Day 30

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:13-16
We have just celebrated Easter Sunday. There isn’t an event in all of history that has impacted the world more than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The hope that Jesus gives us with his resurrection isn’t just the fact that he conquered sin and death but that the same power that raised him from the dead is active in us by his Spirit, the Holy Spirit. In fact, he tells us in today’s reading that we are empowered to be world changers with influence—not by our might but by God’s Spirit.


Day 29

11 Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” 16 “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”). John 20:11-16

I was struck with sadness this past weekend when I read about what happened to Todd Heap’s family on Friday. Heap, a former NFL football player,  jumped into his pickup truck to pull it onto his driveway, but when he did, he accidentally struck his three-year old daughter. She died later at the hospital.


Day 28

But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. 

The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.” 

Then they remembered that he had said this. So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. Luke 24:1-6

In today’s reading, the women who loved Jesus came to his tomb in order to better prepare his body with spices for burial. But to their astonishment, Jesus’ corpse was not where they had thought it would be! Their expectations were shattered.


Day 27

39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:39-43

Capital punishment is an ongoing debate in our society, and much of the debate depends on one’s perspective. We know that as God is just, justice is good, but we also know that as God is merciful, mercy is good.


Day 26

47 While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Luke 22:47-53


Luke’s readers would expect someone like Judas Iscariot and the mob to act the way they acted. But the reader might be shocked that such a close follower of Jesus, like Peter, would attempt murder—even in the presence of Jesus!