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They that sow in tears shall reap in joy

Psalm 126 From slavery to freedom, from the wilderness to ‘the land of milk and honey’, from darkness to light, from the cross to the resurrection – the Christian life is an experience of redemption.  The LORD is always defined as One who “brings up” His people – from Egypt to Canaan, from exile to […]


William Tyndale gave us the word, “likeminded”, but what gives us the reality? On the internet it’s easy to find “people like us”.  No matter how specialist our interests might be, the online world is so large, any subgroup at all can find “likeminded” members. But what about in the local church?  What about in […]

Suffer fools gladly

“He didn’t suffer fools gladly” reads the obituary… “Cantankerous old grouch” we imagine…  Or at least I do.  I might be wrong in the particulars, but that’s how I read the phrase in general. No-one ever does suffer fools gladly.  We are only told when someone definitely does not.  And since, generally, no-one seems to […]


What would convince the world to believe in God? I once asked an atheist the question: “What would convince you to believe in God?”  He answered: “Until god appears before me as a burning bush or I see his picture on the front of popular science magazines I will remain a non-believer.” It strikes me […]

It is finished

“To die is not a problem when a man has accomplished his historic mission.”  Unfortunately for Leon Trotsky, an icepick cut short his mission to rule Russia.  His death represented a failure.  But Christ would have us believe that His death was a success.  Yet there was absolutely nothing on Good Friday that looked victorious. […]

Gave up the ghost

—  An old car that breaks down for the last time. —  A sports team that knows it can’t win. —  A business that finally calls it quits. In all these situations we’d say they “gave up the ghost.” In the bible, the phrase describes death.  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all said to have […]

Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do

On Saturday I spoke with an atheist who made a repeated claim: “Jesus was a hypocrite.”  No matter how many times I asked him for evidence, he couldn’t point to any.  Plenty in me.  Plenty in himself.  Innumerable instances in Christian history.  But none in Christ Himself. That’s quite astonishing really.  Hypocrisy is almost the […]

Hail, King of the Jews!

When you think of a martyr’s death, you might picture dignified suffering, noble sacrifice, perhaps a reluctantly admiring crowd, some final, well chosen words of grace and wisdom.  We often imagine a certain glory to martyrdom.  But that only goes to show we don’t know what we’re talking about. Richard Wurmbrand wrote “Tortured for Christ”, […]

Crown of thorns

What does it mean for Jesus to be Redeemer? What does it mean that He is Saviour of the world? You see many people have a gospel that depicts the Son of God swooping down to snatch a lucky few from damnation.  Souls are saved and saved out of the world into another realm.  The […]

Pilate washed his hands

The trial of Jesus has everything backwards.  The Judge of the world is in the dock.  The Truth is cross-examined.   The Righteous One is pronounced guilty. As we saw last time, the people act as judge and jury, while at times Pilate seems more like a public defender.  Now in this verse, the Governor […]