Thursday, April 28, 2011

Unable to Leave a Comment?

I've received multiple reports over the last couple days of people being unable to leave comments at the end of my posts. I am currently investigating the cause of this. For now, I have changed the commenting system to a pop-up window which *should* alleviate this problem. However, the actual 'Post a Comment' link is extremely small and hard to read, so I am exploring ways of increasing it.

The original problem may be occurring if you have third-party cookies disabled in your web browser, as the Blogger site requires the use of them in order to function correctly. As far as I know, this new pop-up window system does *not* require their use.

Please try posting your comment again, and if you find you are still unable to do so, please email me at skbeliever23@yahoo.com with the following information, and I'll get it up:

1) The text of the comment you wish to leave
2) The name you wish to post as, along with your URL. Or Anonymous, if you prefer.
3) Browser you are using.
4) Full text of any error messages you receive, if any. This will help me troubleshoot the problem.

I have seen some other blog writers reporting the same thing, so it may be endemic to Google and get sorted out all on it's own--hopefully sooner rather than later.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunrise

When they were pounding on the door of the upper room that Sunday morning with their incredulous news, do you think the women had any idea the import of what they had just witnessed? On that morning a new era of history was born, and our Western calendar would eventually be broken into two periods: before Him and after Him.

Even if the Resurrection didn’t really happen, it’s still the most important event in history. The belief that a Jewish rabbi rose from the dead has changed the world more than anything else before or since.

But what does it mean for you and me today?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday

Abandoned.

Abandoned by your Master. Abandoned by your God.

Even in the face of betrayal by Yahweh himself, Jesus still finds a way to entrust the care of his soul to him. Still calls him Father. Still believes. And then he’s gone. His body utterly broken and humiliated. Murdered. Executed.

Dead.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday

Imagine the scene: you’re one of Jesus twelve disciples. You rode into Jerusalem earlier in the week for Passover, and you’ve been expecting big things. After years of playing around at the fringes, this was the week when he was finally going to do something dramatic, and show the world that he really was the long-awaited Messiah. You didn’t know what he was going to do, but you knew it was going to be BIG.

But now it’s Friday, and instead of glorying in victory you’re standing on a rocky crag just outside the city walls. The stench from gehenna, the city’s burning trash dump, fills your nose. Old patches and fresh pools of blood lie everywhere on the ground. All around you are the sounds of grief and agony—some wailing softly, some crying out and yelling.

In front of you is your Master, the Rabbi you gave up everything to follow. In the last three years you’ve seen things you can’t explain. A mighty storm calmed with the power of a single word. Insane and possessed lunatics restored to their right mind. The blind are seeing. The deaf are hearing. The lame walking. Even the dead live again.

Not only have you seen what can only be called supernatural events happen at this man’s command, but he’s reinterpreted your millennia-old traditions in ways that nobody had ever thought of before, and done so with conviction and authority. He completely befuddled your religious authorities at every turn, exposing some of them for the hypocrites and dead-souled fiends they were.

Truly, if anyone ever had been sent by God, it was him. You had bet your life on it. Gave up the family business, wandered around the country with no home and no money. Broken just about every religious rule you had learned as a child. Your priests considered you a heretic.

But it had been worth it.

He was The One. You knew it. After seeing and hearing the things you had, there could be no doubt he was the real deal. You’d heard about other men who had come before and claimed to be the Messiah, but all of them had failed, all of them were dead, and none of them had done the insanely miraculous things that Jesus had.

And this was The Week.

When Jesus told you that he was headed to Jerusalem for Passover, you knew what that meant. “Finally!” you thought to yourself. It was really gonna happen! Time to take his rightful place and put everybody else in theirs. With the kind of power Jesus wielded, nobody could stand against him. And if they didn’t listen to his words, he would make believers out of them by wielding his awesome power, calling down fire from heaven to annihilate his foes, just like Elijah. Nobody defies the Messiah.

You couldn’t wait. Either way this went down, it was going to be glorious.

