Friday, May 13, 2011

Book Review: The Passion of Christ: 50 Reasons He Came To Die by John Piper

We read this book as a church for the 50 days leading up to Easter. The subtitle is “50 Reasons Why He Came to Die,” and it consists of 50 one-page “devotionals” looking at the death of Christ from all kinds of angles. All straight from Scripture. I believe Jesus came to die for my sins, and I believe His death on the cross paid for my sins, but I had never thought so deeply about His death and all the aspects of what it means. Some of the reasons I knew- to reconcile us to God; to show His own love for us; to become a ransom for many; for the forgiveness of our sins; to take away our condemnation. But I just hadn’t quite thought about them so clearly or in the depth with which Piper explains them. Others weren’t necessarily new, but I had just never really thought about them or looked at them as such- to heal us from moral and physical sickness; to make His cross the ground of all our boasting; to give marriage its deepest meaning; to free us from bondage to the fear of death. 

Before reading this book if you had asked me to list reasons Jesus came to die, I definitely would have come far short of 50, and so I am thankful to have gained a much richer understanding of the cross of Calvary through Piper’s writing. I highly recommend this book. It’s simple yet profound, and it will undoubtedly increase your understanding of and appreciation for the death of Jesus. Oh how much more I see my need for Him now! I found it a wonderful way to prepare my heart for Easter, and I think I might start a tradition of reading this each year during the weeks leading up to Easter. What better way to prepare our hearts than to fix our eyes on the cross? 

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