Hey, hey! Welcome back to another season of Live Like It’s True! This season, we’re discussing the True Story of Easter.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus didn’t tie everything together for his disciples? Why did Jesus not simply say, “I’m God’s Son. I’m here to die for you so that you can be reconciled with God and have eternal life”? That’s the question I’m exploring, as we kick off a new season of the podcast, focused on the True Story of Easter.
Where else can I listen to the podcast?
FREE RESOURCE: The Live Like It’s True Workbook
- “About Me” (Which includes a new family photo.)
- Comparison Girl: Lessons from Jesus on Me-Free Living in a Measure-Up World
- Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control From Seven Women in the Bible
- Finding the Lost by Kenneth Bailey
- Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg
Music: Cade Popkin Music
The Climax of the Story
As you know, every good story has an opening, conflict, climax and resolution. As we look at the overarching story that the Bible tells, the story of Easter—of Jesus, God’s son, dying on a cross, being placed in a tomb, and rising from the dead—this is the climax of the story. In so many ways, the whole Old Testament points forward to this part of the story. And our New Testament points backward to this story. And our whole future with God rests on the importance of this part of the story. It’s the climax.
And in some ways it’s the resolution. Because after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, he sat down—signifying that his work was finished. But in other ways we’re still waiting for the resolution.
The end of the story is set in motion and it can’t be deterred, but we’re still longing for the resolution of the story when Jesus returns, takes his rightful throne, purges our world of sin, and opens the next eternal chapter for us in the new earth. Yet even then, Easter is what we’ll still be talking about. It’s the climax of it all.
The Astonishing Story of Easter
In the history of the world, there is no darker day than when the Light of the World was snuffed out, that day on the cross. And there’s nothing more incredulous than the Creator of life tasting death. And there’s nothing more astonishing than him rising from the dead! So in this season, we’re going to take small fragments of the Easter story and talk about the astonishing implications of what we’re reading.
Why is Jesus so amazing? And why are these reactions to Jesus so astonishing?
Our storytelling God has given us a story worth reveling in. Easter is astonishing. It’s fitting for us to revel in the way this jaw-dropping story unfolds.
The Mysterious Story of Easter
Easter is also a mystery! God could have written a document which delineated the ten theological implications of the cross. Instead, he let this story unfold like a mystery! Think this big thought with me: Not a single person on earth truly understood the significance of what was happening when Jesus of Nazareth died on the cross between those two thieves. The people didn’t understand, the Roman soldiers didn’t understand, the religious leaders didn’t understand. It was a mystery! And the only person who truly understood its significance was Jesus.Not a single person on earth truly understood the significance of what was happening when Jesus of Nazareth died on the cross between those two thieves. It was a mystery! Click To Tweet
The “Show Don’t Tell” Story of Easter
Here’s the part that amazes me most. Jesus didn’t tie everything together for the disciples. Isn’t that what you’d expect? I keep watching for the moment when Jesus gathers the disciples who love Him to say, “Okay guys, here’s the deal. You know the temple system where you sacrifice the lambs as the sin offering? And remember how John the Baptist called me the ‘Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’? Those lambs are my idea. I was giving you a concrete image for something spiritually significant…”
I expect Jesus to sit down and draw all of those connections between the symbolism and the history and what was unfolding. But Jesus was never quite that overt.
Now, he did tell them that he was going to die. He did tell them about his coming kingdom. He even tore some bread and said, “This is my body, broken for you…” And he held up an empty cup and said, “This is my blood, poured out for you…” But it was all imagery and symbolism and parable. Why? I think it’s because our God is a storyteller who has mastered, “show, don’t tell”. He loves to let the story unfold.
Season Two: The True Story of Easter
So in season two, we’re going to look at this True Story of Easter and it’s rich implications for this overarching story of God that we are all part of.
So here’s what’s coming up:
- Mary Kassian and I will talk about the True Story of Lazarus
- Erin Davis and I will talk about the True Story of the Lamb
- Lee Nienhuis and I will talk about the True Story of Judah
- Lindsay Schott and I will talk about the True Story of the Arrest
- Asheritah CiuCiu and I will talka bout the True Story in the Dark
- Erika VanHaitsma and I will talk about the True Story of the Empty Tomb
I can’t wait to share these conversations with you! Each one was so helpful and inspiring to me, personally. You can watch for these to drop each Wednesday.
I’m trying something new, here in Season 2. Each Saturday I’ll be sharing an additional “retelling” episode. This is where I’ll point out some of the storytelling themes that I used the midroll section for in season one. I’ll also put it in my own words, and simply retell the story to you. My hope is that in hearing me tell the story, you might be encouraged to learn to retell the story yourself.
I hope you’ll take some time with the passage, and practice telling the story to yourself. Maybe you’ll want to challenge yourself to retell each of these stories to someone else each week and built your storytelling muscles. But for sure, I want to challenge you to tuck the story away in your heart so that you can retrieve it, revel in it, and give it away.
Why Focus on Storytelling?
I said this in season one, but it bears repeating. When God chose Abraham, he also chose Abraham’s language to reveal himself with: The Hebrew language. It’s a language that uses fewer words and more concrete images. For instance, in season one I quoted from Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg and told you that the Hebrew language doesn’t have a word for proud; instead they use “stiff necked” to talk about pride. And there’s no word for stingy, so instead they describe a stingy person as someone with a “bad eye” who can’t even see the person next to them who is in need.
So God chose a language and people who use imagery, metaphor, and story to communicate the most important messages. As western thinkers, we think of stories as less sophisticated. We use logic and argument and deductive reasoning to present our most important ideas. We think of the building logic of our argument as the main thing, and the story as the supporting illustration.
Middle Eastern thinkers are just the opposite. Linguist and commentator Kenneth Bailey says, “In the Middle East, from the beggar to the king, the primary method of creating meaning is through the creative metaphor and story.” So God chose to reveal himself through a language and through a people group, who use share their biggest and most important ideas by telling stories.In the Middle East, from the beggar to the king, the primary method of creating meaning is through the creative metaphor and story. - Kenneth Bailey Click To Tweet
If God invites us to get to know him through stories, then we’ve got to become better story thinkers and story tellers! That’s what I want to help with—both in the True Story episodes each Wednesday, and then in the Retelling Episodes on Saturday.
The retelling episodes will be shorter—maybe ten to fifteen minutes. And they’ll help me keep the true story episodes, shorter, too. I hope you like this new format. As always, I’d love to hear what you think.
So are you ready to get started? I cannot wait to talk through the story of Easter with you. I hope you’ll subscribe, invite a friend, and let’s talk about how to—in ever increasing ways, know the story. We want to understand this story! But also share the story with others, and live like the story is true.
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Inside, you’ll find:
- The 4-page True Story Worksheet
- The 1-page True Story Worksheet
- 2-sided bookmark with Study and Story Tools
- False Narrative Watchlist
- “Awakening to the False Narratives”
- Four Reasons Journaling Prompt
- Storytelling Content Podcast Directory
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