Saturday, March 3, 2012

"Happy Easter" or "Happy Resurrection"?

1 Cor. 15:55 ~ "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"
The capstone of the Christian faith is the resurrection of Christ from the dead. It was around that singular event that Jesus demonstrated his authority over life and death itself.

John 10:17-18 ~ "17-Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.  18-No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."

The Life Changer

Why is this singular event in history shrouded with so much doubt and confusion? By his resurrection Jesus proved that he was more than a mere man and that he had power over all power as God in the flesh.  Without


this event, as Paul has stated, we are people most miserable and still lost in our sins, without hope and quite naturally yet under the law. (1 Cor. 15:14-17)  If Jesus is raised from the dead and ascended to the Father as scripture recounts, then that changes everything in life. That makes life no more a product of chance or random processes driven by natural selection than the refinement of oil into gasoline. A resurrection proves that there is an authority and that there is life beyond material existence.

From Heresy To Fact

Fred "Forget Evidence" Price
Contrary to the heretical teachings of some modern and popular ministers, Jesus didn't commit suicide (Dr. Frederick KC Price)
"[Referencing Mt. 26:31]..."not some of you, but "all of you will stumble because of me this night, for it is written, I"..."I will strike the shepherd"...I'm gonna strike...who is "I"? (audience replies: "Jesus") So Jesus is gonna strike the what? The Shepherd! So if Jesus is gonna strike the shepherd...who's the shepherd? (audience replies: "Jesus") so he's gonna strike whom? (Audience replies: "Jesus") That means he's gonna kill himself." 
Neither did Jesus have to grow into becoming a "son" or God:
Creflo "Collectin' Dem" Dollar
"If Jesus came as God, then why did God have to anoint him? If Jesus - See God’s already anointed. If Jesus came as God, then why did God have to anoint him? Jesus came as a man, that’s why it was legal to anoint Him. God doesn’t need anointing. He is anointed. Jesus came as a man and at age thirty, God is now getting ready to demonstrate to us and give us an example of what a man with the anointing can do." (Creflo Dollar, "Jesus' Growth into Sonship," December 8, 15, 2002, Product Number: 3422093, 3132094)
Jesus was God since the moment of implantation in the womb of Mary. If he was anything less, then all we have in the resurrection is a magic trick or a mastery of certain elements of nature. We have an event which anyone with whatever secret knowledge can make happen themselves. We have a zombification and not a sentient, conscious human being rising with a physical body consisting of both flesh and spirit.

Easter vs. Resurrection

Although I have dealt with this topic in a much more in depth fashion in my prior post "Easter & The Resurrection, Debunking Novel Speculations" One of the hits that Christians take regarding the resurrection is over it's association with Easter. For sure Easter, if left up to itself, is a pagan celebration. Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. So we see a late or more recent historical pagan celebration clearly. Further back, we observe the mystery cults of Rome that appear as early as second century displaying an annual dying and rising gods celebration, usually associated with crop planting and harvest seasons. Some of these gods were born and appeared under mysterious or "miraculous" circumstances. Example, some were supposedly born out of a rock (Mithra) and others claimed to be born by virgins (Dionysis, after his father Zeus, had sexual relations with his mother, Semele, and had her killed-burned to death- and he himself rescued the fetus)

So the roots of an annual pagan celebration associated with a "spring" or crop planing season cannot be argued. However, when it comes to the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, the critic often asserts that the Christian celebration mimics the pagan celebration. However, current studies and scholarship clearly debunk those theories as no more than mere novel speculations:
"Second, T.N.D. Mettinger- a senior Swedish scholar, professor at Lund University, and member of the Royal Academy of Letters, History, and Antiquities of Stockholm- wrote one of the most recent academic treatments of dying and rising gods in antiquity. He admitted in his book Riddle Of The Resurrection that the consensus among modern scholars-nearly universal-is that there were no dying and rising gods that proceeded Christianity. They all post-dated the first century" ~ [The Case For The Real Jesus, Strobel, Zondervan 2007 pg. 160]
Although there are some who have applied biblical teaching to the symbols represented in the pagan celebrations, as Christians we should know that the origins of our celebration of resurrection was not done annually neither did it wait for a time of seasonal harvest. The commemoration of the resurrection was done as often as the new testament believers met.

