Sight Magazine – Books: A book to ponder in the lead up to Easter

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David Mathis
Rich Wounds: The countless treasures of the life, death and triumph of Jesus
The Good Book Company, USA, 2022
ISBN-13: 978-1784986841

Lent has begun and among the new resources to encourage people to spend time reflecting on Christ in preparation for Easter is David Mathis Rich wounds.

“It’s a book to linger in, one to take your time in and one to make room in your schedule. Good meaty things to ponder as you walk into Easter.”

Taking its name from a phrase in Matthew Bridges’ 1851 hymn, Crown him with many crownsthis devotional book comprises 30 chapters which examine aspects of the life, death and “triumph” of Christ before focusing on Passion Week itself with entry each day from Palm Sunday to Sunday of Easter.

Mathis is a pastor and editor of John Piper’s website desiringGod.org and well educated to illuminate, with constant reference to Scripture, ideas based on these themes. We learn from the life of Christ, for example, that sleep is a divine gift, but one that sometimes has to be sacrificed to live out the call God might have on our lives at any given time. We are also told that although many came to Christ to see miracles, “Jesus never identified himself as a miracle worker.” “He was a teacher,” writes Mathis, “whose words astonished his listeners as much as his healings, and more.”

Others among his reflections include a look at five benefits Christ gained for us through his death on the cross, a look at five ways the new covenant contrasts with the old, and the absolute centrality of the cross of Christ. in the Christian life which It is, according to Mathis, why Paul writes in I Corinthians that he “decided to know nothing of you that Jesus Christ and him crucified. No, says Mathis, “because his preaching was narrow and constrained, but because the cross is so deeply meaningful and pervasive.”

There’s also a fascinating look at a passage about Christ from the Old Testament book of Daniel, an interesting reflection on the scars on Jesus’ hands and feet, and a different take on what Mathis describes as perhaps the most controversial statement of Jesus: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

As you would expect with a devotional resource, each of the chapters is written in a concise style and ends with a prayer and a Bible reference based on the theme. The book ends with a thorough examination of the call on our lives with specific reference to another 19th century hymn, Henry Francis Lyte Jesus, I took up my cross.

It’s a book to linger in, one to take your time and one to make room in your schedule. Good meaty things to ponder as you walk towards Easter.

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