Easter has always meant a lot to me, and in the life of our church, Easter Sundays have been historic times of outreach, growth and opportunity. However, the resurrection of Jesus has never meant more to me than it does right now.
The grave is brutal, merciless and uncaring. It swallows everything it touches and it is never satisfied. It will not stop until every last person has been consumed. It seems as though every time you turn on the news or get a breaking news alert on your phone there is a new tragedy. Planes that disappear, celebrities who accidentally overdose, young people who despair and take their lives, public places turned to terror through shooting – sometimes it's too much to handle.
The good news is that death has been devoured by the power of God and it can't fight back. Jesus' tomb is empty and because of that fact, we don't have to be terrified by the grave anymore. Death's power has been undone. Those who fall asleep in Christ become greater after death than they were before and they can never be touched by it again. Paul said, "For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." (II Corinthians 5:1) more >>
A short dramatic video depicting Jesus in line to be sent inside the Auschwitz concentration camp by Nazi soldiers circa 1943 Poland, and chosen to be killed inside a gas chamber, was released this week by Jews for Jesus, a ministry of Christian outreach into the Jewish community.
The video, "That Jew Died for You," was intentionally released in conjunction with Passover, Holy Week and upcoming Holocaust Remembrance Day to help redefine the conversation and reshape views of Jesus and His relationship to the Holocaust, the group's leaders say.
"Our intent was not to illicit any kind of angry response but to actually engage people in a conversation because we think that the conversation about who Jesus is [is] important for Jews and Gentiles to discuss, and especially at this time of year, as we are in the Passover, Easter season, and leading into Holocaust Remembrance Day next week," Susan Perlman, associate executive director of Jews for Jesus, told The Christian Post Thursday. more >>
Palestinian Christians are complaining that Israeli authorities have intentionally excluded them from Holy Week celebrations in East Jerusalem by limiting entry permits to the week's festivities.
According to a report from Radio Bethlehem, the government requires special entry permits for Palestinians hoping to join Palm Sunday celebrations, but arbitrarily distributes them. Consequently "in many cases, when families apply to get permits through their churches, Israel deliberately grants some family members permits and denies permits to others, and therefore, the whole family won't be able to attend."
Do Christ's words in Matthew directing his disciples to raise the dead apply to his 21st followers?
Tackling modern day resurrection stories is the subject of Johnny Clark's new documentary DEADRAISER, which explores the motivations and stories of several Christians who have decided to literally act on Jesus' words.
Clark, a filmmaker who lives with his family in Boulder, Colo., said his initial fascination with the subject came when he was a kid and saw a "bonky video" of the apparent resurrection of man in "Africa who had been dead for two or three day." more >>
Participants at Pastor Ed Young's Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, attempted a world-record 17,000 square foot chalk portrait of Jesus on Wednesday as part of Easter activities.
"Easter is always a time of celebration, reflection, and renewal. This giant chalk drawing on our church's parking lot is just a great way to connect with so many people and to remind us what this week is all about," Young, who leads the 20,000-member congregation, said before the event.
"The message is clear - it's all about JESUS!! #ArtOfEaster," Young wrote on his Facebook page. "The portrait is done. History has been made. And now it's time to tell HIS STORY this Easter." more >>
Jesus sells. That's why they have cover stories on Him in magazines and TV specials, even if some of them offer strange theories to try to explain away things like the original Easter.
I'll never forget the evolution of a famous TV newsman, the late Peter Jennings, the anchor ABC's nightly news broadcasts.
In 2000, Jennings hosted a special, "The Search for Jesus." He never found Him because he relied almost entirely on liberal Bible scholars who dismissed the reliability of the Gospel accounts. The special, though well done, needlessly cast doubt on all the basics about Jesus. more >>