Dave Holland - Lover of Jesus, Friend of God, Author



Know Jesus Everday

God is preparing you for something more and He is patiently formulating  his plans with great forethought. You will find fulfillment only when you discover God’s purpose for your life.

Dave Holland lives to help people become more like Jesus. His life mission is to love God and love people. He has been serving God for 50 years and found that Jesus is the sole foundation of Christian living.

Dave studied the Gospel of Luke for over ten years while writing the first book in the Daily Jesus Series. Christmas Jesus is the first installment, followed by Every Day Jesus, covering the first four chapters of Luke. Thanks for joining us on this journey to know Jesus every day. His third book, Extraordinary Jesus, continues the devotional series in Luke 5-9. The series follows the format of a paragraph from Luke, followed by explanation and illustration, and concludes with a prayer.

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The Great Escape
BY Dave Holland

Deep in the bowels of the earth lies a stinking, burning, garbage dump for those who never worshipped God in truth. My name is Unholy, and I live in this hellhole. New arrivals usually bellyache, “someone’s made a mistake, I don’t belong here.” Or “I’m a good person. I don’t deserve this.” And my favorite, “I believe in the Big Guy upstairs, I’m not perfect, but I’m a decent person.” Welcome to Hades.

Hell stunk of sulfur that day. The essence of rotting eggs wafted through the gray haze of Hades as demons and all manner of horrific creatures poked and prodded the new arrival. Fresh meat to taunt gave them a sick pleasure. Laughing and kicking the corpse, the evil minions asked each other, “Who is he anyway?”

Lucifer laughed maniacally, “Jesus, ‘King of the Jews’ and now he’s mine, all mine.” Cackles of hisses and boos cascaded through the smokey caverns of hell. “This miserable, bleeding human was supposed to ‘save people from their sin,” he mocked. All the inhabitants of Hades reveled in their master’s contempt. Then the corpse moved.

Bloodied and beaten, Jesus rose, stretched, and preached to the captives of sin, death, and the grave, “Turn to God and believe in me.”

“Oh, you silly so-called Messiah, don’t you know I won? They’re mine forever.”

Ignoring the ancient liar, the Scarred One thundered, “I am the Lamb of God slain for the sins of the world. All who believe in me shall be saved.”

Satan smirked while admiring his fingernails. “Yet, here you are,”

Still tattered and bleeding, the Scarred One marched straight to Satan’s throne and snatched the keys of death and Hell. The Devil’s long claws grasped for the keys as he hissed, “only those who believe in you can leave this place, ask them and see.” Satan’s glowing eyes swept across the inferno, intimidating all who came under his threatening glare.

Christ urged the captives. “Turn from your ways and follow me.” 

A condemned human called out, “Follow you? Where are you going? You are here with us, locked in the dungeon of the dead. Why should we listen to you?”

“Behold my bleeding hands, put your hand in my pierced side. I died as a sacrifice for you and all humanity. Put your faith in me and I will deliver you from this place.”

At that moment, a breeze unlike any other swept through that stifling place. Even the demons smelled it. “What was that?” The imps cried.

A fallen angel sneered, “Shush foolish goblin, that is the Breath of Heaven.”

The Savior’s voice grew stronger as he rose, imploring the masses, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Look to me and be healed of your wounds. Come and I will deliver you from the torment of hate, doubt, and fear.”

The Spirit-Wind swirled with growing intensity and the Christ began to rise above the stench of death and the grave. “Believe in Me,” He called out, “and this day you shall be with me in Paradise.” And faith rose in our hearts.

“No!” Satan roared. “They’re mine. Their own guilt condemns these stupid, wretched humans.”

Jesus declared, “I redeemed them by paying with my life. We rise to go back to the Father and place my blood on the Mercy Seat.”

Christ arose by the power of the Holy Spirit, leading the captives to freedom. Multitudes followed him and his ragtag band ascended beyond the gates of Hell, above earth’s atmosphere, and through the portals of heaven.

Children played with strange animals, large and small. The smells of nature mixed with the aroma of Mama’s baking wafted on living breezes. Birds and butterflies introduced the music of heaven. A hummingbird hovered near my ear and whispered, “you are no longer Unholy, but you shall be called Holy in the Beloved.”

Multitudes of angelic creatures marveled at the spectacle parading into the Holy Place. They recognized the Son of the Highest, bloodied but unbroken. Seraphim gasped. “What manner of creatures are these with Him, still wreaking of sulfur and stained with guilt?”

Heaven hushed as the Lamb approached the brazen altar. Wiping His bloody hands there, the Christ moved to the Mercy seat. The Lamb of God lay there with His pierced side still bleeding.

