Human beings are meaning-makers. We can’t help but seek meaning in events. That’s what Peter and John are doing in this passage. They see the empty tomb of Jesus and the grave clothes lying there and ask, “What does this mean?” Why the focus on the grave clothes? They give us three powerful reasons the resurrection of Jesus Christ matters in your life and in this world. Join us as we learn more.
Sometimes we don’t realize what we really need until it’s taken away. But sad as that is, it can be a real gift, because it can change you. This story is kind of like that. Everything that happens here is a response to the death of Jesus. But it transformed these two men. And it can transform you also, if you see what happened to them.
We’ve all had defining moments in our lives; experiences that have changed us, sometimes for good, sometimes for ill. But what if there was a an experience that had the power to change you for good that would make all other defining experiences pale in comparison? That’s what John had in this passage. And he says it’s available to us too. It’s all in the blood and the water. Join us as we explore it more deeply.
Our individual lives - our questions, struggles, hopes, and fears - are inescapably bound up in the state of the world we live in. That means one of the biggest questions we can ask is: Where do you find a healing for the world that makes a real difference in your own life? Is real hope and healing available for both our lives and the world? The cross of Jesus Christ is the most profound, significant, and transformative answer ever offered. It’s real healing for your life and the world. How? Join us this week as we look at the crucifixion of Jesus.
Do you ever wonder what you are supposed to be? If you have some destiny, some purpose, some calling, something you were born for? This passage appears to be the last place that might have anything to say to that. But in reality it takes far deeper into that question that we can possibly imagine. Because this passage shows us the truth about humanity: both the glory it was created for, and the ruin it has become.
For many people, politics feels more real than just about anything else. It seems like the weight of the world and the hope of humanity rests on the outcome of various elections. In contrast, the death and resurrection of Jesus often feels inconsequential, particularly when we face the problems and challenges of our world. That’s why this passage is so necessary and helpful. Because it shows us what it means to say that Jesus is King, and what his kingdom actually means for this world.
This passage is a shocking passage, because one of its main messages is that we all reject God in one way or another, whether we are secular, agnostic, religious, or somewhere in the midst of those things. How do we reject God? Why do we reject God? And what does God do about it? Join us this week as we begin a new series asking the question: "Why did Jesus die?"
Our culture has a unique understanding of and emphasis on freedom. We say, “Everyone should be free to live however they want as long as they don’t harm someone else.” But the longing for freedom is something all people have shared throughout history. In this passage, Jesus offers us a truer, deeper freedom. But it means letting go of the freedom we think we want in order to receive the freedom we really need. Tune in to this week’s message to learn more.
Of all the longings humans have, the longing for God might be the most basic. Even though we often use different language today to describe it (spirituality, transcendence, mindfulness, etc.), it’s still the same longing: a desire to be connected to something bigger than ourselves. In today’s culture, this longing is complicated by the realty that there are thousands of options to choose from. How do we know which is true? Is it even possible? Jesus shows us the way forward here in this most famous of all statements.
Death is a universal problem. It’s also a multifaceted problem. It’s not just physical death (our own or loved ones) that troubles us so much. It’s the knowledge that life itself is filled with things that end, and we can never get them back. The irretrievability of life is part of our problem with death. In this story, Jesus steps into the devastation of two sisters following the death of their brother and offers them a hope and a presence that transforms their lives, and can transform ours as well.
Human beings need two things: to be known and loved. When those two things are in place, we have what could be called a stable identity. Even thought the Bible doesn’t use that exact word, the concept shows up in many places. In this passage, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.” While he meets many of our core needs with that statement, one of the biggest is identity. And there are few things that are more contested and emotionally fraught in our culture than this subject of identity. How does Jesus give us a stable identity? Listen in to find out.
What kind of world do you want to live in? If our imagination could run wild, most of us would like to live in a world of no evil, suffering, or death, and where everyone and everything is totally flourishing. Many people would call such a world utopia. Jesus has a different way of talking about it, and a different way of bringing that world about. It’s all contained in this story of the shepherd and his sheep. Join us this week as we learn more.
We live in an age in which the idea of truth is embattled. If truth is even available, many see it as something that can only be known by observing hard, cold facts. Jesus gives us a radically different paradigm, however. In calling himself the Light of the world, he’s saying he is the source and embodiment of all truth. What does that mean, and how does it change our lives? Listen in to find out.
Our society is awash in the greatest opportunities to be happy that have ever been available to humanity. And yet rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide have never been higher. We are far less satisfied and far more discontented than we are often willing to admit. In this passage, Jesus reveals himself as the answer to our search for satisfaction, an answer that is totally counter to any other answer ever offered to the world.
Have you ever felt like you’re meant for more? Even if things are going really well in your life, have you ever felt like there’s something more you’re meant for, but you’re not even sure what it really is? This passage tells the story of Jesus’ first disciples. At its heart, it’s an invitation to walk through the door to the life you were meant to live.
God doesn’t just want us to know about him intellectually (although that is important). Amazing as it might sound, God’s desire is that we would experience him personally; to experience his presence with us, and his power for us. Even more than that, he wants us to experience his great love, to know that he delights over us. This week, Ben Tzeng helps us understand this precious promise.
When you read the gospel accounts of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, you realize it is not a peaceful story. This passage is particularly horrifying - the “Slaughter of Innocents.” But for that reason, it has a lot to show us about how peace really comes into the world. This is a “confrontation of kings.” But not in the way we might normally think. The only way true peace comes to the world is through Jesus, and his revolutionary way of confronting violence and evil in the world.
Human beings have a complicated relationship with hope. The history of humanity seems to be one continuous toggling back and froth between cynicism and hope. We want to believe in things like meaning, love, justice, goodness, beauty, and truth. But the world can be a cruel place, and we often feel like fools for believing in such things. In this passage about the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, we encounter a message that says to us, “You’re not a fool to believe in those things. They do exist, and you’re right to hope for them. But you need some help getting there. “ Join us as we find out more.
What if all the world’s biggest problems are the result of one, basic problem? And that if you could figure out what that problem was and solve it, you would solve all the other problems of the world? Many problems have been identified, and solutions offered (e.g. politics, economics, technology, science, etc). But so far none of them have fixed the world. In this passage, the climax of the book of Exodus, we learn God’s answer to the world’s most basic problem, and the true solution to that problem.
To be human is to be filled with desire. But it seems like there’s a constant gap between our desires and our actual experience. Which means either we desire something that doesn’t exist, or we desire something that is beyond our experience of current reality. This passage shows us what we’re longing for: the glory of God. It is the desire underneath all our other desires. Why do we need it? What is it? And how do we find it? Join us this week and find out.