His body abused. His hands hammered into wood. Feet smashed against a splintery cross. Blood pouring down His arms and legs. A crown of thorns poking into His forehead. And insults being thrown at Him left and right.
This is Jesus. The King of the Jews. Murdered on a cross for the sins of humanity. And on this Good Friday, we remember His perfect sacrifice unto the Father. We reflect upon the beauty of Christ’s perfect life and substitutionary death.
Here’s how Esther begins: “Now in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces, in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in Susa, the citadel” (v. 1-2 ESV).
This king reigns over the vast Persian Empire where numerous Jews live as exiles. King Ahasuerus soon throws a massive party. The Bible says, “… in the third year of his reign he gave a feast for all his officials and servants. The army of Persia and Media and the nobles and governors of the provinces were before him, while he showed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor and pomp of his greatness for many days, 180 days” (v. 3-4 ESV).
#1 If the Bible isn’t true, then a handful of people spanning over a thousand years of history have successfully mastered the greatest scheme known to man.
#2 It’s impossible to live without faith. To live without faith is to call yourself a “know-it-all.”
#3 Faithfulness is more fruitful than fame.
#4 Relationships carry you when you feel like you have nothing left. Especially a relationship with God.
#5 People will respect who you are if you remain consistent long enough. Don’t believe for a second that “fitting-in” is better than “sticking-out.”
I’m surprised by the size of self-help sections in bookstores. Maybe I shouldn’t be. According to an article from The New Yorker called “Improving ourselves to death,” there’s a self-improvement industry that “takes in ten billion dollars a year.” Why? Because people everywhere—of all ethnicities, cultures, and religions—recognize a need for help.
It’s not a new concept. Consider the words of the psalmist who writes, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 121:1-2 ESV).
I deleted Instagram. One of the most popular social networks in the world. A photo sharing platform used by one billion people. And I’m no longer one of them.
Why? Not because it’s bad. I’m not discouraging people from using it. Instead, there’s something about Instagram that causes me to stumble. Let me explain.