Think about this for a second. Jesus knew.
He goes into that room with His disciples. He knows He is going to be betrayed. He knows it is Judas who will turn against him. He knows that He has been sold out for a handful of silver. Stabbed in the back by one He has poured His life into.
Yet, in that room, hours before the death of Jesus, Judas ate too. Jesus fed Judas too. Jesus prayed for Judas too. Jesus washed Judas’ feet too. I struggle to fathom that kind of love. A love that would feed the mouth that deceived you. A love that would wash the treasonous feet of the traitor. A love that could forgive even the vilest of betrayals.
I honestly struggle to comprehend it. And then, suddenly, I realize that I’m Judas. And in that moment, I’m so thankful & altogether overwhelmed that Judas ate too.
It’s been popular in the past ten years (or so) to describe Jesus as nothing more than a “retelling” of prior “dying and rising” gods such as Horus or Osiris. Skeptics who make such claims typically describe a number of shared characteristics in an effort to highlight the similarities between Jesus and prior mythologies. Perhaps the most persuasive case of potential mythological “borrowing” is found in claims related to Mithras, the ancient mythological deity worshipped in Persia four hundred years prior to Jesus (and worshipped continually throughout the first four or five centuries of this millennia in Rome, right alongside those who worshipped Jesus). Jesus “mythers” claim Mithras was born of a virgin, in a cave, on December 25th, and his birth was attended by shepherds. Mithras was considered a great traveling teacher and master. He had twelve companions (or disciples) and promised his followers immortality. Mithras performed miracles and sacrificed himself for world peace. He was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again. His followers celebrated this event each year at the time of Mithras’ resurrection (and this date later became “Easter”). Mithras was called the “Good Shepherd,” was identified with both the Lamb and the Lion, and was considered to be the “Way, the Truth and the Light,” the “Logos,” the “Redeemer,” the “Savior” and the “Messiah.” His followers celebrated Sunday as His sacred day (also known as the “Lord’s Day,”) and they celebrated a Eucharist or “Lord’s Supper”. Mithras, by this description, sounds a lot like Jesus doesn’t he?
Read why the popular belief is wrong at: Is Jesus Simply a Retelling of the Mithras Mythology? | Cold Case Christianity
The historical event of the Resurrection is the best place to start when defending your faith objectively—it’s unique to Christianity. There are some basic, historical facts involving the Resurrection that credible historians (believers as well as non-believing scholars) agree on about Jesus’ death. One of those facts is that Jesus was crucified and buried in a tomb. Skeptics try to debunk the tomb location, claiming it was unknown. But is that true?“So, Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.”Mark 15:46Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy member of the Sanhedrin, was a follower of Christ who offered his family’s tomb as the resting place for Jesus. This was unheard of at the time since Jesus was not his family member, and He was considered a criminal.
Read more at: Think Divinely – The “Unknown” Tomb Theory
Absent Dads & Present Hardships
19.7 million children and teens in America—or 27%—are living without a father figure in the home. This includes biological, step, or adoptive fathers. Fathers play an important role in their children’s lives. Since the 1990s, studies have consistently shown that children from fatherless homes are over-represented among high-school dropouts, pregnant teens, and suicidal teens. The vast majority of adult males who have committed violent crimes come from homes without a father figure. Girls without a father present or whose father is disengaged tend to take more sexual risks and become sexually active earlier.
Read more at: Fatherlessness by Heather Zeiger – Salvo Magazine
Have you ever had a discussion with someone you passionately disagreed with? Have they ever told you, “If you show me the evidence, then maybe I’ll agree with you”? I’ve had conversations where, even after giving more than enough evidence to support my point, the person with whom I was talking still disagreed with me. It’s easy in those moments to feel like they’re just being stubborn, simply refusing to see the truth, or not being intellectually honest. Now, there may be times when the other person is willfully refusing to believe the truth. But can I suggest it may be more a matter of how we are communicating the evidence?
Read more at: How to Communicate the Evidence for Christianity | Cold Case Christianity
1 John 4:8
The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
I have heard many atheist complain about how hateful Christians can be, and unfortunately, it is true. Some Christians alienate people who are not Christians. They have clearly forgotten that Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners. Jesus may have been gruff with the people who should have known better like the Pharisees and Sadducees, but he was gentle with the woman at the well.
It is possible to speak even the most basic truth with such hate that the people who hear it perceive the love of God as a lie. We all (myself included) need to be careful to voice the truth of God, with the grace of God.
While the truth of God will be offensive to many people, we must be careful not to add any offensive to it with graceless and unclear words. While I doubt anyone is perfect with this, not even myself we all would do well to remember Colossians 4:6
6 Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.
Want to know more about how you can witness with more grace and love?
I recommend Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions
by Gregory Koukl
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