Ignite the Pulpit
Today we celebrate the greatest gift that humankind has ever received: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. To understand that is to recognize the high stakes of man’s relationship with God.
About 3500 years ago (specifically, 11 April 1591 BC), the first ceremony of Passover took place. The Divine instruction about that event was clear: to kill a year-old unblemished lamb and eat it with bitter herbs and bread baked without yeast. God instructed the Hebrews also to paint their posts and lintels with the lamb’s blood. That night, God sent an avenging angel to roam Egypt and kill the first-born in every house that did not have this bloody mark on its door.
Every part of the Passover ceremony was a symbol of something else. But perhaps not even Moses, their leader and prophet, understood fully what it meant. Two particular symbols are important in this context:
- The unblemished lamb, a blameless victim offered in place of a guilty one.
- The blood, that protects the guilty from destruction.
None of the millions of people who took part in that original Passover could have suspected that some day, God would send His Son to sacrifice Himself in that way. But that is exactly what happened, more than fifteen hundred years later. Instead of bitter herbs, Jesus Christ drank grape juice mixed with bile. So when He said,
It is finished!
He didn’t mean the drink. He meant the mission He had come to earth to perform, at the cost of His life.
Sacrifices do not normally live again. But Jesus did. Three days and three nights after He perished on a wooden cross, came the Resurrection. That event was more than a demonstration of His Divinity. All men will undergo a similar Resurrection near the end of human history. It might be a resurrection to eternal life in God’s presence, or a resurrection into eternal punishment and separation from God. That is the choice that every human must make.
Jesus Christ offers hope. The Resurrection is the evidence of that hope. If the Resurrection did not happen, then all hope is gone; so Paul of Tarsus said again and again. But modern man can know that the Resurrection did happen. Those who saw it, stuck to their story even as Roman soldiers, gladiators, or wild animals killed them, usually in public. Evidence of a more pleasant nature is also available, as illustrated here.
Conservative News and Views wishes all its readers a joyous and pleasant opportunity to remember this greatest gift that God gave to man.
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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Conservative News and Views: He is risen, indeed!
Thank you for your Easter message! So true – that if the Resurrection did not happen, there is no hope. The whole Hebrew and Christian Scriptures fulfillment is wrapped up in the living person of the Lord Christ. This historical event is what not only distinguishes the Christian Faith above all other religious quests but, the Resurrection of Christ, etched in human history, evidences Christ the one true God, Eternal!
My Easter greetings to you:
“He is Risen!”
link to thechristianmessage.org
The entire story of Jesus is a mishmash of stories collected from different sources. The “Jesus of Nazareth” of your Christian fables certainly never existed. Educate yourselves here: link to jesusneverexisted.com
An awful lot of Roman historians would certainly beg to differ.
There isn’t a single contemporary history that mentions Jesus. Not one.
Don’t get me wrong – I hope you and your family had a very happy Easter. I certainly enjoyed the phone call from my nephew and nieces after their egg hunt. The whole egg thing is the giveaway, though. You’re celebrating a pagan ritual about the turning of the season and the coming of Spring. The story of Jesus’ resurrection was tagged on to the existing Jewish ceremony to fit in with pagan beliefs. It never actually happened.
Dio Cassius, Pliny the Younger,…
“Dio Cassius, Pliny the Younger,…”
I may well be wrong, I don’t have the texts to hand, but my recollection is that both of these authors refer to the activities and/or beliefs of Christians…neither of them refer to the existance or otherwise of the person of Jesus.
They still add up to making Jesus Christ the Best-attested Figure in all of human history.
rpeh: Re: Your April 9, 2012 at 6:15 am comment:
You say: “…..Christian fables?” That, Jesus, “…..never existed?” Are you out of your mind?
I almost didn’t respond to your comment, as I’m embarrassed for you. Even some atheists and agnostics recognize the historical Jesus of the Christian New Testament Scripture documents.
rpeh – As Terry intimated, you had better read some secular historians. Please return to this comment facility and recant your first comment posting, otherwise, most web readers who frequent this site and who read your future comments, will be forced to discount and dismiss those comments as having any plausible credibility.
Pastor Bickel, I’m entirely open minded on this subject as in every other. You suggest I “had better read some secular historians”. Please can you give me some examples?
I am always looking to expand my education, so if I have missed something I’ll gladly read it to fill the gap. I believe I’m fairly well-read in this area but if there’s a book or books that you think prove your point, tell me about it.
Please either post here or send your suggestions to Terry, who can pass then on to me using my registered email address.
I look forward to your suggestions.
rpeh: Re: Your April 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm comment:
With all due respect, you mention that you have an “open mind.” May I suggest that it is too open [leaking] to retain all the historical evidence that comes your way?
