Blog Archive


Come Reason's Apologetics Notes blog will highlight various news stories or current events and seek to explore them from a thoughtful Christian perspective. Less formal and shorter than the Web site articles, we hope to give readers points to reflect on concerning topics of the day.

Powered by Blogger.
Showing posts with label Jesus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jesus. Show all posts

Monday, July 22, 2013

Seeing Jesus as an Intellect

Who is Jesus? The question has been around as long as Jesus has! From the time that Jesus began ministering; people have been asking "Who is this man?" Jesus is portrayed many ways in the Bible. Some of His titles in the Bible include:
  • Savior
  • Messiah
  • The Lamb of God
  • The Light of the World
  • The Second Adam
  • The Son of God
  • The Word made flesh
  • Lord of Lords
  • King of kings
Of course, people continue to try and add dimensions to Jesus that they find relevant. Recent book titles that invoke Jesus include Jesus: CEO, Jesus is my Superhero, Jesus the Prophet of Allah, Jesus the Rebel, Jesus the Outlaw, and The Good Man Jesus & the Scoundrel Christ. These are simply examples of people trying to see Jesus as a reflection of their highest ideals; even the former head of the Soviet Union,Mikhail Gorbachev, called Jesus "the first socialist"![1] Obviously, people view Jesus through the lens of their assumptions and what they want Him to be.

Do Christians miss aspects of who Jesus is by our assumptions?

Even Christians who seek to properly understand Jesus can overlook aspects of who Jesus is because of their preconceptions. If I gave 100 people a blank sheet of paper and asked them to write their top ten attributes of Jesus, I would get many answers. I'm sure several would repeat some of the titles I've listed above. But I doubt that I would get one "Jesus is an intellectual" or Jesus is a master logician". The concept of Jesus as a logician is not any stranger than Jesus as a master carpenter, Jesus as teacher, Jesus as CEO, yet we never seem to equate Jesus with intelligence.

Why not?

Jesus relates to the Intellectual

Simply put, the modern church has not placed a sufficient value on intelligence as a necessary means for worshiping God. We tend to divorce concepts of faith and rational thought. Faith is seen as "spiritual" while knowledge is seen as "worldly." We believe Jesus was sinless and a champion of the downtrodden and we seek to do likewise. But Jesus also commanded us to love our God with all our minds (Luke 10:27) and He modeled this when He engaged with those who would question His actions.

USC professor of Philosophy Dallas Willard captures the idea of this concept well when he says:
"In our culture and among Christians as well, Jesus Christ is automatically disassociated from brilliance or intellectual capacity. Not one in a thousand will spontaneously think of him in conjunction with words such as "well-informed," "brilliant," or "smart."[2]
Dallas Willard goes on to write:
"Often, it seems to me, we see and hear his deeds and words, but we don't think of him as one who knew how to do what he did or who really had logical insight into the things he said. We don't automatically think of him as a very competent person. He multiplied the loaves and fishes and walked on water, for example--but, perhaps, he didn't know how to do it, he just used mindless incantations or prayers. Or he taught on how to be a really good person, but he did not have moral insight and understanding. He just mindlessly rattled off words that were piped in to him and through him. Really?"[3]
But can we seriously imagine that Jesus could be Lord if He were not smart? If He were divine, would He be dumb? Or uninformed?  Once you stop to think about it, how could Jesus be what Christians take Him to be in other respects and not be the best informed and most intelligent person of all: the smartest person who ever lived, bringing us the best information on the most important subjects.

In fact, John's gospel starts by identifying Jesus as the "Logos." Many Bibles translate that a "word" but the implication of Logos is not merely a word but an intelligent, rational thought. Logos is the root of our word logic and Jesus as the Logos is the embodiment of logic.  He used is throughout His ministry. His aim in utilizing logic was not to win battles, but to achieve understanding or insight in His audience, so He'd challenge the woman at the well or have the twelve disciples pick up twelve baskets of leftovers after He fed 5,000, trying to help them draw conclusions from His actions. (He even chided the disciples for not doing so.)

The church today needs to begin seeing this missing aspect of Jesus' nature. We complain and lament that our institutions of higher learning have kicked God out of the classroom, but has the church kicked the professor out of the pew? Do we never offer any kind of vigorous intellectual message so a PhD could look forward to church as a time of intellectual stimulation? Do we water down our messages so much that we never seek to stretch our congregations even just a bit, to make them a little bit smarter? Do we believe that Jesus was the smartest man who ever lived? And will we seek to love God with all of our minds as well as with our hearts, all our souls and all our strength?

For more on this topic, see: Jesus: The Smartest Man Who Ever Lived.


1. Haberman, Clive. "Israel Welcomes Gorbachev as a Hero". The New York Times. June 16, 1992. <> Accessed 7/22/2013.

2. Willard, Dallas. "Jesus the Logician". <> Accessed: 7/22/2013

3. Ibid.

Monday, December 24, 2012

What is the True Spirit of Christmas?

Important moments in life have been marked throughout the ages with ceremony and tradition. I recently told my just-married son that his wedding day is the one day in his life where more of his friends and family will gather together to celebrate his life-change than any other. We recognize that marriage changes you; you must abandon living for only yourself and put the needs of another above your own.  You are no longer a child but a fully engaged member of society who will be expected to contribute to the community. And as parents, we want to see our progeny grow into mature adults. So we celebrate the event with a wedding… a ceremony filled with ritual, symbols, and festivities.

It is through celebration and tradition that we mark significance and pass our culture to future generations.  Certainly we may write about the importance of certain occasions, but it is only when we vest them with our time and efforts that we most powerfully convey the depth of their magnitude. Think about it. Does a congratulatory card mean more than the presence of a loved one at your wedding?

Because purposeful celebration is important, we even mark our national heritage with nationally recognized holidays such as the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving. But no holiday eclipses Christmas. It is simply the single largest celebrated event in humanity, with weeks of preparation and anticipation by Christian adherents and many others. There are vast amounts of time devoted not only to shopping and parties, but to preparing meals and treats ("the way our mothers made them for us"), reflection, attending church services, or traveling thousands of miles to simply be with friends and family.  Our media is saturated with songs and movies that supposedly capture the "true spirit of Christmas." But what is the true spirit of Christmas? Since Christmas holds such a high place in human culture, it is important for us to correctly understand the message these ceremonies and traditions are trying to communicate.

Misunderstanding Christmas is easily done.  Just this year, the group American Atheists placed a billboard in New York with the images of Santa and Jesus and a caption that read "Keep the Merry! Dump the Myth!" Of course, it wasn't Santa but to Jesus that the myth reference referred. The group issued a press release saying "The true beauty of the season — family, friends, and love — have nothing to do with the gods of yesteryear. Indeed, the season is far more enjoyable without the religious baggage of guilt and judgmentalism." Much of the made for TV holiday fare also boils down the true meaning of Christmas to some similarly amorphous "be-kind-to-others" message. But these obviously do not convey the true spirit of Christmas when you consider how the holiday is celebrated and how it is held in such high regard. The traditions associated with the holiday simply speak to a different meaning. There must be something more, something bigger than a simplistic axiom we all learned in kindergarten.

No, Christmas captures so much attention because it celebrates a fundamental change in humanity. The coming of Jesus is a milestone in the history of mankind unlike any other. While Christians would argue (and I would agree)  that the death and resurrection of Christ are more central to our salvation, the Incarnation marks a shift in the way God reaches out to His sinful creation. In the fullness of time God sent His Son to be born of a woman so that we could be freed from the curse of sin and adopted into God's own family. Paul doesn't say that such an action was for the Jewish people only, but that God did so for all of humanity. That's why the angels proclaim it as good news for all people,     and we reflect that in our traditions.  We adopt the German tradition of the Christmas tree, celebrating the life of Jesus among us. We give gifts to one another to recognize the importance they play in our lives mimicking the Magi who gave gifts to the Christ-child to signify His importance. We also deem Christmas significant enough to want to share it with those whom we cherish the most.  We understand that it is difficult to spend Christmas apart from them.  We know that this celebration unites not just family, but strangers in some way that is different from any other time of the year.

Christmas celebrates humanity because it recognizes that God offered the first gift in Jesus Christ, and began the process of reconciling us to Him. There can be peace on earth because the Prince of Peace has come; there can be joy to the world because Jesus, the Joy of Man's desiring is here. And even the fact that the atheists want to keep Christmas demonstrates its power within humanity. We have even marked all of time in reference to His birth.

Though the glory of our technical advancements and medical breakthroughs is trumpeted, we can find ourselves poorer than past generations. All the noise and wonder of the modern age can distract us and make us miss the message our traditions bring, offering the poor substitute of "be nice, love one another."  Don't miss the message of Christmas this year. The real meaning of Christmas can only be found in Immanuel, God with Us. Jesus has come and He changes who we are and what our position with God can be: those in whom God finds favor. May you and those you love celebrate a very Merry Christmas and may your traditions speak more about the true meaning that Christmas brings.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Fact of the Resurrection Part 5 - The Empty Tomb

As we end our recent study on the resurrection as a fact of history, we look at one of the most daunting problems posed to the skeptics - the empty tomb of Jesus. The absence of Jesus' dead body from its burial place gives incredible support to the disciples' claims that He had risen from the dead. It is therefore not surprising that this point is attacked continuously by doubters. Was the tomb empty? And if so, could it have become empty through some other means than Jesus' resurrection?

If we can show that the empty tomb did in fact exist and that there is no good naturalistic explanation for Jesus' missing body, then we have strong evidence for a supernatural explanation. This not only argues for God's existence but also legitimizes the truth of Christianity.

Was the Tomb Empty?

There exist many objections to Jesus' tomb being empty at all. Most notably, the Jesus Seminar's John Dominic Crossan puts forth the belief that Jesus was never buried in a rock tomb but his body was placed in a common grave and probably eaten by dogs.1  However, Crossan fabricates this explanation because there is absolutely no evidence on which to base his specific account. Although, as Crossan himself admits, burial for crucified criminals was rare it did occur and we have both written and physical evidence to support it. 2

Tomb commonly assumed empty by both Christians and Jews.

So was there a tomb that Jesus was buried in? Crossan and others argue that the whole tomb event had to be added later because the most primitive reports of the resurrection never cited it. However, this is an argument from silence. Even though Peter doesn't specifically mention the empty tomb in his speech in Acts 2, that doesn't mean it didn't exist. It is quite likely that an empty tomb didn't need to be stated because it was "front page news" if you will.

J.P. Moreland says, "In the early speeches of Acts, no mention is made of the empty tomb... Why is the empty tomb not mentioned in those speeches? The best answer seems to be that the fact of the empty tomb was common ground between believers and unbelievers."3

Likewise Paul's recount of the resurrection belief in 1 Corinthians does not prove that there was no empty tomb, but just that the writer felt no pressing need to mention it. The tomb was assumed to be empty - a fact we can derive from our next point.
The stolen body story corroborates Jesus' tomb being empty.

Another explanation given is the women in Mark's account simply went to a random tomb or found the wrong tomb. However, the early accusations by the Jews of Jesus' disciples stealing His body demonstrate that this cannot be the case.

Dr. William Lane Craig writes,

In Matthew 28, we find the Christian attempt to refute the earliest Jewish polemic against the resurrection. That polemic asserted that the disciples stole away the body. The Christians responded to this by reciting the story of the guard at the tomb, and the polemic in turn charged that the guard fell asleep. Now the noteworthy feature of this whole dispute is not the historicity of the guards but rather the presupposition of both parties that the body was missing. The earliest Jewish response to the proclamation of the resurrection was an attempt to explain away the empty tomb. Thus, the evidence of the adversaries of the disciples provides evidence in support of the empty tomb.4

As we mentioned in a previous article, because the Jews were opposed to the idea of Jesus being raised, this lends credence to Jesus' tomb specifically being empty. It makes no sense for the Jews to lie about Jesus' body being stolen when producing the body or showing the tomb would be their strongest argument against the resurrection. The same is true for the women being mistaken. We must conclude that the tomb of Jesus was truly empty and it was available for all to examine.

How Do You Explain it?

So, if the tomb of Jesus really was empty, how is it explained? Did the disciples steal Jesus' body? Given Matthew's account of the tomb being sealed and a guard placed there, it wouldn't seem likely. There's also the problem of the disciples having to roll back that huge stone in order to accomplish their goal , and they would have had to do so without being detected. However it seems to be the best naturalistic explanation, so many doubters claim it must be so.

But Dr. Craig notes the biggest obstacle to believing this scenario. "Perhaps the most serious objection to [the idea of someone stealing Jesus' body] is that it seeks to explain only half of the evidence (namely, the empty tomb) and completely ignores the other half (that is, the appearances). A second hypothesis to explain must be added. But if explanatory scope is the criterion for preferring one hypothesis to another, then the resurrection... is to be preferred."5

In looking at the evidence: the historicity of the resurrection accounts, the trustworthiness of the reports from the disciples, the fact that eyewitnesses saw the resurrected Christ, their changed lives and the fact of the empty tomb, one can see that it is reasonable to believe that Jesus rose bodily from the dead. Since He claimed He would do as much beforehand, it also shows that His claims of deity are true and that the Christian God exists.


1. See: Crossan, John Dominic PhD. Who Killed Jesus? San Francisco: Harper, 1996.
2. Crossan, John Dominic PhD. "Was Jesus Buried?"
3. Moreland, J.P. PhD. Scaling the Secular City.
Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1987 pg 162.
4. Craig, William Lane; PhD.. "Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ." June 16, 1998.
5. Craig, William Lane PhD. In Defense of Miracles. Ed. R. Douglas Geivett and Gary R. Habermas. Downers Grove, Il.: InterVarsity Press, 1997 pg. 260. Image courtesy Frank Swift and licensed via Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Fact of the Resurrection Part 3 - Eyewitnesses

The last few days we've been studying the resurrection of Jesus as history. Of course, the resurrection is the most compelling evidence we have to show that it is the Christian God to whom we refer when we speak of God's existence. It validates Jesus' teaching and His claims of deity.

We've already shown how the resurrection accounts read more like history than myth, and how the written accounts are so close to the proximity of the events they record that any myths or legends creeping into them is highly improbable. Today, I'd like to more closely examine the idea of eyewitness testimony and how it also supports the resurrection as a matter of historic fact.

Eyewitness Testimony From Live Witnesses

The four gospels are believed to be written by eyewitnesses of Jesus' ministry, death, and resurrection (Matthew and John) or by people who spoke directly with eyewitnesses (Mark and Luke). The gospels themselves contain reports of Jesus appearing to many different people in the forty days after He was raised from the dead.

Some skeptics believe that the gospel writers fabricated the resurrection in order to help them establish their new religion. Others claim that the witnesses were suffering from some type of mass-hysteria or communal hallucination. But a careful study of the gospels shows why these theories don't make sense.

Because the gospels were written approximately 30 to 50 years after the events they record, many of the people who are offered as witnesses to the resurrection were still alive when they were circulated. This means that as people heard or read about the resurrection, they weren't left to "just take the matter by faith." Anyone who had reason to doubt the resurrection could ask the witnesses themselves if the events recorded in the gospels were true. Because the many different witnesses were available to corroborate the testimony of the gospels, any hallucination or wishful thinking would be quickly pointed out and the claims made by the apostles would be dismissed.

Now, because the testimonies by Jesus' disciples agree doesn't make that testimony unimpeachable. It doesn't rule out the idea of a conspiracy to lie about the resurrection. However there exists an even more compelling argument that answers this objection - the existence of hostile witnesses.

The Existence of Antagonistic Eyewitnesses

Because Christianity represented a danger to the power structures of the Sanhedrin, the leaders and chief priests did everything they could to extinguish this new movement within Judaism. They were vehement in stopping the apostles from spreading tales of the resurrection. They beat and imprisoned Peter and John and stoned Steven to death.

However, the easiest way to quash this new religious movement would have been to demonstrate that the apostles were lying when they claimed that Jesus rose from the dead - by producing a corpse! The Sanhedrin could easily counter the testimony of the eyewitnesses by saying "Look, you know that we took the body and put it in a potter's grave" or "here is the tomb where Jesus' body lies." They said nothing of the kind. They admitted that His body was no longer in the tomb when they created the story of the apostles' stealing it. (There are many reasons why this is implausible which we will cover in an upcoming post.) By claiming that Jesus' body was stolen they corroborate the fact that Jesus' tomb was indeed empty.

In fact, any discrepancy or inaccuracy from Jesus' disciples would have been immediately exploited by the Jewish leaders of the day as proof that the tales told by the believers were false. Considering that not only were these leaders intimately involved with the crucifixion and its resulting events, but they had every opportunity to counter the claims of Jesus' followers and offered nothing tangible in their defense, the truth of the resurrection is compelling.

Appeal to the Facts

The last group of witnesses we will examine are the multitudes in Jerusalem. Jesus attracted many disciples, most of whom did not continue to follow Him after His death. He also was known by many more of the general public. His crucifixion, a public execution before a high feast-day, would have been a very visible spectacle.

If the disciples were playing fast and loose with the truth, the people they were preaching to would have objected, knowing that their tale was fictional. However in Acts 2:22 we see something completely different. The disciples appealed to the knowledge of the crowd in order to support their claims of resurrection. Peter used the phrase "as you yourselves know" when speaking at Pentecost. He knew what he was saying was true and the facts were on his side. Even more telling was that the people listening responded to his claims by being "pricked in their hearts" and repenting, not by contradicting them.

The fact that we have many first-hand accounts of Jesus' resurrection makes the argument for the resurrection credible. The fact that these eyewitnesses were giving testimony while facing a hostile audience makes it stronger. The fact that the enemies of the apostles could offer no evidence to contradict their testimony makes it beyond merely reasonable to hold the belief that Jesus rose from the dead. The resurrection becomes as trustworthy a piece of history as any other. Next time, we'll look at how the changed lives of the disciples also bolster our case. God bless until then

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Fact of the Resurrection Part 2 - Too Soon for Fables

Last time we studied how the resurrection accounts read like history. But another reason to believe in the resurrection of Christ is how close the records we have were to the actual events they record.

In the game of telephone, a message is told from person to person until it eventually becomes unrecognizable to its initiator. There is less chance the message has been corrupted the closer a person is to the originator. This is one of the ways scholars studying ancient historical events judge a record's accuracy.

Most conservative scholars date the Gospel accounts of Jesus' death and resurrection from between A.D. 50 to A.D. 80. If we are to assume Jesus died somewhere near 30 A.D., then these historical records would be between 20 to 50 years after the events they record. Not only are these dates very close to the actual events by historical standards, but that also implies that the Gospels were circulated when the apostles were still alive to be questioned by skeptics and detractors.

Now there are other scholars who would prefer a late dating of the Gospels, from the middle of the first century to perhaps as late as the beginning of the second. But late-dating the Gospels doesn't put the historicity of the resurrection in doubt, because a record exists that is older still than any of the Gospel accounts.

In 1 Corinthians 15 verses 3-8 the Apostle Paul writes "For I delivered unto you as of first importance that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time... then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all, as one untimely born, He appeared to me also."

Nearly all scholars, those both sympathetic to Christianity and skeptical of it, believe that First Corinthians was written by Paul and was written about 55 or 56. However, scholarship also shows that the above passage is considered an ancient tradition that Paul received from others in the early church when he first became a convert to Christianity. This means that the passage in 1 Corinthians 15 dates from somewhere between two to eight years after Jesus' death!

That early dating means that it is virtually impossible for the resurrection account to be a myth that gradually grew into the church tradition. It had to be accounts from eyewitnesses who saw the events themselves, otherwise too many people would be around to contradict the events in question.

Because this evidence is so convincing, there are those doubters who feel that the resurrection account was a deliberate fraud made up by the apostles to continue their movement. In our next post, we'll look at those claims and show why this couldn't be so. (If you'd like a preview of some of the things we'll discuss then, you can read our article "Is Eyewitness Testimony Reliable?")

For a modern day example to this, think of someone telling you that John F. Kennedy didn't die in November of 1963. He is still alive and in hiding because the CIA wanted to remove him from office. The government made the whole assassination up for their benefit. The problem with such a story is that there are too many people still alive who remember the event and can contradict your assertion.

The more we study the documents testifying to the resurrection of Jesus, the more we can understand why it is called "the most well-attested fact of ancient history." I hope these discussions bolster your faith in Christ and Him being raised from the dead. Comment below and let us know what you think!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Fact of the Resurrection Part 1 - Resurrection as History

The resurrection of Christ is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. If it really happened, then it affects your entire worldview. If Jesus really rose from the dead it means He had power that no one else had. And since He claimed to be God's Son, then it means there really is a God. And if there really is a God - the type of God Jesus talked about - then we will really be held accountable for our actions in this life.

You can see why the resurrection is such a target to the skeptic. If he cannot dismiss this event, then all that follows makes him accountable to God. He must find a way to reject its truth.

The most common way people reject the resurrection is to say that it was a myth created by disciples who wanted to give their new religion credence. If you've ever read any of the Iliad or the Odyssey, you'll be familiar with myth. The ancient Greeks used myth as a way of explaining the world around them and getting some type of understanding.

However, when one reads the New Testament accounts of the resurrection, a careful reader should pick up on something else - these accounts aren't written like myths but like historical reports to an actual event. There are numerous passing comments and inferences that, unless they really happened, make no sense for a writer to invent.

