifts, get-togethers, pageants, and presents. Therefore, we would do well to think deeply about the... Continue Reading

If Jesus Had Not Come

Tyler Kenney
If Jesus Had Not Come

Jesus was, is, and always will be in a league of his own.

Many are happy to honor him as a good teacher and social reformer, and some religions even admit that he was a great prophet of God. But none of them go far enough.

The Greatest Messenger

Jesus was not just another prophet like those who had come before him. Nor was he merely a great moralist and motivator. He was, and is, qualitatively different.

Jesus is, as the Father himself testified at his baptism and on the Mount of... Continue Reading

Jesus Came to Reverse the Curse

Jon Bloom
Jesus Came to Reverse the Curse

*“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”* (John 11:25–26)

A few days ago we laid the body of my wife’s grandfather in the ground outside the little brick church in the cornfields where he attended all 97 years of his life. I was given the profound honor of preaching at his funeral. And the words of John 11:25–26 were my text.

I chose them... Continue Reading

Every Calvary Step Was Love

David Mathis
Every Calvary Step Was Love

Today is Palm Sunday, and so begins our journey with Jesus from Jerusalem’s gate to Golgotha’s cross to Easter’s triumph.

In this Holy Week, we begin with “Hosanna,” walk solemnly toward “Crucify him,” and finish elatedly with, “He is risen!”

Here we see Jesus’s love for us in every intentional step. In one sense, every step he ever took was for us. He was born to die. He came to give his life. His public ministry was ever a steady drumbeat toward Calvary. But in his last week,... Continue Reading

What We Need More Than Anything

Jonathan Parnell
What We Need More Than Anything

Our fundamental problem is that we’re sinners. But our fundamental problem doesn’t mean it is our most severe.

In John 4, Jesus and his disciples traveled through Samaria. They came to a town called Sychar and decided to stop for a break. It was around noon. The disciples went into the market to buy food, leaving Jesus sitting beside the well of a nearby field. Soon after a Samaritan woman arrived there to draw water.

She is a person like you and me, a person whose fundamental... Continue Reading