I can only think that nothing will convince you. As I suggested in my previous new posting referencing you and “nicosb,” it takes belief, which, I do not think you possess. Belief in both the historical and spiritual realities of Christian Faith can’t come by way of human reason. It takes the gift of divine revelation to make you aware of these precious realities.
You need the [type] faith of a farmer who plants his dead seed into the ground. That dead seed, once it is out of human sight, then germinates and becomes alive and brings forth a harvest. So, the New Testament Christian Scripture speaks of the “unseen” as being real, but the “seen” as being only temporal (fleeting). At present, you are only spiritually capable of experiencing that which is seen [temporal / fleeting].
I only hope and pray that you do not find yourself in the same future eternal predicament as the rich man in Christ’s one parable, – especially, since you’ve been exposed to the historical Hebrew and Christian Scripture documents which highlight the historical Christ, as your Savior from sin:
“Christ’s Parable of the Rich Man and Lazurus:”
link to biblegateway.com
You suggested that I read some “secular historians”. I politely asked for a list. Please can you supply it?
Happy Easter to all the believers.
I wonder if I may play devil’s advocate for a moment. Can a Christian please explain what rabbits, eggs, chicks and buns have to do with the story of Jesus? Or is it the fact that they result from the story of Easter being shoehorned onto an earlier pagan fertility rite?
Also, we all know the story of Jesus – born of a virgin, born in lowly surrounds, performed miracles, son of God, raised people from the dead, was crucified, resurrected and ascended into heaven.
You do realise that ALL of the above – and more – also apply to Buddha, Horus, Mithra, Dionysus… all of whose stories predates the Christian story by centuries. Coincidence, or creative license by later authors?
Now that is a decent question. The answer is: rabbits, eggs, and chicks have nothing to do with the story of Jesus. No one at CNAV says that they had. Emperor Constantine of Rome did conflated the ancient holidays of Rome and its provinces with Christian holidays. Saturnalia became “Christmas”; Lupercalia became “Valentine’s Day,” and the Festival of Astarte, aka Ishtar (which last name is pronounced Easter), became “Easter.” (And Samhain became “All Hallows Eve,” or “Hallowe’en.”)
Emperor Constantine made Christianity the new State religion of Rome, but understood only ill the meaning of Christianity. He also put Christmas a week ahead of the New Year, when the more likely time of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth was the Feast of Tabernacles, two weeks after the Jewish New Year.
This does not reflect on Christianity. It certainly reflects on Constantine and his successors, and it might reflect on modern Christians who ought to study their Bibles a bit more, and realize that they’ve grafted on a lot of God-substitutes onto some otherwise very solemn anniversaries.
At least the timing of Resurrection Sunday is correct, most of the time. It needs to coincide, roughly, with Passover. The trouble is that the Christian calendar, again inherited from Constantine, times Resurrection Sunday from full moons and the Vernal Equinox. The Jewish calendar times Passover on a strict 19-year cycle that sometimes moves Passover a month later than “Easter.” Neither calendar is original: originally, the month of Nisan, or Aviv (literally, Springtime), began on the new moon when the barley corns were ripe in Jerusalem. (That’s why some Old Testament references call this month “barley harvest.”) Passover begins at the immediate next full moon, and Resurrection Sunday ought to fall on the next Sunday after that full moon. The two calendars usually “shoot the moon” accurately enough, though sometimes they’re a month apart.
“At least the timing of Resurrection Sunday is correct,…”
May I just point out that for millions of Orthodox Christians, the timing is INCORRECT. Easter Sunday 2012 is in fact Sunday 15th April…one week behind the date used by the western Latin based churches.
All I’ve got to say is, March 20 on your calendar is already twelve days too late for the date when daytime and nighttime are equal. Same for September 22. Pope Gregory figured out that exactly one leap year every four years is about three leap years too many every four centuries.
JT: Re: Your April 9, 2012 at 6:25 am comment:
Your comment in which you apparently attempt to equate the Christian Religion to others, I find to be inaccurate and misleading, not to elaborate on the comment’s confusing nature.
It is an insult to the Christian Religion and its followers to suggest what you are saying. You don’t substantiate your assertion about “predating.” And, you forget (whether consciously or unconsciously) that the Christian Religion began hundreds of years before Christ was even born. The Hebrew Scriptures [Old Testament] prophecies are testimony to the birth, life, suffering, death and resurrection of Christ and other prophecies about the Messiah.
nicosb: Re: Your April 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm,
I can only deduce from your comment that you are of the same [sad] mindset as this facility’s “repeh.” Please read my response to his comment where he denies the historical presence of Christ. I think that my comment to “repeh” is, (also) appropriate for you.