One of the most notable historical references to this fact is from an extra biblical source unsympathetic to the Christian cause. It extends from a Governor of Bithynia commissioned by his boss (Trajan) to deal with Christians. His name was Pliny The Younger. In evaluating information received from "exit interviews" (Christians who were given opportunity to recant their faith) Pliny basically accounts that he really didn't know the reason that Christians were considered to be so dangerous. In 110 AD he says:
"They [the former Christians] assured me that the sum total of their error consisted in the fact that they regularly assembled on a certain day before daybreak. They recited a hymn antiphonally to Christus as if to a god, and bound themselves with an oath not to commit any crime, but to abstain from theft, robbery, adultery, breach of faith, and embezzlement of property entrusted to them. After this it was their custom to separate, and then to come together again to partake of a meal, but of an ordinary and innocent one."
In other words, when these Christians came together, celebrated Jesus (aka: Christus) "as if he were a god" by singing songs to him and about him. By itself, this indicates that they viewed him to be alive, and further celebrated the fellowship of communion with him with a simple "meal". His discourse doesn't associate the Christian belief in Christus or worship of Christus to the extant pagan myths of the day either. In fact there is no hint that the Christians were worshiping Jesus in an anachronistic fashion or manner or in a way that would suggest that their beliefs were borrowed.

In short, from extra biblical and even hostile evidence, Christ and his resurrection were celebrated as often as Christians gathered in HIS name and not merely on or during a season or a process of time. 

Although, the season has been marked with the saying that "Jesus is the reason for the season" we can equally and as well truthfully say that "Jesus is the reason for the day or for this very moment" With every breath of the Christian, there is the blessing of knowing that Christ has arisen. With every death, there is the assurance of knowing that death isn't the end of all things. There will be a resurrection and Jesus is the earnest of our expectation. 

As Christians, we certainly don't celebrate Easter in the sens that it is a pagan celebration. However we use the day and use the celebration to teach an enduring and never ending truth. A truth that Jesus got up out of the grave proving that all power was and is truly in his hand.

To that I simply say, "HAPPY RESURRECTION CELEBRATION!" to all them that have their faith and place their hope within Christ! 

Blessed!  

4 comments:

  1. Good Post! The two satanic Liars at the beginning of your post would say that any born again many could have died on the cross for our sin! What blasphemy! I believe they both are Satan's ministers, and I will stand by that statement. All one needs to do is just listen to their sermons to hear them turn people away from trust in Jesus Christ alone.

    I will also add the resurrection was proof that the sacrifice of Jesus Blood on the Cross was accepted! Praise God! That is why I celebrate His resurrection! I know that my sin was taken care of at Calvary by my great High Priest: Jesus Christ.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Let me add my theological "two cents" here, the pattern I see with the self proclaimed "super anointed" is on fundamental issues they always miss the mark, 'apostle' Price obviously does not understand the Triune nature of God, the "I" is God the Father speaking, not Christ speaking to himself, Father and Son are distinct persons in the Godhead, eternally co-existing having the same nature of Deity

    "In the beginning (eternity) was (already existing) the Word and the Word was face to face) with God...and the Word was (deity) God" John 1:1
    And as far as Mr Dollar statements, "If (in the negative) Jesus came as God..." shows he does not understand the Incarnation, the Word (who was in the beginning...) became human
    John 1:14 - i.e Virgin birth!

    Jesus did not become Christ (anointed) at age 30 as Dollar states, but was
    proclaimed 'Christ' and 'Son of God' by the angel at his birth Luke 2:11
    the Spirit descending on him was for Johns sake!
    John 1:32-33
    the true APOSTLES never denied the deity of Christ
    End cap: Jesus was condemned for blasphemy (Lev 24:16) for claiming "I am the Son od God"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jerry,

      They don't even have an introductory to biblical understanding taking these messages for what they are...NONE!

      Delete

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