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Books: A book to dwell in during the lead-up to Easter

Rich Wounds small

DAVID ADAMS reads David Mathis’ Rich Wounds

David Mathis
Rich Wounds: The Countless Treasures of the Life, Death, and Triumph of Jesus
The Good Book Company, US, 2022
ISBN-13: 978-1784986841

Lent has begun and among the new resources to encourage people to spend some time reflecting on Christ in the build-up to Easter is David Mathis’ Rich Wounds.

Rich Wounds


“This is a book to dwell in, one to take your time over, and one to make some space in your schedule for. Good, meaty stuff to meditate on as walk towards Easter.”

Taking its name from a phrase in Matthew Bridges 1851 hymn, Crown Him With Many Crowns, this devotional book features 30 chapters which look at aspects of the life, death and “triumph” of Christ before focusing on Passion Week itself with an entry on each day from Palm Sunday through to Easter Sunday.

Mathis is a pastor and executive editor of the John Piper website and well-schooled to illuminate, with constant reference to the Scriptures, insights based around these themes. We learn from the life of Christ, for example, that sleep is a divine gift, but one which sometimes needs to be sacrificed in order to live out the calling God might have on our lives at a particular time. We are told, too, that while many came to Christ to see miracles, “Jesus never self-identified as a miracle-worker”. “He was a teacher,” Mathis writes, “whose words amazed his hearers as much as his healings, and more.”

Others among his reflections include a look at five beneifts Christ purchased for us through His death on the Cross, a look at five ways in which the New Covenant contrasts with the Old, and the absolute centrality of the Cross of Christ in the Christian life which is, according to Mathis, why Paul writes in I Corinthians that he “decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Not, says Mathis, “because his preaching was narrow and constrained but because the cross is so deeply significant and all-pervasive.” 

There’s also a fascinating look at a passage concerning Christ contained in the Old Testament Book of Daniel, an interesting reflection on the scars on Jesus’ hands and feet, and a different take on what Mathis describes as perhaps Jesus’ most controversial claim: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

As one would expect with a devotional resource, each of the chapters is written in a concise style and ends with a prayer and a Scripture reference based around the theme. The book closes with an indepth look at the call on our lives with specific reference to another 19th century hymn, Henry Francis Lyte’s Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken.

This is a book to dwell in, one to take your time over, and one to make some space in your schedule for. Good, meaty stuff to meditate on as walk towards Easter.

This article contains an affiliate link. 



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