“Boom” The scepter of the Great God pounded the golden floor of heaven.

“Innocent!” He shouted for all creation to hear. “The sinless blood of my Son paid the price for all who believe. He redeemed people from every kindred, tongue, and tribe. Forever.” The Ancient of Days stood from his throne. “Wash them in the golden laver of my truth and clothe them with the righteousness of my son.

The Father turned his gaze upon me. He said before all the heavenly masses, “Unholy, you are now made Holy by the blood of the Lamb.”

Heaven’s choirs stood on tiptoe and sang, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, for he has risen and redeemed humanity out of every kindred, tongue, and tribe.”

All the believers cried out, “Christ has risen. Christ has risen indeed.”


By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you…

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day… I Corinthians 15:2-5

For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 1 Peter 4:3-7

This is why it says:

“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”[

(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) Ephesians 4:8-11

And we have come to Jesus who established a new covenant with his blood sprinkled upon the mercy seat; blood that continued to speak from heaven, “forgiveness,” a better message than Abel’s blood that cries from the earth, “justice.” Hebrews 12:24

I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Revelation 1:18 (NKJV)

Something New
BY Dave Holland


On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.  Luke 24:1-12 (NIV)


Depression hung on them like a bitter aftertaste. Jesus is dead. Their feet dragged with disappointment and disillusionment. Jesus is dead. Duty called for them at the tomb to anoint His body because Jesus is dead.

Luke 24:1-12 unfolds like a short four-act play as the writer unveils the greatest event in history. The first act shows us a group of dejected women creeping dutifully to the rock cave, supposedly housing the dead remains of Christ. Someone had to embalm him, so these faithful women summoned the courage and ingredients to prepare Him for the grave. I’m guessing they were numb with grief, putting one foot in front of the other to do what had to be done.

In the second act, the women discovered that Christ’s body was gone–they surely felt shocked and perhaps angry. Imagine going to the mortuary to say goodbye to your dead grandfather before the funeral. You open the casket to look at him one more time, and the casket is empty. I doubt that resurrection would be the first thing coming to mind.

Act III begins abruptly as light suddenly erupts in the tomb and two men clothed with lighting flash into the cave. Trust me when I tell you they didn’t beam down from a spaceship. God, the Holy Spirit, raised Jesus from the dead and He left two angelic witnesses to clue these poor humans in. The heavenly men said in Luke 24:5, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”

Really? Yes, really. Just like Jesus said, “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” (Luke 24:7).

The ladies did not find him because they were not looking with eyes of faith. Jesus told the disciples plainly in Luke 9:21-22, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

The last act of this drama shows us the disciples huddled in fear and doubt. If they believed His words, they would know he was not in the grave. They would expect to see Him risen and alive.

How often do we seek Jesus in the graveyard? Have we been looking in the wrong places, in the dead reservoirs of religion, entertainment, or sports? Does grief, worry, or relationships consume our thoughts blinding us to the fact JESUS IS ALIVE?

German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “After death something new begins, over which all powers of the world of death have no more might.” Jesus is now walking among us doing His great work in the unseen realm.

Something new has begun in us because Jesus is alive. Open your eyes of faithJesus  and behold, the Living Christ is doing something new in you.

Stone Cold Reality
BY Dave Holland


“They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’”

“When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, ‘Do you have anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.” Luke 24:36-43


Nothing’s meaner than death. When my brother died at fifty-two years of age, all the hope for his life vaporized in a moment. After the failed surgery, his humor and laughter left forever. My heart broke for what could have been.

Surely death comes for us all, even Jesus.

In Luke 23, we find Jesus buried in Joseph’s tomb. Lying in the stone-cold reality of death, the Roman guards closed the rock cave of a tomb and sealed the entrance with a massive stone. The guards probably anticipated a boring night.  

Two grieving women approached the tomb at dawn, expecting to prepare Christ’s body for burial. Instead, they found the guards asleep, the stone rolled away, and a pair of glowing angels saying, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (v. 24:5) Wait, what? Where’s Jesus?

Later that night, the grieving disciples huddled in fear. The women’s report was too incredible for the disciples to grasp. Then Cleopas burst into the room, claiming he talked to Jesus on the road to Emmaus.

That’s when IT happened. A walking, talking dead man appeared in the room. “Peace be to you, He says, for they were terrified.” (dh) No kidding.

Jesus said, “Look at my scarred hands and feet. Touch me. I’m not a ghost or a fantasy. I’m alive,” (dh). Their stone-cold reality of death stood before them clothed in flesh and bones, alive.

