Part One: My Private Nation

In the days and weeks preceding the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the high priest, Caiaphas, found his way into the story. He had an opportunity to stand in the presence of the Savior of the world, but refused to abandon his quest for control and surrender to his Creator. It’s easy to dismiss Caiaphas as a fool. But we’re also prone to resisting God and putting something else in his place.

Part Two: The Pretender

There’s something in us that wants to leverage God and his power for ourselves. We all try to get God in on our thing. We try to bargain with him through prayer, church attendance, giving, or short-term obedience. We promise to do what we think he wants us to do, if he will do what we want. In the Easter story, Judas was like that. He tried to get Jesus to do what he wanted, without regard for Jesus’ ministry and mission. That may seem ridiculous, but there’s a little Judas in all of us.

Part Three: Twelve Feet of Separation

When dreams don’t come true, we turn our frustrations toward God. When things don’t work out, nothing goes our way, and everyone else seems to have lives we can only dream of, we turn our frustrations toward God . . . or we stop believing. If you were taught to believe in a personal God who is all-knowing and all-powerful, how can you not turn our frustration on him when life gets difficult?