In these final days before Easter, it would be a great idea to pick up my friend Justin Taylor’s excellent new book The Final Days of Jesus (co-authored with NT scholar Andreas Kostenberger).
His book goes through the last week of Jesus’ life, culminating in the crucifixion and then the resurrection. We often think we “know the story,” such that we take it for granted. But it is amazing how much more there is to learn, and Justin’s book is a great guide.
And, of course, the book remains extremely relevant after Easter, since the death and resurrection of Christ are eternally significant and the foundation of our faith.
You can see more of my thoughts on Justin’s book from the post I did a few months ago when I interviewed him.
You might also be interested in his recent article for Christianity Today on Five Errors to Avoid in Preaching Your Easter Sermon, which include:
- Don’t say Jesus died when he was 33 (he was probably 37).
- Don’t bypass the role of women as witnesses to the resurrected Christ (this is a theological reminder that the kingdom of Christ turns the world’s system on its head, and also great evidence for the truth of the resurrection, as the disciples would not have included this detail if they made it up since the testimony of women in 1st century Judaism was so lowly regarded).
- Don’t focus on the suffering of Christ to the extent that you neglect the glory of the cross in and through the resurrection (Jesus did not stay dead! He is off the cross and reigning today.)
As an aside, I liked Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Jesus, but I like Justin’s book way more!