By Kristi Sullins

Where were you when?  This question was part of a recent Ladies Bible Study class, and it immediately stirred up great conversation. Many of the answers were the same. The Challenger explosion and 911 were events that had left their marks on us as children, youth and young adults. A true blessing to our group is the diversity of ages represented, and the best of our group happened to be sitting right next to me that morning. Ms. Lucy Stevens held us all speechless as she shared her memories of the radio announcement after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and hearing about the dropping of the first nuclear bomb while she was in her kitchen ironing. These were memories seared in her brain. Memories of events that changed everything. Even years after each of us had experienced those life-changing moments we were able to sit and remember.

I must imagine that same question would have been asked years after that Friday, that Friday that changed eternity. The young and old, rich and poor, Gentile and Jew would have had a story to tell about Friday when Christ was crucified.

Maybe they were in the courts when Christ was falsely accused and charged with crimes as He stood in silence. They may have seen Pilate try to find fault in Him, and ultimately wash his hands of the whole matter. Did they hear about the beatings from the Roman soldiers or witness His destroyed body first hand?  Maybe they had strong enough stomachs to stand on the hill of Golgotha as the man who claimed He was Messiah was nailed to a cross and hung between 2 thieves. They would have heard His cries for mercy to God for those abusing Him, and His cries when the God of the world had to turn His back because of the sin resting on Christ. Those serving in the temple would have shared hearing the temple curtain rip from top to bottom with no explanation. All would have remembered the sky, black as night, and the earthquake that shook the ground after Jesus spoke “It is finished”. Everyone would have had a story to remember about that Good Friday.

It is time for us to remember too. The Easter season is always a time of fun and fellowship. We dress in our best for church, ready for a time of celebration. That is good, but we cannot skip Friday. Sunday is the day we celebrate the empty tomb and our risen Savior. But Sunday’s celebration could have never come without Friday’s sacrifice.

Take time to remember what Christ withstood on that Good Friday. Read the different accounts given by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Talk with your children about that day. Remember His sacrifice driven by love. Remember His suffering driven by evil. Remember grace shown to the thief at His side. Remember the prophecy promises Christ kept to the letter. Remember the king of the world being laid in a borrowed tomb. Remember.

Do not over think the act of remembering. For my daughter and I, we remembered over the kitchen sink, peeling potatoes for dinner. Back and forth we shared the details we knew about that Good Friday. We talked about feelings, sights and sounds. I told her the part of the story I hate the most (God turning His back on Christ) and she told me her favorite part (heaven and earth reacting to His death). There was no fancy setting or preplanned speech. It was just the two of us, sisters in Christ, remembering.

It is your turn now. Do not reject the hard part of this Holy week. Sink deep in the story. Shed tears as you remember. Your Father’s love is so great that He sent His Son to die. Our Messiah’s love is so great that He willingly walked into hell on earth for all mankind. Let the story remind you of the impossible grace of our God, and the eternal hope we have because of that Good Friday. Remember.






Hearing the Words from the Cross

By Karen Polich

Dr. Earl Craig delivered a Palm Sunday message on the words from the cross. Listen to the podcast here.

The cross is known around the globe but not everyone seeks to hear to what the cross is about. The cross is God fixing the human dilemma of sin. It goes beyond what we feel to what we hear and choose to tune in.

The family word. (John 19:26-27) Jesus is magnifying family relationships as he hangs dying on the cross. Families today need encouragement and the cross reminds us that God wants us to care for each other.

The forgiveness word. (Luke 23:32-34) The forgiveness of Christ was at its very best when man was at his very worst. Jesus taught us to love our enemies and showed no limit to forgiveness. In broken relationships, God is not concerned with who’s right or wrong but with who will make the first move.

The futility word. (Matthew 27:45-46) Jesus’s words come from the depth of human experience. The greatest enemy of a Christian is not disease but despair. Jesus knows what it feels like to be forsaken. When you are at a loss for words, the Holy Spirit will groan on your behalf. (Romans 8:26)

The final word. (John 19:30) Jesus’s first recorded words were about doing His Father’s business and his final words spoke of the completion. Finishing strong is important.

Regardless of where you are today, the words of the cross can speak light into your life. Everything can be overcome by the words of the cross.

Dr. Earl H. Craig was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. He attended Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, on a golf scholarship. Dr. Craig has a Master of Theology and Doctorate of Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He served as Senior Pastor for over twenty years in three churches. Dr. Craig moved into stewardship ministry with RSI and became a Senior VP. This allowed him to be in over 130 churches a year for over 25 years. Dr. Craig has served on the Board of Directors for Dallas Baptist University, Mississippi College, Southwestern Seminary and Dallas Athletic Club. He and his wife Ann have been married for 50 years. They have a son and daughter and four grandchildren.


By Karen Polich

Shock rippled through many groups when Jesus’ tomb was found empty. Pastor Michael M. Cook shared an Easter message related to the shock of the resurrection. (Listen to the podcast here.) We can learn much from what happened when the tomb was empty.

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.  The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Matthew 28:1-8

What do you do when nothing will ever be the same? How do you explain the unexplainable?

The lesson is in the responses. Each group handled the situation differently. Beyond fear, the women remembered the words of Jesus. This remembrance brought them to joy. The guards fled, shared their story with the priests, then caved-in to the pressure, choosing dishonesty. The disciples were in a state of unbelief which led to examination before they moved to worship. When things don’t go according to our plans, we can find ourselves gripped by fear.

Our God has given us promises! Circumstances will not go away, but the joy of remembering brings us to a place of peace. This leads us to worship. – Michael M. Cook

Where do you find yourself today when it comes to the shock of the resurrection? Most of us would probably line up with the disciples. We may need to examine the truth again and again to erase our unbelief. Ultimately, we will worship what is most important to us. If it isn’t Jesus, we’ve got work to do.