For “Scripture Sunday”, late again!
“What’s with all the Easter bunnies and Easter eggs? Do they obscure the meaning of Christ’s resurrection—or worse?
This morning I saw a bunny hopping across the road—missing an oncoming car by inches! I was actually cheering for the bunny. I guess you could say I like bunnies as much as the next guy.
So why the headline, “Beware the Bunny”? Because I saw other bunnies on my run this morning that gave me pause to think. With Easter this last weekend, several houses are adorned with decorations of rabbits and eggs. One had a rabbit—and a cross.
What would an alien think about this holiday by just looking at the decorations or walking through an Easter display at a supermarket? Would the alien wonder, Is this some kind of fertility rite?
What are all the little kids to make of it? The Easter Bunny, the Easter egg hunt and all the Easter candy would probably not teach them much about Jesus Christ or His resurrection. And as kids who have watched Veggie Tales cartoons know, it’s not good to set up large statues of rabbits or bow down to bunnies.
The alien wasn’t far wrong
Where did the Easter Bunny come from? Checking an encyclopedia or doing a web search, you will find information like this (from a Christian website):
“The origin of the Easter Bunny has roots that go back to pre-Christian, Anglo-Saxon history. The holiday was originally a pagan celebration that worshipped the goddess Eastre. She was the goddess of fertility and springtime and her earthly symbol was the rabbit.
“Thus the pre-Christian Anglo-Saxons worshipped the rabbit believing it to be Eastre’s earthly incarnation.
“When the Anglo-Saxons were converted to Christianity, the pagan holiday, which occurred around the same time as the Christian memorial of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, was combined with the Christian celebration and given the name Easter.
“Originally, there were some very pagan practices that went along with the Easter celebration.”
When ancient Israel entered the Promised Land, God warned them not to seek after the teachings and traditions of the nations that once inhabited the land. He said, “Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:30-32).
Later, Christ told His disciples: “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men” (Mark 7:6-8).
That’s why Christ’s followers avoid religious celebrations that have pagan origins, no matter what the intent or long-standing tradition. (For more on this, see “Origin of Easter.”)
And it turns out not just the trappings, but the timing of Good Friday and Easter is wrong. For the details, including an easy-to-read and helpful chart, see “Sign of Jonah: Did Jesus Die Good Friday, Rise on Easter?” Hint, try counting three days and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning (Matthew 12:39-40). I don’t think Jesus got this wrong.
Christians who don’t celebrate Easter
Christians who look to the Bible as their ultimate authority find that the New Testament Church didn’t celebrate Easter but continued to celebrate Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Consider Paul’s clear statement to the mainly gentile congregation in Corinth: “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).
If Paul told the Greek Christians to celebrate the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread decades after Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, why shouldn’t we do it today?
The Bible or the bunny? I say, choose the Bible.” From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/change/blog/beware-of-the-bunny/
Sign of Jonah: Did Jesus Die Good Friday, Rise on Easter?
“Most churches commemorate Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday and His resurrection on Easter Sunday. But how does this fit with the sign Christ gave?
“Good Friday afternoon to Easter Sunday sunrise does not add up to three days and three nights. This chart shows the chronology of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection that matches the biblical festivals and confirms the sign of Jonah.
As proof that He was the Messiah, Jesus Christ promised in advance exactly how much time He would spend in the grave. He called it “the sign of the prophet Jonah.”
The sign of Jonah
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had seen Him work miracles but still didn’t believe He was the Messiah (Matthew 12:23, 38). In fact, the Pharisees plotted “how they might destroy Him” (verse 14) and accused Him of working for Satan (verse 24)!
So when they asked for another sign, Jesus said:
“An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (verses 39-40).
Jesus referred to the great miracle from the book of Jonah. God prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights before God told the fish to spit him out, alive, on the shore. And Christ let everyone know that He would be in the grave for the exact same length of time. He said the sign of Jonah would be the only sign He would give them. This important prophecy was very specific.
How do you get three days and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning?
Yet today most churches ignore this sign or try to explain that it didn’t really mean three full days and three full nights. Why? Because of a common misunderstanding about the holy times during that week many call Holy Week.
First, try to do the math. Almost all Christian churches teach Jesus Christ died and was buried late Good Friday afternoon, then was raised early Easter Sunday morning. That’s Friday night, Saturday day and Saturday night: two nights and one day. Even if you wanted to stretch things to call the few minutes of daylight on Friday a day, that’s only two days and two nights. Remember, Jesus was already risen before sunrise on Sunday (John 20:1).
Why would Jesus make a point of saying three days and three nights if He didn’t mean it? Is this a contradiction in the Bible or is there a simple explanation everyone would understand if they celebrated the festivals of the Bible as Jesus and His disciples did?Why would Jesus make a point of saying three days and three nights if He didn’t mean it? Is this a contradiction in the Bible or is there a simple explanation everyone would understand if they celebrated the festivals of the Bible as Jesus and His disciples did?
Jesus clearly stated that He and His disciples were celebrating the Passover when He washed their feet and added the New Testament ceremony of the bread and the wine. He said: “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15).
Jesus and His disciples followed the command found in Leviticus 23 describing the “feasts of the Lord.” “On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover” (verses 4-5). Biblical days started in the evening, so after that Passover ceremony, but still on the Passover day, Jesus was arrested, beaten and crucified. He died around 3 p.m. (“the ninth hour” of daylight in the Jewish system of time keeping; Matthew 27:45-50; Mark 15:33-37; Luke 23:44-46) and was buried before sunset. In fact, the Jewish leaders were urgent that Jesus’ body not remain on the cross the next day.
“Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away” (John 19:31).
Most people today would see the word Sabbath and assume this means Saturday, since the regular weekly Sabbath day taught in the Bible is from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. But most miss the fact that John called it a “high day.” What did he mean? Let’s quickly go back to Leviticus 23. What comes right after the Passover (the 14th)?
“And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it” (Leviticus 23:6-7).
This First Day of Unleavened Bread was an annual Sabbath day—a high day. And it can come on different days of the week.
So the logical explanation is that Christ was exactly right about the three days and three nights. People today are just confused about when He died and was resurrected. It couldn’t have been on a Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.
The accompanying chart shows the math that works—the chronology of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection that matches the biblical festivals and confirms the sign of Jonah—the only sign Jesus said He would give!” From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/plan-of-salvation/holy-days-vs-holidays/sign-of-jonah/
We haven’t been able to get much done to the remodeling and repairs in the guest house as Jay has had a toothache or rather a ‘root-ache’, and has been ‘over-medicating’ himself. I took him to the dentist today, and he had it out. Another worker came and wired up the bathroom exhaust fan and light on a double switch, so that’s working now. The lino (sheet vinyl) isn’t laid in the new bathroom yet, but we are gradually getting the wiring done in there and the new kitchen. No plumbing so far, as the bathroom layout isn’t set in stone yet. Even the kitchen was tweaked a bit. I did pick up some more plywood and board insulation in my van, so we can install that soon. The board insulation is just extra over the regular insulation as it gets drafty on top of this hill.
Jay didn’t go to church with me, but I made three dishes for the potluck. Butter-roasted new potaoes, cabbage, onions, peppers and tomatoes done in coconut oil with sesame seeds. And third, organic cucumbers, onion and olive salad. When I get my salad shooter out, I go wild!
The Bible readings were Lev. 9:1-11:47, 2 Sam. 6:1-7:13 and Heb. 4:14-5:6. The Teaching was about Daniel’s Prophecies. We all had a great time and even more in the dining hall afterwards, even though it started out cold and was a windy day.