Lately, I’ve been sick of books with a lot of “fluff”.
I stopped reading self-help books a couple of years ago when I started following Jesus again. Most of those books were about how to better myself, when I know now that I need less of me and more of Him.
But what I never knew is how hard finding a good Christian book is.
Trust me, there are a lot out there, don’t get me wrong. However, ever since I started following Jesus, I wanted to learn more about the Bible. But I also need to know how to apply the Bible into my everyday life. However, most books were either strictly deep biblical teaching, or strictly Christian living.
Joby Martin changes that with the book “If the Tomb is Empty: Why the Resurrection Means Anything is Possible.”
Note: This book was given to the writer of this article at no cost. However, 1.) opinions are strictly my own, and 2.) this was a book on my to-read list either way, so you would have heard my opinion regardless! Thanks for your understanding as I review this book.
This is the first book that I have read that reads easily while providing deep theological moments throughout the book.
Joby Martin mixes all of the following into this well-written book:
- personal parts of his past
- current events
- studies of parts of the Bible at a deep level
- meanings of original text (Hebrew or Greek)
It’s hard to balance all of that in one book, but Pastor Joby seems to do this effortlessly.
Some of my favorite moments from the book
We hear it often in Bible studies or church sermons about John 15:1–2. In that verse it says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is my vine dresser. Every branch in May that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes.”
Joby Martin explained it to me in a new way:
“Have you ever pruned a rosebush? To do it right, you Cut off everything that’s pretty. Everything about which the rosebush might brag. And you take it down to the larger stems and trunk. Leaving the bush bare. Nubs. And then you wait until spring. And what emerges is more beautiful than what came before. God prunes those he loves. Including Abraham and you and me.“ (pg 22)
Explanations of the mountains
From reading the title, I thought this book would be all about the resurrection. Wow, I was wrong! Joby Martin uses the WHOLE Bible to show how powerful the resurrection was. One way he does this is talks about Bible passages that have to do with the different mountains in the Bible.
He gives a deeper explanation of Abraham going to sacrifice Isaac than I’ve ever read before, and uses that to explain in deeper detail just how much it means that Jesus sacrificed His life for us.
In book reviews I normally write both the good and the bad about the book I have read. I cannot find anything negative to say about this book. Joby Martin did an extraordinary job bringing the resurrection to life, as well as connecting all parts of the Bible to the resurrection.
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Jessie Synan is a Master’s student in Biblical Studies who helps other women find their prayer focus in a distracted world. She went from her ADHD interfering with her prayer life to finding her own unique rhythms for prayer and encouraging other women to do the same. She is the founder of Pray With Confidence, which has helped over 5000 women focus on prayer through the real and vulnerable advice she gives to those on her email list when they sign up for the free guide “How to pray [when you can’t focus.]”