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phrases

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 […]

Crucify Him, Crucify Him

In 1963, Stanley Milgram’s experiment asked anonymous participants to deliver increasingly severe electric shocks to subjects in the next room.  Unbeknownst to the participants, the shocks were not real.  But had they been, they may have been fatal.  The great majority of participants delivered the shocks, even though there were screams of great pain from […]

My kingdom is not of this world

The myth of violence powerfully shapes our view of the world.  We imagine that force must be met with greater force if anything will be achieved.  And of course we tell ourselves that the greater force is justified if it’s done in the name of some greater good.  Most Hollywood blockbusters follows this storyline. Take, […]

Thirty pieces of silver

What would motivate Judas to betray the Son of God?  Theories abound.  Many reconstruct a supposed political radicalism.  Perhaps he was disenchanted by Christ’s non-violence.  Judas, we imagine, had been hoping for an uprising and was so disappointed by Christ’s way of peace that he sold Him out. That’s a fascinating supposition.  But it’s both […]

Betrayed with a kiss

If ever there was a man who could call himself the elect of the elect, it was Judas. He was not only Jewish, he was, in all probability, from the tribe of Judah.  Certainly his name means “Judah” – which refers not simply to the southern kingdom of Israel but also to the royal tribe […]

The Spirit is willing, the flesh is weak

My teenage years were haunted by Gethsemane.  For a serious-minded 14 year old, this was the ultimate display of godly devotion.  Here was Christ leading the way in the school of prayer – showing us how to “give it all up for God.”  In desperation He prostrates Himself before the Father, He pours out His […]

Let this cup pass from me

It was the original poisoned chalice.  Just minutes after pouring wine into a cup of blessing, Jesus prays to His Abba, Father regarding a very different cup: “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him […]

Abba, Father

It’s one of the first sounds a baby will make.  ‘Ma ma ma ma’.  Or ‘Ba ba ba ba’.  Which is why, in so many languages, the proud parents take their babbling children to be speaking their names.  ‘Mama’ or ‘Amma’ is a very common word for ‘mother’.  And ‘Papa’ or ‘Baba’ is similarly common […]