But then, in the span of just a few hours, everything changed.  One of your closest friends, one of Jesus’ trusted inner circle, had betrayed you all. Three years you spent with this man—what was he thinking? What possible reason could he have? Questions about Judas recede quickly though, because by daybreak, events had rapidly spiraled out of control. Judas is already old news.

Your master, your Messiah, had been beaten senseless, mocked by priests and Romans alike, and then the unthinkable.

Sentenced to death.

“I don’t get it,” you thought, “when is he going to strike back?”

He’s had Herod himself in his sights, he’s been in front of the religious leaders who had been so vocally against him, those who dared call him a heretic possessed by Satan. He had stood right next to Pontius Pilate.

And done nothing.

What was he waiting for?

All these questions fade into the background as your mind comes crashing back to the present. Back to Golgotha. And the scene that lies before you.

In front of you is your Master. Jesus. Bleeding. Mocked. Being executed. Dying.

“He saved others, but he can’t save himself,” someone nearby says. “What a joke.”

Is he right? No, no he can’t be. You’ve seen Jesus’ power with your own eyes. With one word you know he could call legions of angels to descend on his murderers like an avalanche of destruction, wiping the earth clean of their very existence. Couldn’t he? Surely he’s just waiting for the most dramatic moment to pull off something spectacular.

And yet minute by minute…his life ebbs away with each drop of blood trickling off that cross. That ugly, rugged cross.

Why isn’t he doing anything? Why won’t he rescue himself? Why won’t God do anything?

Has he abandoned Jesus?

Has he abandoned you?

<--Part Ten                    Home                    Part Twelve: Saturday-->

--Jeremy
Truth poorly defended loses not its truthfulness;
likewise Falsehood aptly defended loses not its falsity.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Don’t Myth-understand It

I hope you’ll find time to visit my site on Friday, Saturday, and Easter Sunday. I’ve written some pieces that will help take you through each day of that weekend from a special perspective. It may be a powerful new way of thinking about Easter weekend for you.

But back to the topic at hand. There are a lot of theories out there attempting to explain away the Resurrection of Jesus. I’ve discussed many of them in this series, and there are a few others out there as well. All of them have pretty much been vaporized due to lack of any credible support. And so the modern skeptic of the Resurrection today usually stakes her claim on a fairly new default theory.

It’s all a myth. A legend. A fairytale.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Apostle bin Laden

Can you imagine Osama bin Laden becoming a Christian? Being baptized, publicly becoming a follower of Jesus and then directing the same enormous amounts of energy towards spreading the Gospel as he once had towards killing Americans and Christians?

Me neither, but that is almost exactly what happened to a man named Saul of Tarsus.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

Here’s something you may or may never have thought of before (unless you’ve read any of the great books on Christian apologetics out there). The fact that the traditional day of Christian worship is Sunday is another piece of evidence that the Resurrection really happened.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cha-cha-cha-cha-Changes

One of them was brash and overeager. Two of them wanted the power to kill their enemies. None of them were brave men—when the moment of crisis came, every single one of them fled out of fear for his own safety, forsaking their master to suffer his fate alone.

Yet literally overnight these men changed into powerhouses of faith, love, and boldness. One of the most powerful evidences for the Resurrection is the sudden and dramatic change in the lives of Jesus’ disciples.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

You (Don’t) Look Like You’ve Seen A Ghost

In the past, some critics of the Resurrection have sought to explain it away by saying that his followers merely hallucinated seeing a risen Jesus. Like most theories, this one too falls to shreds upon the slightest scrutiny.

The apostles made it very clear that when they said Jesus was risen, they meant bodily. They weren’t talking about seeing a ghost or the spirit of Jesus; they were adamant that the physical body of their Teacher was up and about. Now it’s true that this body apparently now had some supernatural abilities—such as the ability to appear in a room unannounced, and the ability to mask its identity until He desired to be recognized—but the apostles (and Jesus himself) took great pains to emphasize the fact that it was his actual body that was risen: