Last week, we finished our What’s My Genius? series. If you missed any episodes, I encourage you to check them out – they are episodes 129 to 132.

This week, we pause for just a few minutes to prepare for Easter. It is hard to believe, but Easter is just around the corner, and as much as I don’t like it, I must admit that this year has been fast-paced.

My new role at work is taking off, and we now have a replacement for me on the West Coast – can I get an Amen!

Stepping Back

It was a cold night in the desert when nine months pregnant Mary rolled into Bethlehem with her husband, Joseph, on a starry December night.

They were looking for a room; however, no rooms were available. The only space available was a humble stable filled with smelly barn animals, hay, and maybe a fire if Joseph could get one going.

Mary was minutes away from giving birth to Jesus, and then it happened Jesus had arrived.

He didn’t come to fanfare but rather to the sweet sounds of pigs snorting, donkeys hee-hawing, cows mooing, and sheep doing what they do.

Meanwhile, the shepherds were visited by a heavenly choir and told to come to see the new King, and they bolted out of the pasture, leaving a dust cloud behind them.

The wise men had not yet come on the scene, and the promised Christ child was now living among us.

God’s rescue plan for each one of us had just been born.

Fast Forward – 33 years

It had been approximately 33 years since Jesus was born in that stable under a starry sky when the final part of the earthly rescue plan came to light.

In a little over a week, Jesus would be heralded by crowds as He came through Jerusalem, and then the world would be turned upside-down.

Lee Strobel

Lee Strobel was an investigative journalist and atheist who could not wrap his head around Jesus. His wife had found Jesus and was praying for him daily.

He approached “understanding Jesus” like a new story – he followed the lead. Each person he talked to pointed him to another piece of evidence. At the end of his investigative journey, he had one conclusion – Jesus did exist, and he needed to know him.

Since his conversion to Christianity, he has been a voice bridging the gap between the redeemed and the skeptic since he had a unique perspective.

Lee Strobel said,

“I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know who holds my future.”1

As we prepare for Easter, I want to remind us that without Christmas, there would be no Easter.

That’s right, Jesus came into the world on “Christmas,” His most important gift to us is the power to redeem us of our sins and give us eternal life with Him.

What will your response be?

Portraits of the Forgiven

This year, my Easter series is focused on encounters Jesus had with people. We will still hit big events like Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter, but along the way, we will step into a few encounters Jesus had with ordinary people.

I am excited to walk this daily journey with you beginning April 2 – Palm Sunday.


Lord, thank you for your blessings, grace, forgiveness, and goodness. Please give us the strength we need to go through this week, and as we prepare for Easter, please open our hearts to the message You want to share with us. Thank you most of all for your love and the gift of your Son – Jesus. Amen!

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Hi, I'm Dave Anthold. I am a small group leader, short-term missionary, and visual storyteller. You can read my story here.

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