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Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter

by Nancy Guthrie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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313480,353 (4.62)1
Easter readings that encourage thoughtful contemplation of the cross and deepen people's experience of the resurrection, collected from the writings and sermons of 25 classic and contemporary theologians and Bible teachers.
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Not a particularly engaging book. Although, I ended up giving it up halfway through, just because I didn't find it sufficiently interesting. ( )
  aevaughn | Apr 21, 2014 |
As we approach Easter, Christians everywhere remember Christ’s sufferings on the old, rugged cross and the triumph of his resurrection. Indeed, the symbol of the cross is one of the few near universal Christian symbols. Protestants, Catholics and those who view themselves as neither, still cling to the cross. The gospel depends on it, Jesus’ earthly life is shaped by it, the Four Gospels almost speak of nothing else. Salvation depends on it, and sanctification is fed by it. And with Paul, we all should seek to boast in nothing but the cross or our Lord Jesus Christ.

For this reason I was thrilled at the opportunity to review a book like Nancy Guthrie’s Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter. I assumed it would be a good read since it is a compilation of several prominent church leaders, contemporary (Tim Keller, John Piper, Ligon Duncan, Phil Ryken and John MacArthur) and from years past (Augustine, Luther, Calvin, J.C. Ryle and Charles Spurgeon). Yet, the book excelled far beyond my expectations, high though they were.

Nancy Guthrie did a phenomenal editing job in piecing together various meditations on the Cross into a wonderfully unified book. And the selections she chose were truly the best of the best that these authors had to offer. Finding each of these was an amazing accomplishment in its own right.

Here’s a small sampling of the topics covered in this small volume. Martin Luther challenges us to find a proper view of self in light of the Cross. Alistair Begg ponders the innocent Christ being crushed by God. C.J. Mahaney unpacks the weightiness of the cup that Jesus chose to drink completely for us. R. Kent Hughes shows the Biblical theological background to the symbolism inherent in Jesus’ betrayal in the garden at Gethsemane. Spurgeon marvels that the Lord of the Universe allowed sinners to spit in his face, and he chillingly shows that we too have tragically spit in his face. J.C. Ryle wants us to find ourselves in the Sufferings of Christ. Martyn Lloyd-Jones focuses on Christ’s destruction of the Devil. John Calvin points out the connection between the Passover Lamb and Christ as shown in the blood and water flowing from his side. Jonathan Edwards shows Christ’s sacrifice as not merely satisfying God’s wrath, but accruing merit in that it was a sweet smelling, acceptable offering to God. Tim Keller explains how resurrection power should transform our lives.

In all of this, our focus should not be on the human authors Nancy compiles. Rather each are gifted with the ability and graced with the desire to show forth Christ in all His beauty and glory. And such a feast, an extended meditation on our Savior, Jesus Christ, is appropriate not merely for Easter and Passion Week, but all the year, and all the days of our life, long.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of this fantastic book, start it this Easter and let the message of the Cross grip your heart in the weeks following. This will surely be a devotional book I’ll pick up again and again.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by Crossway Books for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.

An expanded version of this review is available at CrossFocusedReviews.com, where you can find book excerpts, giveaways, promotional offers, audio reviews and more. ( )
  bobhayton | Aug 16, 2010 |
I had the pleasurable experience of reading a book and reviewing a book that was a solid collection of devotional material published by Crossway. It’s titled Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter and is edited by Nancy Guthrie and contains 25 sermon or book excerpts about the suffering and exaltation of Jesus Christ. Guthrie’s collection features recent writings from pastors, theologians and authors like Adrian Rogers, Ligon Duncan, John Macarthur, John Piper, and Tim Keller. But it also features several “classic” sermon excerpts from the past: Augustine, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, and Jonathan Edwards.

Each of the readings are full of thoughtful and encouraging contemplation of the cross and help deepen people’s experience of the resurrection. It’s a great read for Easter. Most of the chapters are about 3 to 4 pages which give many different perspectives to look at the cross.

The topics range from Martin Luther challenges us to find a proper view of self in light of the Cross. Alistair Begg ponders the innocent Christ being crushed by God. C.J. Mahaney unpacks the weightiness of the cup that Jesus chose to drink completely for us. Spurgeon marvels that the Lord of the Universe allowed sinners to spit in his face, and he chillingly shows that we too have tragically spit in his face. J.C. Ryle wants us to find ourself in the Sufferings of Christ. Martyn Lloyd-Jones focuses on Christ’s destruction of the Devil. John Calvin points out the connection between the Passover Lamb and Christ as shown in the blood and water flowing from his side. Jonathan Edwards shows Christ’s sacrifice as not merely satisfying God’s wrath, but accruing merit in that it was a sweet smelling, acceptable offering to God. Tim Keller explains how resurrection power should transform our lives and many others to read.

How easy it is for even the most well-intended Christian to rush from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday without thoughtfully contemplating the cross and all that it means. So that we all may linger at the cross during the Lenten season—and stay near it the whole year through—editor Nancy Guthrie has compiled this special anthology which is a great read. Oh, what we miss out on when we rush past the cross of Christ. Oh, the richness and reward when stop to linger before it, when we take the time to “consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself” (Hebrews 12:3). In a culture where crosses have become commonplace as architecture and jewelry, how we need to truly gaze upon the cross of Christ in all its ugliness and beauty, in its death and in its healing, in the painful price paid there, and in its free gift of grace. Jesus, keep us near the cross. ( )
  moses917 | Jul 23, 2010 |
“In a culture where crosses have become little more than fashion accessories, it’s easy for even the best-intentioned among us to rush from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday without contemplating all that the cross means.”; this book helps us to understand exactly that. Editor Nancy Guthrie assembled twenty-five short works and sermons on the wonders and victory of the sacrifice of Christ. A few examples of the short chapters are: Saint Augustine - Peace Be unto You, Martin Luther – True Contemplation of the Cross, and Tim Keller - Knowing the Power of His Resurrection.
  DLUC | Mar 1, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nancy Guthrieprimary authorall editionscalculated
AugustineContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Augustine, SaintContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Begg, AlistairContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boice, James MontgomeryContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calvin, JohnContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duncan, J. LigonContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edwards, JonathanContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, R. KentContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keller, Timothy J.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lloyd-Jones, MartynContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luther, MartinContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacArthur, JohnContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mahaney, C. J.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olford, Stephen F.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ortlund, Raymond C. Jr.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Owen, JohnContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Packer, J. I.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piper, JohnContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rogers, AdrianContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ryan, Joseph "Skip"Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ryken, Philip GrahamContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ryle, J.C.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaeffer, Francis A.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sproul, R.C.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spurgeon, Charles H.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tada, Joni EarecksonContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Easter readings that encourage thoughtful contemplation of the cross and deepen people's experience of the resurrection, collected from the writings and sermons of 25 classic and contemporary theologians and Bible teachers.

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A collection of brief meditations on the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ by 25 well-known Christian theologians and leaders, adapted and edited by Nancy Guthrie.
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