Demonstrating both his divinity and humanity, he rose in bodily form. Just look at his man-sized appetite. It is as if he is saying, “This resurrection business is hard work. I’ve been to hell and back, and I’m hungry. Peter, will you pass the fish?” (dh). Their grievous reality of death turned into a marvelous manifestation of life. Jesus is alive, and man is he real.

There are moments in life that change everything. Births, marriages, and deaths are three of the big ones. But when the truth of a resurrected Jesus penetrates our doubts and we decide to believe in Christ, amazing starts to happen. Our eternal destiny transforms from the stone-cold reality of eventual death into a warm, pulsating faith.

Over five hundred people saw the dead Savior alive. Though persecuted, tortured, and threatened with death, these believers would never deny what they saw. Thus, there is more legal evidence supporting Christ rose from the dead than there is for Julius Caesar even existing.

The most astounding fact in human history is that Jesus rose from the dead. This truth has divided people into two groups for thousands of years. Christians and non-Christians, believers and unbelievers. All must choose what they are going to believe.

Christian author Brennan Manning says in his book, Abba’s Child, “For me the most radical demand of Christian faith lies in summoning the courage to say yes to the present risenness of Jesus Christ.” Saying yes not only requires faith but also a response of obedience.

Jesus is saying to you, “Look at me through the eyes of faith. Touch my scars, know that I am real and alive,” (dh). Look at his hands, feet, and scars as evidence of his love for you. The first step of faith is responding to the intimate reality of your living Lord. Christ not only died for you, he lives for you.

Episcopalian pastor Phillips Brooks says. “Christ’s resurrection gives me the hope and certainty that I will one day rise to be with him. Let every man and woman count himself immortal. Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let him say not merely, ‘Christ is risen,’ but ‘I shall rise,’” I’m thankful that my brother believed in Christ and though his death was a great disappointment, he is in heaven now.

Imagine Jesus stepping into your living room and saying, “Look at me, touch me, believe in me.” 

Just tell him, “Yes, Lord, I believe.”


(quotes followed with dh are my translation of Christ’s conversation in this passage.)

The Tomb of Darkness
BY Dave Holland

The Tomb of Darkness


Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. Luke 23:50-56


The tomb breathes cold, clammy air. The cave shrouds the dead body and cradles Christ’s dead body like the swaddling clothes that welcomed Him into the world. His dead body lies still all night.

Imagine he lay asleep resting, it was the Sabbath after all. I have been in that tomb and it is not a place you want to hang around. The cavernous tomb is closed, dirty, and makes you claustrophobic. How would you feel resting in a sealed crypt waiting?

The cross of Calvary had done its cruel work to our Master and Joseph of Arimathea was the one who dealt with the lifeless, bloody body of Christ. Joseph was well-to-do, highly educated and esteemed as a holy man. He was a member of the national religious leadership body called the Sanhedrin. By touching a dead body he disqualified himself from worship the next day. How did he feel lifting Jesus’ body?

Curiously, the scriptures refer to this time as the Preparation for the Sabbath. Surely the Law and the Prophets were preparation for this moment. Over fifteen hundred years the Jews had rested on the Sabbath in anticipation of this very day, yet only Joseph and a few women were present. Can you imagine the grief that gripped their hearts as they wrapped clean linen around his body? They worked in haste on Friday as no work could be done from Friday sundown to Sunday morning.

Grief slowed the work of Joseph and the women. Their mindless motion slowed them to a crawl, yet they did as much as they could before sundown. Then they hurried home to weep and wait until Sunday to finish the morbid work of embalming the Resurrection and the Life.

It’s hard to summon your faith when it feels lifeless? Jesus is gone. Hope is shattered, your future in shambles, your body aching with despair, those are the times when you decide who or what you really believe in. Those are the times of preparation for something more.

Joseph and the women summoned a lot of faith that day–they handled Christ’s dead body and did what needed to be done. All the evidence of defeat was lying on a stone slab in the tomb without the slightest flutter of life.

Quiet, grievous waiting is their groundwork. The Greek word translated “preparation” above is the same word used in Ephesians 6:15 where Paul admonishes Christians to have their feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. In Christ tomb lay the body and blood that would pay the price for our atonement. The anger of God toward our sin would be appeased and peace with God was purchased for us.

Holy Saturday then acknowledges those of us struggling between post-traumatic defeat and pre-resurrection hope. This is a day of loss, but also a day of quiet hope. Psalm 15 reminds us, For you will not leave my soul among the dead, nor let your beloved know decay.

Can you still believe when you are grieving, and all is silent? Can you have faith when your body seems to be dead, and you didn’t get what you expected out of life? Turn to Jesus like Joseph and the women did.

Say with me, “Rest well today my Savior, for tomorrow there is a stone to be moved, a grave to be conquered and a light to be shone on those who lay in darkness.