Noon The disciples were first fast asleep, then fast afoot.Herod wanted a show.Pilate wanted out.And the soldiers?They wanted blood…The whipping was the first deed of the soldiers.The crucifixion was the third. Though his back was ribboned with wounds, the soldiers loaded the crossbeam on Jesus' shoulders and marched him to the Place of the Skull and executed him. (He Chose the Nails, 15-16)
Introduction to Our Day of Prayer and FastingGuest blogger: Patsy Weinberg
“Why would God allow me to suffer?” “Does God really know what I’m going through?” “I know Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross to save me from my sins, and I appreciate that, but how does the suffering he went through on the cross help me deal with ___?”
These are just a few of the questions that came to my mind as Gene explained the focus of our Easter season and as we brainstormed ideas to pray through in order to create the guide that follows. As I prayed, searched Scripture, and researched works by people more learned, more experienced, and more mature than I, I was drawn again and again to the writings of Max Lucado. I own several of his books, all of which are dog-eared and filled with notes and underlines, and I felt very confident these excerpts were on the right track.
The questions above plus others I can imagine you asking are too important for me to muddle through. You deserve a better grasp than I …
If we are honest with ourselves, we must confess that life keeps us honest. Hold a conviction, and someone or something will test its viability and truthfulness. I hold the convictions based on my trust in the person of Jesus that death does not have the last word and that suffering in this life has eternal value if we view and experience it from Jesus' perspective.
Those convictions were tested this morning when I stood with a husband and mother as the woman they loved slipped peacefully into eternity after a 12-year battle with cancer.
Anita Funke gave God credit for her years of survival and chose to serve others rather than being served in her weakness of health. We often wondered why she seemed to be caring for us with the love of Christ when we were supposed to be taking care of her. She always honored God as the Giver and Sustainer of her life, and she invested her life into living every day to help someone else trust Jesus. (That's no preacher's exaggeration. Ask an…