Considering Jesus’ Death and Resurrection in Light of Notre Dame’s Fire

Like much of the world, I spent Monday, April 15, 2019 close to tears as the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned. And like Breakpoint’s John Stonestreet, I pondered exactly what I was mourning. 

For me, the event presented a poignant reminder of the decline of faith in both Europe and America. I also mourned the loss of the cathedral’s beauty and history, recalling good times there with my family that can’t be repeated. I felt deep compassion for the people of France who have lost so much. And I felt sorry I didn’t have time to go visit Notre Dame when I was in Paris three months ago. 

Destruction In the Garden

All week I’ve recalled images of the gold cross gleaming through the black ashes of a sanctuary that had once glowed with beauty. My thoughts seem appropriate for today, Good Friday, the day we remember the price Jesus paid for our sin.

Just imagine the beauty of the original creation, the perfection of the man and woman created in God’s image, and their intimate fellowship with the Creator – all marred by sin. But even in the ruins left behind, God held forth the promise of a savior. 

Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet, Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris

The Heavy Price Paid

Today we recall the horrendous price Jesus paid to satisfy the just punishment we deserved. We could never pay the inconceivably high penalty for sin against the holiest, highest, and most beautiful One. 

Only a perfect human sacrifice could satisfy the just wrath of God against sin. And as the only perfect being, God Himself had to be the sacrifice. So God “became flesh and dwelt among us” in the form of Jesus.

Today, let’s mourn and confess our sins. Let’s ponder the unspeakable pain Jesus suffered for us. 

Restoration

However, just as the cross gleams in the ruins of Notre Dame, let the cross of Jesus shine as a beacon of hope for us. Both crosses are empty, and so is the tomb where Jesus lay. 

Notre Dame can be rebuilt, but it will take millions of Euros and years of work to accomplish. Jesus made it possible for the relationship between God and humans to be restored, too. He has already paid the price, and it only takes an instant. 

Peter walks on water Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

It’s Personal

But it’s not a done deal for everyone. Salvation is personal. Each one of us must agree with God that we’re sinners. We must confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9–10). 

If you do not have that intimate friendship with God, turn to Jesus today. He is your only hope of heaven, because only He could pay the price to get any of us through the door. Allow Him to make you new and restore your relationship with God. 

Resurrection

Then on Easter Sunday as we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, we can all rejoice. For “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21 NASB).

Notre Dame will probably rise again, but eventually all earthy things will pass away. However, the sinner saved by God’s grace will never die but will live eternally in heaven with God. 

Hallelujah!

Jeanne Dennis, Heritage of Truth

Integrity in the Workplace with Anita Brooks

Author, speaker, and business coach Anita Brooks returns to Heritage of Truth to discuss how to live with integrity in the workplace and become a valued employee. She discusses the character qualities of leaders in the Bible and how we can apply the same biblical principles to our own work ethic. Anita’s book discussed here is First Hired Last Fired.

Have you applied biblical principles to your business or in your workplace? Please share your experiences below.

If you would like to order any of Anita’s books and support Heritage of Truth, you’ll find the links below. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you.

Books by Anita Agers-Brooks

To watch our other interviews with Anita, here are the links: Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over and Transplants, Near Death, Miracles, & Never Giving Up: Paul Perkins & Anita Brooks

God’s Faithfulness in Pain with Carol Kent

Author and speaker Carol Kent returns to Heritage of Truth to discuss God’s faithfulness in times of trial and pain. Carol’s son, Jason, is incarcerated for life without parole. Carol and her husband, Gene, minister to the families of prisoners. Here Carol discusses with host Jeanne Dennis her experiences which led to her books Waiting Together: Hope and Healing for Families of Prisoners and He Holds My Hand: Experiencing God’s Presence and Protection, which is a devotional.

Have you dealt with incredible pain? How has your faith and God’s faithfulness helped you get through it? Please share in the comment section, below.

If you would like to purchase Carol’s books, you can click on the links below. As a Christianbook.com affiliate and an Amazon associate, I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting the Heritage of Truth ministry in this way.

42165X: He Holds My Hand: Experiencing God"s Presence and Protection He Holds My Hand: Experiencing God’s Presence and Protection
By Carol Kent / Tyndale House
074124: Waiting Together - Hope and Healing for Families of Prisoners Waiting Together – Hope and Healing for Families of Prisoners
By Carol Kent / Discovery House

Know Jesus, Never a Victim with James E. Ward Jr.

James E. Ward Jr. encourages viewers to liberate themselves from the mentality of defeat through engaging in God’s Word and developing deeper intimacy with God. He reminds us that Jesus, “the only innocent man that walked the face of the planet suffered the greatest injustice the world has ever known,” and yet He never saw Himself as a victim. Ward also says that understanding the character of God, who is unchanging, in a constantly changing world, brings focus and stability.

Have you experienced more freedom as a result of your relationship with Jesus Christ? Please share your thoughts, below. (Please note: we will not post comments that contain blasphemy or foul language.)

If you would like to purchase Pastor Ward’s book, you may use the Amazon affiliate link, below. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Zero Victim: Liberate Yourself from the Mentality of Defeat

Help Children Focus on What’s Important

 

The following article, which I published in my newsletter in 2012, has as much relevance today as it did then, if not more so. Parenting becomes harder every year, and we want to support you in raising your children to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope you benefit from what I have written here.

Help Children Focus on What’s Important

Last evening I watched a movie called 25 Hill, a story about a boy whose dad gives him a soap box car kit for Christmas. They plan to build it together and have the boy race it. But his dad is deployed and dies before it can happen.

During the course of the story, the boy, Trey, needs to learn to focus on what’s important both in life and in racing. I won’t spoil the story for you by telling you more, but it’s a good family movie. There is some drinking in it, but for good reasons that become obvious later.

Just as Trey needed to learn to focus, so do all parents and children. I watched another movie last week called Captivated: Finding Freedom in a Media Captive Culture. This is a documentary I believe every parent in the West should watch. In fact, every adult. It’s that important.

Our Culture Has Lost Its Focus

As a culture, we in western civilization have lost our focus, which used to be on God. We have actually given up our rights to think clearly, reason for ourselves, and live active lives. One of the ways we have done this is by enslaving ourselves to media of every kind. And our children have followed suit. In some cases, we have let them lead the way for us, when we should have been leading them.

God gave parents and grandparents the responsibility to raise up children to love and serve Him. We teach best by example. I urge you to watch Captivated, and more than that, to refocus your life on what is most important and train your children to do the same.

In the past two years, I have lost a brother, a sister, a first cousin, and two close friends. With four children still growing up at home and one in college, my sister left much of what she planned to do undone.

How Will You Help Your Family Focus?

What would you do if you knew you only had a short few months to live? With death in view, we see more clearly what is crucial in life. None of us is promised tomorrow. Don’t put off teaching your children to live their lives well. Teach them to focus on the things of God, to want and do His will above all else. For life is but a breath. And eternity . . . well that’s forever.

Share your comments, questions, and suggestions:

  • What influence has media had on your family?
  • What are you doing to encourage your children or grandchildren to focus on what’s important?
  • What do you think are the greatest issues parents face in raising children today?

I look forward to your input.

Jeanne Gowen Dennis

If you would like to see the movies I mentioned using our affiliate links, click below.
25 Hill, DVD
By Echolight

25 Hill [Streaming Video Purchase]
By Corbin Bernsen / Christian Cinema

Captivated [Streaming Video Purchase]
By Phillip Telfer / Christian Cinema

Captivated [Streaming Video Rental]
By Phillip Telfer / Christian Cinema