When Death Happens

Brian Keepers

Read: John 19:31-42 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices . . . (v. 40) Woody Allen once quipped, “I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” Yet in some way don’t we all fear death? Isn’t this why we try to prolong life and keep death at bay? When Jesus bows his head and gives up his spirit, he dies. It isn’t just …

The Vulnerability of God

Brian Keepers

Read: John 19:1-16 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. (vv. 1-2) By becoming incarnate in Jesus, God makes himself vulnerable to every human experience, including pain and suffering. Nowhere is this vulnerability more on display than in the terrible events of Good Friday. Jesus’ flesh torn from being flogged. A twisted crown of thorns and a purple …

Hidden Wounds

Brian Keepers

Read: John 13:21-30 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit . . . (v. 21) She was fifteen years old. She rolled up her sleeves and showed me the scars on her forearms. “I cut myself,” she whispered. “I do it because the pain is so deep inside, and I need somebody to see it.” Sometimes the deepest wounds we carry are invisible. We’ve been hurt spiritually, mentally, or emotionally—in places that are hard for others to …

Getting Our Hands Dirty

Brian Keepers

Read: John 13:1-17 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet . . . (v. 5) Years ago, a group from our church traveled to Uganda. They visited the home of an esteemed elder in one of the villages, a man who was sick and dying. Suddenly this dying man got down on his knees, took water and a cloth, and proceeded to wash the feet of every person in the group. It was …

The Word Became Flesh

Brian Keepers

Read: John 1:1-18 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . (v. 14) The human body is a marvelous thing. Trillions of tiny cells combine to form bone and flesh, muscle and sinew, nerves and neurons. To be human is not just to have a body; it is to be somebody. Yet historically, the church too often has viewed the body with suspicion and disdain. Body and soul get separated, and the body is seen as …