“He plunged into the waters Himself.”

Christ saw us ruined by the fall, a world of poor, lost, ship-wrecked sinners. He saw and He pitied us; and in compliance with the everlasting counsels of the Eternal Trinity, He came down to the world, to suffer in our stead, and to save us. He did not sit in heaven pitying us from a distance: He did not stand upon the shore and see the wreck, and behold poor drowning sinners struggling in vain to get to shore. He plunged into the waters Himself: He came off to the wreck and took part with us in our weakness and infirmity becoming a man to save our souls. As man, He bore our sins and carried our transgressions; as man, He endured all that men can endure, and went through everything in man’s experience, sin only excepted; as man He lived; as man He went to the cross; as man He died. As man He shed His blood, in

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

From John Piper: Today [April 9th], sixty-four years ago, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged for his part in the conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler. He is known by many for one main sentence. It is worthy of Holy Week. Here is the context of his most famous quote: The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death—we give over our  lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. It may be a death like that of the first

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The Great Exchange

John Flavel: Lord, the condemnation was yours, that the justification might be mine. The agony was yours, that the victory might be mine. The pain was yours, and the ease mine. The stripes were yours, and the healing balm issuing from them mine. The vinegar and gall were yours, that the honey and sweet might be mine. The curse was yours, that the blessing might be mine. The crown of thorns was yours, that the crown of glory might be mine. The death was yours, the life purchased by it mine. You paid the price that I might enjoy the inheritance. John Flavel (1671), from his sermon, “The Solemn Consecration of the Mediator,” in The Fountain of Life Opened Up: or, A Display of Christ in His Essential and Mediatorial Glory. (HT: Justin Taylor)

The Gospel is Historical

What does it mean when we say that the gospel is historical? Dr. Tim Keller explains: The gospel is historical . . . The word “gospel” shows up twice [1 Peter 1:1-12, 1:22-2:12]. Gospel actually means “good news.” You see it spelled out a little bit when it says “he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”. Why do we say that the gospel is good news? Some years ago, I heard a tape series I am sure was never put into print by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. It was an evening sermon series on 1 Corinthians 15. He clarified how the Gospel is based on historical events in how the religion got its start. He said there was a big difference between advice and news. The Gospel, he would say, is good news, but not good advice. Here’s what he said about that: “Advice is counsel about something that hasn’t

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Living by Faith in the Risen Christ

Here’s a great Easter quote from a great book: “The resurrection . . . sharply defines what it must mean to have faith in Christ. Because Christ has been raised from the dead, we are not putting our faith in merely a historical event but in a living, death conquering, and reigning Savior. Our faith is based on something in the past, but it is placed in One who is very much alive today. Notice how the apostle Paul speaks of faith in terms of a living Christ: ‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20). Paul is living by faith in the living Christ. And he prays that this would be our normative Christian experience: ‘that according to the riches

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Empty Tomb Theology

This is a great post from Derek Thomas: On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus (Lk. 24:1-3). It’s a familiar tale that Christians like us insist is true on the most literal sense. But what’s the big deal? Would the bottom fall out of Christianity if the tomb actually contained the body of Jesus? The answer that Scripture gives is “Yes!” Everything about Christianity would fall apart if the tomb had not been empty. Now, let’s be clear: we are talking about the resurrection of a dead body. That’s more than the resuscitation of a corpse. True, Jesus’ body did come to life again, but it then had abilities it did not possess before. For one thing, Jesus’ humanity after the resurrection

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The Resurrection of Jesus

From Ligonier Blog: A week ago, C.J. Mahaney presented a message at the Ligonier national conference based on 1 Corinthians 15:17, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” We thought it would be appropriate for this Easter weekend.

Did Jesus Spend Saturday in Hell?

John Piper brings some clarity (and sanity!) to an often misunderstood passage: The Apostles’ Creed says, “[He] was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead.” There are many meanings given to this phrase. I simply want to ponder the traditional interpretation that Christ went to the place of the dead to preach the gospel to Old Testament saints that he might set them free for the full experience of heaven. This is the view of the Catholic Catechism and many Protestants as well. I don’t think this is what the New Testament teaches. The view is based mainly on two passages in 1 Peter. Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, (19) in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, (20) because

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Why we celebrate Easter!

by Tony Reinke The power and implications of what the church celebrates this weekend are well captured in this moving trailer for an upcoming Resolved conference. But beyond its use to promote a conference, this short film provides a capsule of the horrors and implications of the cross of Christ. At the cross the Father crushes his Son with his wrath for our sin. At the cross we see the Son’s death as our substitute. By faith his blood and sufficient atonement brings full forgiveness, unshakable hope, and eternal joy.  

Christ and the Meaning of the Universe

. John Piper: . Why did God create the universe and why is he governing it the way he is? What is God achieving? Is Jesus Christ a means to this achievement or the end of the achievement?Jesus Christ is the supreme revelation of God. He is God in human form. As such he is the end not a means. The manifestation of the glory of God is the meaning of the universe. This is what God is achieving. The heavens and the history of the world are “telling the glory of God.” But Jesus Christ was sent to accomplish something that needed doing. He came to remedy the fall. He came to rescue sinners from inevitable destruction because of their sin. These rescued ones will see and savor and display the glory of God with everlasting joy. Others will continue to heap scorn on the glory of God. So Jesus Christ is the means to what God meant to

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Hallelujah, He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Jesus is Alive! The resurrection: Vindicates the life, ministry, teaching, and especially the death of Christ. Shows Christ’s victory over sin, Satan, death and hell. Serves as a visual-aid for the believer’s new risen life in Christ. Verifies the Christian’s own ultimate resurrection and eternal blessedness. Happy Easter!

Jesus’ Resurrection Appearances

At Biblical Foundations Andreas Kostenberger posts a helpful piece on the resurrection appearances of Jesus: As the angels told the women at the empty tomb, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee?” (Luke 24:5–6). The four New Testament Gospels record at least eleven resurrection appearances to Jesus to hundreds of individuals over a period of several weeks. None of the Gospels have all the appearances, which requires that we reconstruct the probable sequence of these appearances. The following chart will appear in my forthcoming New Testament Introduction due out with B & H sometime in the not too distant future. Jesus’ Resurrection Appearances Recipients/Location Date/Time Matt, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, 1 Cor. Number of appearances 2, 1, 5, 5, 1, 4 First Sunday 1. Empty tomb Early morning 28:1–10 16:1–8 24:1–12 20:1–9 2. Mary Magdalene/Tomb Early morning

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Passion Week Geography and Harmony

From Justin Taylor: Here is something you might find fruitful while contemplating the events leading up to our Savior’s death and resurrection: an attempt in Google Earth to show the locations of the major events (to the best of our knowledge) along with descriptions and biblical passages describing those events: The KML file lets you interact with this map in Google Earth, allowing you to rotate the view and zoom in from various angles.