GOOD FRIDAY: From the nail on the cross to the Final Four

by Joni B. Hannigan, Editorial Staff |
Jerusalem. | Joni B. Hannigan/FILE PHOTO/ Houston

HOUSTON (Christian Examiner) – On Good Friday, as you contemplate Christ's death on the cross and prepare to celebrate His resurrection on Sunday, consider these stories and how they might speak to you about pain and suffering, humankind's total dependence on God, of the hope found in the Good News of Christ:

This heel bone found in the ossuary of Yehohanan ben Hagkol, dating to the time of Christ, was still pierced with a large nail. | Courtesy the Israel Museum/Ilan Shtulman

1. What is the evidence of Christ's resurrection?  As Easter approaches, this reminds us that "proof of the resurrection will not be found in a museum," rather "'faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.'"

2. Unbroken 'Legacy of Faith' DVD tells of Zamperini's decision to follow Christ The story of Louis Zamperini reminds us there are no trials that God does not know or care about, and that ultimately it is through Him we are able to forgive even the worst offenders.

3. REVIEW: 'Do You Believe?' a powerful follow-up to 'God's Not Dead'  Joy mingles with pain as we watch fragmented individuals come to realize their total dependence on a Savior for beautiful and ultimately fulfilling lives.

A boy injured during an attack by the Islamist group al Shabaab recuperates at a hospital in Mogadishu, March 28, 2015. | REUTERS/Ismail Taxta

4. Iraqi child asks God to forgive ISIS  From the mouth of babes comes this short, uplifting story to remind us that even in the depths of pain, there is forgiveness and hope.

5. Book shares Gospel for those who don't get it  The greatest story ever told is made simple through a man who gets that not everyone has the same background and entre' into the Christian life and culture. His evangelistic book of Christ's death, burial and resurrection masquerades as a children's book for adults.

6. Egypt beheadings prompt handout 1.5 mil Scripture leaflets When even what some might see as the ultimate insult, and despair at the worst news -- others realize the joy of knowing God is Sovereign and in control.

7. Ten years later: Terri Schiavo prompts horrible reflections of a so-called 'beautiful' death  This column takes us through an account of what really happened in the case of Terri Schiavo, the woman at the center of a right-to-life case, and turns our thoughts towards her suffering, and the ultimate question of what happens after we die. It causes us to question how much we value life.


8. Rick Warren asks for prayer on Easter, the anniversary of his son's death  In a simple plea for prayer, just days ago, Rick Warren, pastor of one of the largest evangelical churches in the nation, humbly asks for prayer to get through Easter Sunday – knowing this year the days falls on the anniversary of the day his 26-year-old son took his own life. While we pray for Warren and his family, might we also think of how many suffer similarly through the holidays – and how much grace and hope God offers.

9. FINAL FOUR: Michigan Travis Trice nothing short of a miracle An Easter weekend special is the wonderful story of Travis Trice who was able to take his first breath because of a teenage mom who refused to give in an abort him. The story gets even better!

10. Five Christian Easter & Good Friday ideas  Finally, for the littlest among us – let's have some FUN while teaching solid biblical concepts that turn our hearts towards the hope we know in Christ. This sourced story leaps into five more, which explode into even more ideas!

Joni B. Hannigan is a senior writer/editor at Christian Examiner. She is the former managing editor of Florida Baptist Witness, the official state paper of the Florida Baptist Convention, and an adjunct professor at California Baptist University.


Anne Graham Lotz: 'Forgive one another'