“nicosb:” I only wish and pray that you and “repeh” would access the following topical message that was posted for Easter, last year. Whether you become believers or not, you might like to know some of the major reasons for your unbelief. You, at least owe it to your priceless souls to analyze why you dismiss such a huge historical event and such an important historical personality who made such claims as concerning your various precious souls:
“Rejecting the Resurrection Reality:”
link to thechristianmessage.org
@nathan Bickel….My mindset is perfectly happy thank you. If you actualy read my comment to Mr Hurlbut you will see that I simply pointed out that, contrary to his previous statement, neither Pliny the Younger nor Dio Cassious actually mentioned the existence, or otherwise, of a person called Jesus. I made and make no comment about what I may or may not believe, though if you look at my comment re the dating of Easter and the Orthodox church it might give you a clue, so I find it a bit galling that you presume to assume that I am not a Christian.
As to your comment in a earlier posting…”And, you forget (whether consciously or unconsciously) that the Christian Religion began hundreds of years before Christ was even born.”…words fail me.
nicosb: Re: Your April 10, 2012 at 1:06 am –
My apologies for having misunderstood you. Thanks for your patient explanation. Sorry.
As to the last part of your comment reply, I must beg you for your forgiveness again. I went back and looked and I think that I confused you with JT who stated:
“…….You do realise that ALL of the above – and more – also apply to Buddha, Horus, Mithra, Dionysus… all of whose stories predates the Christian story by centuries. Coincidence, or creative license by later authors? ” [JT’s words]
I can now understand why my comment “failed you,” as I was attempting to point out that equating the Christian Religion with Budda, etc. was incorrect, as the Christian Religion actually began with the Hebrew old Testament prophecies of Christ the Messiah, hundreds of years before his birth, and was not predated by Buddism, etc.
Again, my apologies. I am not perfect, but that’s one of the major reasons I look to the Divine Revelation and the Holy God of those Scripture revelations to be my “righteous” sacrificial covering for my many sins.
[…] “Resurrection Sunday” – cnav.news/ […]
“Resurrection Sunday”. That must be the Protestant term for Easter.
An independent Baptist term, anyway.
For those who have a difficult time conceiving of the historical, Jesus Christ – the same person prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures and whose life is described in the “Christian” New Testament Scriptures:
Please note the last sentence of this (following) piece, as it refers to the four (“Christian”) Gospels:
I ask myself: “Why are these 4 historical documents so often overlooked and even dismissed by non Christians? Is it because of stupidity, intellectual dishonesty, bigotry / hate-mongering against Jews, and / or, rank unbelief (spiritual blindness)?”
“Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources:”
……Let’s summarize what we’ve learned about Jesus from this examination of ancient non-Christian sources. First, both Josephus and Lucian indicate that Jesus was regarded as wise. Second, Pliny, the Talmud, and Lucian imply He was a powerful and revered teacher. Third, both Josephus and the Talmud indicate He performed miraculous feats. Fourth, Tacitus, Josephus, the Talmud, and Lucian all mention that He was crucified. Tacitus and Josephus say this occurred under Pontius Pilate. And the Talmud declares it happened on the eve of Passover. Fifth, there are possible references to the Christian belief in Jesus’ resurrection in both Tacitus and Josephus. Sixth, Josephus records that Jesus’ followers believed He was the Christ, or Messiah. And finally, both Pliny and Lucian indicate that Christians worshipped Jesus as God!
I hope you see how this small selection of ancient non-Christian sources helps corroborate our knowledge of Jesus from the gospels. Of course, there are many ancient Christian sources of information about Jesus as well. But since the historical reliability of the canonical gospels is so well established, I invite you to read those for an authoritative “life of Jesus!”
link to probe.org
rpeh: Regarding: Your April 10, 2012 at 12:55 am comment:
rpeh – You stated to me:
……You suggested that I read some “secular historians”. I politely asked for a list. Please can you supply it? [Your words]
In answer to your on comment reply:
I trust that the [my] recent April 11, 2012 at 9:30 am [above] previous posting of mine, will suffice.
Nathan M. Bickel
Thank you, Pastor. I must point out that none of the sources mentioned in that post are contemporaries of “Jesus”, but I’ll see what they have to offer anyway. Tacitus, Pliny and Josephus have been on my “Really should read” list for some time so I’ll probably start with those once I’ve cleared my immediate reading.
One thing that worries me is that all the footnotes are taken from purely pro-Christian sources. I’ve seen that kind of thing before, and I really hope we’re not simply seeing quote-mining in action.
Re: Your April 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm comment:
A short response:
I don’t fault you for an honest quest. Try this link, and check out some of the research and writings of this individual. According to Wikipedia, he just retired from active teaching. He is now professor emeritus:
“Paul L. Maier:
link to wmich.edu
I was privileged in my early 20’s to have him as one of my professors when I attended Western Michigan University. His classes did not offer an easy grade, but neither did I apply myself as I could and should have. As I look back I now know that I didn’t appreciate him and his scholarship as I should have.