Finding Freedom at the Cross
by Jessica Herberger
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Pub Date 1 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 16 Aug 2022
Abilene Christian University Press & Leafwood Publishers, Leafwood Publishers
Daily stressors and large trials can make us think we need to manage life's circumstances as they unfold. But this quest for control comes with hidden pressures and leaves us yearning for freedom and peace. Isn’t there another way we can live?
In Life Surrendered, Jessica Herberger takes you through the account of Good Friday, following Jesus from the garden to the grave. Combining memoir with biblical and historical accounts, she helps us see with clarity the freedom available to those willing to unclench their fists, lay down control, and truly die in a new way. For those grasping to control their lives, the events of Good Friday offer a detailed account of how, through surrender, we can live differently. Join Jessica and find the freedom that comes with releasing control and learn how your life can be filled with more peace, less stress, and greater faith.
“In Life Surrendered, Jessica Herberger leads us along the way of suffering and draws us into Jesus’s last hours wrapped in humanity. We are asked to pause and consider how our own grief has shaped and is shaping our faith—an invitation Jessica, who has known deep grief, participates in alongside us. This moving account of Good Friday carries a gentle yet powerful message for the season of loss so many of us are living.”
—Deborah Beddoe, author of The Heart of Recovery: How Compassion and Community Offer Hope in the Wake of Addiction
“Jessica Herberger plumbs the depths of liberty and grace found in opening our clenched fists and yielding our lives fully to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. As she walks with us through the biblical account of Good Friday—the crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus—Jess wraps each moment in flesh-and-bone personality. We consider the fight found in Peter, the anguish of Judas, the care provided to Mary in the midst of the heartbreak. Each chapter offers a welcoming space for reflection and confession as we are invited to reconsider our perspective on what we value and what we hold dear.”
—Ronne Rock, long-road walker and author of One Woman Can Change the World
“Through her words and life, with an eye for God in the details, Jessica Herberger once again shows us that nothing was or is coincidental on the way to the cross. Life Surrendered beautifully weaves familiar scripture with fascinating historical details, insightful theology, and personal experience, taking readers on an open-handed journey through Good Friday to freedom found in Christ. The depths and ‘deaths’ of Good Friday examined in this book will change you.”
—Amy Morgan, author, speaker, and Cofounder of Seasons Northeast
“It’s tempting for Christians to skip over the agony of Christ’s passion, to race ahead to the gladness of Easter morning, yet our souls need to learn the lessons of the path to the cross. With deep faith and intimate knowledge of both life and death, Jessica Herberger is a trustworthy guide as we journey with Jesus. Her kind but firm words challenge and bless. I highly recommend Life Surrendered.”
—Richella J. Parham, author of Mythical Me and host of Friends in Formation
“In a time when the world seems obsessed with celebrity and influence, Jessica Herberger writes as a disciple. Her ability to climb inside scriptures as both learner and guide results in work that is at once authentic, wise, insightful, and challenging. While pop culture would have us believe surrender equates to defeat, Jessica demonstrates that surrender before Jesus brings freedom.”
—Adriel Booker, author of Grace Like Scarlett and host of Tethered and Our Scarlett Stories
“In the tradition of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Cost of Discipleship and Andrew Murray’s Absolute Surrender, Jessica Herberger challenges Christians to embrace a biblical vision of Christian surrender. Grounded in the Passion narratives of the Gospel’s, Life Surrendered calls the reader to move from shallow believism to a radical expression of what it means to walk the Way of Jesus the way Jesus walked the Way. Life Surrendered is faithful to God’s Word, relevant to the difficult challenges people face in daily life, and rooted in a historic understanding of genuine relinquishment. Jessica Herberger has given us a gift, refocusing our eyes and hearts upon the freedom that comes to us by way of the Cross of Christ.”
—Terry Wardle, Founder, Healing Care Ministries, and author of many books, including From Broken to Beloved
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 6 members
The book only covers the final days of Christ's life, but Jessica's treatment of it leaves no stone unturned..
Like a surgeon wielding instruments of life saving surgery, she helps the reader see the layers of doubt, presumption and control that we are all guilty of, and has led me to the point where I can humbly admit"
"I don't know the beauty that comes from dying. I don't know the joy that comes from serving. I don't know the freedom of not knowing God's timeline. And I surely don't know the abundance found in letting go of control." My prayer is that God will take me from where I am, and teach me these profound lessons, that I may present to Him, A Life Surrendered.
Deeper Max Lucado. This book is one whose overall tone and structure fans of Max Lucado - a guy who has been writing books for decades and who is so popular he is on grocery store bookshelves - will easily recognize. But it is also quite a bit deeper than Lucado generally goes, and Herberger here brings up some great points about the various deaths she discusses as she looks at Easter Weekend. Ultimately a truly solid book of its type, but likely without a truly universal appeal. Should do *very* well within the Christian nonfiction market though, where in fact it could be a breakout book - it really is that good. And timed well, with publication roughly 6 weeks before Easter 2022. Very much recommended.
Review for: Life Surrendered: Finding Freedom at the Cross by Jessica Herberger
Jessica Herberger accomplishes more in sixteen chapters than many volumes written on the ministry of death. I chose the term “ministry of death” because that is what this book is about to me. Herberger takes readers on a journey of observations from Good Friday to the resurrection. While she alludes to the topic of death in her opening chapters, her story of Jesus’ service with the apostles, during his trials, his walk to the cross, his death, and his triumphant resurrection gives every Christian today hope and peace in living our best life for God. I have personally read many “Cross” books over the years in my faith journey, my undergraduate and graduate work, but this one will be revisited many times throughout my life. Herberger is a relatable, everyday person who deals with tough human struggles in a most transparent way.
I identify with many Christians who feel the urge to respond to every criticism aimed at Christianity or God, or both. This is why chapter three, “You Don’t Need To Respond,” brought me much to chew on intellectually. Our Lord and Master did not feel the need to respond to the politically and spiritually lacking accusers at his trial. Why do I, as his follower, feel compelled to jump into every fight along the way? Herberger gives us a fresh perspective and reinforces life as peacemakers for Christians.
Without giving away much of the strength of her work, Herberger excels in building each step of Jesus in his journey to the cross into a life lesson that is relatable and powerful when we are on our knees. Further, the last section of the book dealing with death and the rewards in death exceeded my expectations. In my humble opinion, this book is a must-read for new babes in Christ as well as those who may be dealing with taking care of an elderly or sick loved one, maybe a nurse or doctor or any healthcare professional who witnesses death every day, and especially every Christian who will face death unless our Lord comes back in our lifetime. Do yourself a favor and buy this book for yourself and a loved one. You will not regret it.
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