Easter is a unique holiday. It's observed by most Christians to honor the resurrection of Jesus-His victory over death. But, what do Peter Cottontail, egg hunts, bonnets, and baskets have to do with it? 80% of Americans will celebrate Easter this year by spending about 13 billion dollars on these traditions. But do they really honor the resurrection of Jesus? Sure, it's fun to hide colored eggs, eat chocolate, buy new clothes and maybe attend a church service. But the question remains: Is God honored by these traditions? And who decides the right way to worship? Is it just harmless fun? Or does it really matter? And how can you know? You might be surprised to learn that the Bible has a lot to say about this subject, because it does matter how we choose to honor God. Prepare to be challenged here on Beyond Today as we take a close look at Easter Exposed . Perhaps you've taken time to buy chocolate bunnies and color eggs and hide them for your children. Your church might be preparing a special program that illustrates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's a time that age old traditions come back to life during Easter celebrations. Now most Christians today observe the holiday, yet there are many questions surrounding it. Do you believe the Easter story and its traditions? Have you ever wondered if Jesus would celebrate Easter? And is it possible that He wasn't even raised back to life on Sunday morning? Some Christians you know don't believe that He was. So let's take an in-depth, straightforward look at what many churches call the most important day of the year--the one that celebrates the central event of Christian faith: the resurrection of Christ. Let's start by asking, where did Easter celebrations come from? Did you know that they were held centuries before Christ? Now it's true! Thousands of years ago, long before Christ was ever born, pagan tribes of Europe worshipped a beautiful goddess of spring named Eostre. Historians believe the word Easter is a variation of her name. They sound very similar, don't they? They celebrated the end of winter and the birth of spring. This happened at the vernal equinox when the daylight portion of the day began to be longer than nighttime, in the Northern Hemisphere. So there is a connection between Easter and the ancient traditions of worshiping the rising sun. Now whether the Babylonian Eostre or Ishtar; or the Phoenecian Astarte; it seems almost every ancient society had their version of a fertility goddess to worship. Where do you find the traditions associated with Easter? You find them in ancient history but you won't find them in your Bible. Should you worship God through tradition? Especially nonbiblical tradition? Those traditions that were devised hundreds of years before Christ by, by ancient peoples to worship multiple mythological gods? Does that make sense? Now here's one curious custom that I had always wondered about. Perhaps you have too. Why does the Easter bunny build a nest and fill it with eggs? That doesn't seem to make sense. But did you know, legends hold that the Easter bunny was originally a large, beautiful bird that belonged to the goddess Eostre. Now one day she magically changed her pet bird into a hare. Of course, the hare held on to its nest and its eggs. That's where it came from. Hares and rabbits, they're symbols of new life in the spring, symbols of fertility. So when you think about all of that information, it was done to worship false gods and then later blended into Christianity and the traditions of Easter. Now there were also Egyptian and Roman customs of giving eggs as gifts in the spring. You see they also believed that the receiver would have a successful or productive year if you gave them an egg.
Now, obviously the Easter bunny, colored eggs, those things have nothing to do with Jesus Christ butâ€Śthose traditions were adopted into the symbolism of Easter. Christianity blended traditions--those pagan traditions--and it helped early Christianity. It helped the church to merge with non-believing pagans. They could bring their heathen practices and call them Christian. Now, when I learned these things, I had to ask myself the question: Is that how I should honor Christ? Does God want me to worship Him by those traditions? Now if you study into the question, you may be shocked. But you'll find that the early New Testament Church never celebrated Easter or any of those traditions. Is that surprising to you? Almost 300 years after Christ--30 decades later!--that was when the Roman Emperor Constantine became really the greatest promoter of non-biblical Christianity, and you know it's still with us today. It's through the Edict of Milan and the Council of Nicaea. Those meetings are very important. Influential men, they united the Roman church and they expanded the empire. Do you know how they did that? They did it by adding popular festivals of worshipping the sun and those springtime traditions that they altered, and they changed, and they mixed it all together, supposedly to honor Jesus, "the true Sun." But you know, those new convert, they didn't get rid of their traditions. They didn't get rid of those rituals. Instead, they gave them a Christian flavor. Pagan rituals, symbols, practices that were brought right into Christian observances and it became the common practice. But you know, the New Testament Church, Jesus' disciples, never compromised. Biblical truth itself though was compromised hundreds of years later, after Christ, after the disciples and it was infiltrated with misconceptions. So what was the result? You can read the history books. Centuries ago, the Holy Days that Jesus Himself taught and observed, they were set aside in favor of man-made holidays. So, popular tradition pushed aside true biblical teaching. Notice what it says in John chapter 4, verse 23, "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth." (John: 4:23, 24 NIV) God rejects all these traditions and the customs that were used to worship false gods and altered to worship Him. He rejects those things, even if it's well intentioned and He expects true worship. