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The Passion of Jesus Christ (2004-07-31 - 11:18 a.m.)

I've finished two books in the last day.

The first, I spoke of in my last entry. It's Berserker, the first in a long line of Berserker novels by Fred Saberhagen.

Berserker is hardcore, nuts and bolts science fiction. I enjoyed it, as it was a refreshing change for me. It's been a while since I've read a book of that sort. I'm really looking forward to finding some more of the series.

The second, which I finished just a minute ago, is The Passion of Jesus Christ, one of a number of books that was spawned by Mel Gibson's movie (which, believe it or not, I have yet to see). The book is written by John Piper. Check out his website if you're interested. He is one of my favorite preacher/authors. I have yet to find a preacher with as much zeal for the glory of God.

The Passion of Jesus Christ does not mention the movie at all. However, there is an important statement in the introduction of the book that deals with the biggest controversy that came from the movie.

"The controversy about who killed Jesus is marginal. He chose to die. His Father ordained it. He embraced it."

What is the book about? It is about why Jesus died. What did he accomplish by dying? What did he achieve for sinners?

The book consists of 50 two-page chapters (excellent for devotional reading, I might add), each naming a reason that Christ died.

And yes, I'm going to list all 50 of them, so you can stop reading now if you want to. Here we go:

1. To absorb the wrath of God. Galatians 3:13; Romans 3:25; 1 John 4:10

2. To please his heavenly Father. Isaiah 53:10; Ephesians 5:2

3. To learn obedience and be perfected. Hebrews 5:8; Hebrews 2:10

4. To achieve his own resurrection from the dead. Hebrews 13:20-21

5. To show the wealth of God's love and grace for sinners. Romans 5:7-8; John 3:16; Ephesians 1:7

6. To show his own love for us. Ephesians 5:2, 25; Galatians 2:20

7. To cancel the legal demands of the law agains us. Colossians 2:13

8. To become a ransom for many. Mark 10:45

9. For the forgiveness of our sins. Ephesians 1:7; Matthew 26:28

10. To provide the basis for our justification. Romans 5:9; Romans 3:24, 28

11. To complete the obedience that becomes our righteousness. Philippians 2:8; Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9

12. To take away our condemnation. Romans 8:34

13. To abolish circumcision and all rituals as the basis of salvation. Galatians 5:11; 6:12

14. To bring us to faith and keep us faithful. Mark 14:24; Jeremiah 32:40

15. To make us holy, blameless, and perfect. Hebrews 10:14; Colossians 1:22; 1 Corinthians 5:7

16. To give us a clear conscience. Hebrews 9:14

17. To obtain for us all things that are good for us. Romans 8:32

18. To heal us from moral and physical sickness. Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:16-17

19. To give eternal life to all who believe on him. John 3:16

20. To deliver us from the present evil age. Galatians 1:4

21. To reconcile us to God. Romans 5:10

22. To bring us to God. 1 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 2:13

23. So that we might belong to him. Romans 7:4; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Acts 20:28

24. To give us confident access to the holiest place. Hebrews 10:19

25. To become for us the place where we meet God. John 2:19-21

26. To bring the Old Testament priesthood to an end and become the eternal High Priest. Hebrews 7:23-27; 9:24-26; 10:11-12

27. To become a sympathetic and helpful priest. Hebrews 4:15-16

28. To free us from the futility of our ancestry. 1 Peter 1:18-19

29. To free us from the slavery of sin. Revelation 1:5-6; Hebrews 13:12

30. That we might die to sin and live to righteousness. 1 Peter 2:24

31. So that we would die to the law and bear fruit for God. Romans 7:4

32. To enable us to live for Christ and not ourselves. 2 Corinthians 5:15

33. To make his cross the ground of all our boasting. Galatians 6:14

34. To enable us to live by faith in him. Galatians 2:20

35. To give marriage its deepest meaning. Ephesians 5:25

36. To create a people passionate for good works. Titus 2:14

37. To call us to follow his example of lowliness and costly love. 1 Peter 2:19-21; Hebrews 12:3-4; Philippians 2:5-8

38. To create a band of crucified followers. Luke 9:23; Matthew 10:38

39. To free us from bondage to the fear of death. Hebrews 2:14-15

40. So that we would be with him immediately after death. 1 Thessalonians 5:10; Philippians 1:21, 23; 2 Corinthians 5:8

41. To secure our resurrection from the dead. Romans 6:5; 8:11; 2 Timothy 2:11

42. To disarm the rulers and authorities. Colossians 2:14-15; 1 John 3:8

43. To unleash the power of God in the gospel. 1 Corinthians 1:18; Romans 1:16

44. To destroy the hosility between races. Ephesians 2:14-16

45. To ransom people from every tribe and language and people and nation. Revelation 5:9

46. To gather all his sheep from around the world. John 11:51-52; 10:16

47. To rescue us from final judgment. Hebrews 9:28

48. To gain his joy and ours. Hebrews 12:2

49. So that he would be crowned with glory and honor. Hebrews 2:9; Philippians 2:7-9; Revelation 5:12

50. To show that the worst evil is meant by God for good. Acts 4:27-28

If you're still reading, I salute you. If you are interested in the author's brief explanations for each point, the book is available from the website, to which I linked earlier.

Grace and peace...

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