Things such as all the disciples abandoning Jesus when He was arrested, James and John's mother asking for her sons' favor from the Lord, and the women at the tomb. This last idea is very compelling, as women were looked down upon drastically in this society. Women were considered more property than persons, with any excuse serving as grounds for divorce and their testimony wasn't considered solely reliable in a Jewish court of law.

In this light, having women being the first ones to find the empty tomb and the first ones to believe that Jesus was resurrected rings as true history rather than something made-up to justify some created religion. In fact, Josh McDowell quotes Oxford ancient history scholar Thomas Arnold who said:

"I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead."[1]

Now, most Biblical scholars, whether conservative or liberal, agree that Jesus did really live and He really was crucified. Most liberal scholars, however, doubt the resurrection as history. But any explanation that liberal scholarship offers to explain away the resurrection must be manufactured out of thin air. This is because there is no evidence of any kind that can be offered to counter the resurrection story! So, if we are to make judgments about historical reliability, an honest approach would be to base the claims on the evidence that exists. To manufacture a counter story because you want to disprove the evidence is faulty logic.

The resurrection accounts are the best evidence we have as to what happened to Jesus Christ on Sunday morning. This is one part of the proof that Jesus rose from the dead and because of that we know God exists. Next time we'll look at how the proximity of the recorded accounts to the events themselves lends even more credence to our argument. God bless until then.

1. Mc Dowell, Josh A Ready Defense Here's Life Publishers 1991 pg.216

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Three Essential Gifts for Christmas

In order to properly celebrate Christmas, there are three specific gifts that one must have. These have always been given since the very first Christmas and the wisest among men will continue to offer them, not only in this season, but all year long.

1. Gold
Gold is the first gift, a symbol and recognition of His kingship and divinity. Like the divine nature of Jesus, gold never tarnishes – it always maintains its purity. Because of this, gold is considered highly valuable. Also, gold endures where other elements would decompose when "attacked". No single acid can dissolve it. Silver can be dissolved by nitric acid, but not gold. Thus nitric acid was used as the original "acid test" for purity.

We offer our "gold"—the things we value the most in this world—for the untarnished and incorruptible gold of Jesus who is our divine mediator. He is our King and our God.

2. Frankincense
Frankincense is the second gift, a symbol of Christ's priestly work in atoning for sin. Incense was an important element of worship for Israel. Given the nature of animal sacrifice, the stench of death could be overpowering in the temple. The burning of frankincense would provide a pleasing aroma, covering the smell of sin and death. It is offered to God, symbolic of the prayers of repentance and requests of forgiveness. Frankincense only worked when it was burned – made nothing. We remember that Jesus made Himself nothing by humbling Himself to become man so that all men may live.

We offer up our sins – with their smell of death and corruption – to Him in exchange for His pleasing aroma before the Father. He is our high priest, consumed so that He may cover our sins with His blood.

3. Myrrh
Myrrh is our last gift, a symbol of Christ's death for us. The word myrrh derives from the Hebrew word for bitter. Used throughout the ancient world as an embalming fluid, myrrh was usually created by combining the resins of two different plants. Jesus had combined His divine nature with a human one for the express purpose of dying for humanity. As a fragrance, myrrh reacts differently than most resins in that "it expands and 'blooms' when burned instead of melting or liquefying."1 Jesus' death allowed His salvation to expand across the entire world. Myrrh was also used as an antiseptic medicine (re: Smyrna) to promote healing.

In recognition of His offering of His life for us, we offer our lives in return. But we can never outgive God. In offering up our lives we receive life everlasting. Jesus said "he who has lost his life for My sake will find it." (Matt 10:39)

I pray that you and yours will have a blessed Christmas this year – and that you won't forget to put the three most important gifts on your list. You see, these really aren't gifts from us. These are gifts to us, and a greater gift no man has known than the gift of Jesus.

(1) "Myrrh" Wikipedia article accessed 12/24/2009.
Come Reason brandmark Convincing Christianity
An invaluable addition to the realm of Christian apologetics

Mary Jo Sharp:

"Lenny Esposito's work at Come Reason Ministries is an invaluable addition to the realm of Christian apologetics. He is as knowledgeable as he is gracious. I highly recommend booking Lenny as a speaker for your next conference or workshop!"
Check out more X