Tag: Matthew

Sunday to Friday: Save us! To Crucify!

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Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons – Ben Stassen

Jesus enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey. It’s a festive scene. Passover week, one of the most significant holidays in the Jewish calendar. Jesus has been preaching throughout the region of Galilee. He has built up quite the following: teaching on the kingdom of heaven and performing miracles.

And here he enters the holy city, the crowds shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9). Palm branches had become a Jewish symbol of victory and the crowds bring these branches out as they chant. The processional they created was somewhat makeshift, but it had kingly overtones. They’re treating him like someone who was returning to Jerusalem after having conquered an enemy. Ironically, he was coming into Jerusalem to conquer sin. Continue reading “Sunday to Friday: Save us! To Crucify!”

Murders, mobs, dictators and the gospel

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(originally posted March 7, 2016)

In the gospel of Matthew, when Jesus was before the ruling Jewish council, he made a reference to his divine status. To the ruling council, this was taken as blasphemy. Within Rome, they didn’t have the authority to execute Jesus for his action, so they took him to Pontius Pilate, who was the governor of Judea

Pilate questions Jesus: “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. (Matthew 27:11-14). Continue reading “Murders, mobs, dictators and the gospel”

Easter: What’s it to you?

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Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons @Claudi Ungarl

“If Christ is risen – then nothing else matters. And if Christ is not risen – then nothing else matters.”
-Jaroslav Pelikan

On this Easter Sunday, we celebrate the most important event in human history. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead. I’m struck by the profundity of Pelikan’s quote. Because the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is either the most important event in human history or it is utterly meaningless. There is no middle ground, no gray area with the resurrection. It happened. Or it didn’t. Jesus died and rose, or he didn’t. Continue reading “Easter: What’s it to you?”