Nicodemus is not just another leader of Israel who ganged up on Jesus. He’s a complicated guy whose story leaves us with questions. His kin are still to be found in churches today, leaving pastors with difficult soul-care questions.
Images of an empty tomb, viewed “from the outside in,” are common. Like the first followers of Jesus, we look into the empty tomb as spectators of a historical event. But there’s more to the resurrection than this. We also need to picture the resurrection “from the inside out,” as participants in its power. The resurrection transforms us internally when we open ourselves to God in faith. We need to think of ourselves as looking out of the empty tomb of our past life toward our new life with Christ. We’re not just watching what happened to someone else a long time ago, we are sharing in that experience today. We have risen with Christ!
The Gospels spend a proportionately huge amount of time on Passion Week for a reason. There is no gospel apart from the cross and the empty tomb. For those who have decided to follow Jesus, there can be no turning back from the way of the cross. Followers of Jesus must follow him through this week that climaxes all four Gospels.
You can’t miss the headlines. It’s on cable news 24/7. The Corona Virus pandemic has changed the world. No one really seems to know how long it will last, or how devastating it will be. Thousands of deaths have already occurred, and disastrous economic consequences are beginning to be felt. Just when people need to pull together to address the many complicated problems caused by the outbreak, political rivalries, bureaucratic complexities, and racial tensions hinder the effort. It’s time for us Christians to step up.
Weddings are wonderful times of celebration that promise future blessings and happiness. Everything needs to be just right, and if something major goes wrong, it can be heartbreaking for the families involved. According to John 2:1-11, Jesus attended such a wedding in Cana of Galilee. He did a miracle there that prevented a disaster, but we’re missing the point if we leave it at that. We can learn a lot about prayer from this passage.
In Matthew 16:13-28 Peter receives the blessing of Jesus when he correctly acknowledges Jesus’ messianic identity. Astonishingly, Peter then rebukes Jesus for speaking of going to the cross. How quickly Peter turns from hero to villain, from Jesus’ friend to his enemy! How quickly we will do the same if we depend on our own understanding rather than God’s revelation!