My Devotionals


What the daytime darkness of Good Friday means for your work today

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:44-46)

Imagine you live in Jerusalem in the first century. Like so many of your neighbors, you work as a farmer. One day, you’re out harvesting olives, when all of a sudden, the clock strikes noon and the sky goes dark. You can’t see your hand, much less the olive trees, and so you are forced to head inside and rest from your labor.

Thousands of people must have experienced something similar the day Jesus died. The darkness that accompanied Christ’s finished work on the cross undoubtedly led many people to rest from the work of their hands that first Good Friday. 

But it also led to a rest for you and me today. Not a rest from the work of our hands so...

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How you, me, and Barabbas pursue God’s mission without God’s methods

But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man [Jesus]! Release Barabbas to us!” (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.) Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” (Luke 23:18-21)

For most of my life, I viewed Barabbas as a senseless murderer—the ancient equivalent of Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer. But that’s likely an inaccurate portrait of this man.

Many scholars believe that Barabbas (or “Jesus Barabbas” as he’s referred to in Matthew 27:17) was likely a religious zealot. As pastor Daniel Darling explains: 

“Many Jewish people in the first century were wary of Rome…But the cohort of zealots to which Barabbas belonged to took resistance to another level. They sought to overthrow the Roman government by any means possible…assassination plots, targeted murder, and terrorism.”

If Jesus...

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Jesus said he’s the “bread” of life. Not the “grain.” Here’s why that matters.

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” (Mark 14:22)

We’re in a four week series exploring what the vocations of some of the characters of Easter can teach us about our own work today. This morning, we turn our attention to someone in the background of today’s passage: The unnamed woman or man who baked the bread Jesus used at the Last Supper.

Scripture gives us zero detail on who this person was. But I think it’s safe to assume that they viewed baking this bread as just another mundane task on their to-do list, much like you might view the emails you have to type, the papers you need to grade, or the nails you have to hammer today. 

And yet, today’s passage shows that God used the work of this baker’s hands to accomplish something extraordinary. Their bread helped Jesus reveal something about himself—namely the way his...

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How Mary’s perfume frees you from the tyranny of utility

…a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor….Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (John 12:2-3)

Because you’re subscribed to my devotionals, I’m confident you’ve overcome the unbiblical hierarchy that elevates the calling of pastors and missionaries above the work of mere Christians who work as entrepreneurs, accountants, and baristas.

But if we’re not careful, another hierarchy of callings can slip into our thinking—one that elevates the work of mere Christians most clearly “changing the world” above the work of those of us who are simply sustaining and serving it. Prosecuting human traffickers matters, but not selling insurance. Curing disease matters, but not waiting tables. Teaching kids matters, but not writing novels. 

This too is an unbiblical way of...

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