A Few Good Reads for Good Friday and Resurrection Day

A Few Good Reads for Good Friday and Resurrection Day March 25, 2016

photo credit: solidether via photopin cc
photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

We have arrived at the weekend when we remember the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Everything I’m sharing today focuses on these truths, and I these posts and articles help you meditate on the work of Jesus and increase the joy you have in him.

Holy Week: What Happened on Good Friday?
Justin Taylor points us to the Bible’s witness to the events of Good Friday. “With help from the ESV Study Bible, here’s an attempted a harmony/chronology of the words and actions of Jesus in the final week of his pre-resurrection life.”

The Beauty of the Cross: 19 Objections and Answers on Penal Substitution
Jesus’ substitutionary death on our behalf is at the heart of the Christian Gospel. Derek Rishmawy considers objections to the understanding of Jesus’ death as paying for our sins by his suffering under the wrath of the father in our place and offers answers to them. “The cross of Christ has always been a scandal and an offense. As a symbol of social shame in the Greco-Roman world, the idea of a Crucified God elicited scorn from the cultured elites. For 1st Century Jews, a crucified Messiah was a nonsensical contradiction in terms. Even today, speaking of Jesus’ death as the saving center of history provokes a quizzical response both in the pews and the marketplace. Beyond that, there has been a wide variety of debate around just how Jesus’ death saves us within the church itself. Historically, there has been no binding ecumenical statement on the issue comparable to those on of the Trinity and the person of Christ. The result is that many different approaches to explaining the way the death Christ exercises a saving function in the economy of the Triune God.”

What Do Propitiation and Expiation Mean
R.C. Sproul takes us through the meaning of two words often used to describe Jesus’ death. These two words have often been used in opposition and Sproul helps us understand how they can be used in concert. “Therefore, Christ’s supreme achievement on the cross is that He placated the wrath of God, which would burn against us were we not covered by the sacrifice of Christ. So if somebody argues against placation or the idea of Christ satisfying the wrath of God, be alert, because the gospel is at stake. This is about the essence of salvation—that as people who are covered by the atonement, we are redeemed from the supreme danger to which any person is exposed. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of a holy God Who’s wrathful. But there is no wrath for those whose sins have been paid. That is what salvation is all about.”

How to Preach a Terrible Easter Sermon
Pastors often struggle with what and how we should preach on Easter Sunday. Colin Adams has some great advice and shares mistakes to avoid. “If we cannot exhibit joy when preaching a tomb-conquering Savior, then when (O when) will we ever show it?”

How to Explain Easter to Your Children
This is a great post from Gloria Furman moving past only sharing the facts of Jesus’ resurrection and getting the heart of what he accomplished. Parents can learn much about sharing the truth of the Gospel with our children from this post. “Our goals are not merely intellectual, but supernatural. When we explain Easter to kids, we want the Spirit of God to enlighten the eyes of their hearts to see Jesus. We know that we could give the most biblically-faithful, age-appropriate, and creatively-engaging presentation of Easter, and yet our message could fall on deaf ears. We recognize that the giving of faith is not up to us, but God. Salvation belongs to the Lord (Ps. 3:8), and he is 100% effective at what he does. Pray for God to work!”

The Cross of Christ
John Stott’s beautiful exposition of Jesus’ work on the cross remains my favorite Christian book. He explains what Jesus accomplished on the cross in a way that both grows our understanding and moves us to worship. “I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross. . . . In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it?”

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