The Herald and Banner Press also publishes a full line of Sunday school material. The 162′ by 46′ press building puts out about 200 miles of literature each quarter, and that material travels as far away as Australia — well over 10,600 miles away!
Monthly Archives: March 2010
By Mark Avery — General Manager and Editor at Herald and Banner Press and Bookstore in Overland Park, Kansas.
It was Easter! The first one! Only the two men walking toward Emmaus did not know that Jesus had risen. Discouraged and near hopeless, they trudged along, wondering what had gone wrong. What should their next step be?
The only stranger
That’s when He joined them. Cleopas and his unnamed friend didn’t recognize Him. And no wonder. Apparently He was the only stranger in Jerusalem and had somehow missed the significance of the events of the previous week. As their conversation continued, this stranger butted in. The two friends couldn’t believe how little this man knew about events that has so dramatically affect their lives.
Catching this stranger up on current events, they expressed their now dashed hopes that this crucified man would have been the long-awaited Messiah. They even talked about reports of an empty grave, visions of angels, speculation about a resurrection. Makes you wonder why they didn’t investigate.
The thorough explanation
That’s when the stranger interrupted again. Surely they must have been impressed with the stranger’s knowledge of the Old Testament as He started in the Books of Moses and continued through the Scriptures giving a thorough explanation of Himself and the events recently experienced.
Finally, arriving at Emmaus, a seven-mile walk from Jerusalem, they prepared to end their journey. The stranger appeared to continue His trip until they urged Him to stop for the night. Then as they prepared to eat, the stranger took charge. Recognizing His actions, their eyes were opened.
The open eyes
This was no stranger. He was Jesus! He had walked with them. Talked to them. Now they understood. Their load had lightened. Their hearts were glad. They saw Jesus! Alive! Ministering! And just as suddenly He was gone.
The fourteen miles
Immediately they started back to Jerusalem. Despite the seven-mile hike they had just taken. Despite the lateness of the time. The seven miles back to Jerusalem were not as challenging as the seven miles to Emmaus. Their hearts were light. Their spirits excited. Their friends at Jerusalem had to be told.
Earlier reports were accurate. Jesus was alive. Death and the grave had failed. Life reigned.
By Leta Witt — Pastor’ wife, serving on Herald and Banner Press Board of Publications
Recently reading the Easter story in the book of Matthew, I was struck with the actions of several of its main characters. These were people who knew Jesus, some more closely than others. They saw the miracles, heard His teachings and yet responded differently.
Jesus’ disciples traveled with Him, marveled at his ability to command the wind and sea, and distributed the loaves and fish to the multitudes. They learned what the parables really meant. These men were His friends, but they ran for their lives when the temple guards came to arrest Him. How could they do that?
The priests and religious leaders witnessed first hand Jesus’ power over deformities, evil spirits, and even death. Did not they not realize that this man was, at the very least, sent from the God whom they professed to serve? What an opportunity they missed! They could have learned so much from Jesus. However, their self-importance, their fear of losing their authority over the people and of losing what political rights they had with Rome blinded their eyes. They called for the crucifixion of the very Son of God? How could they do that?
And the ones who guarded the tomb — of all people, they were the ones who knew the truth of the resurrection. They felt the earthquake, saw the angel, and witnessed the huge stone being rolled away. Those things did not normally happen during their duties. This had to be from God. Their response? They reported to the priests and obeyed the command to tell people that the disciples came and stole the body. Why did they not have the intestinal fortitude to tell the truth? Were they afraid they would lose their jobs? Whatever the reason, they spread their lies. How could they do that?
Thankfully, not everyone abandoned Jesus in the time of his humiliation. Many women and some disciples remained near the foot of the cross. Two men, Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus, carried his body to the tomb. They were willing to be associated with the crucified Man. After His resurrection, Jesus’ disciples and many others were so convinced of the divinity of Jesus that they spread the word throughout the known world and were even willing to die rather than to deny Him. How could they do that?
How about us today? It is becoming more and more politically incorrect to be a Christian. Will we dilute the gospel so that it is acceptable to today’s society? If not, what will we do in face of persecution? Will we deny Him, or will we gladly stand, voice our commitment to God and tell others how Jesus can change their lives? With God’s power, someday others may look at us and ask, “How can they do that?”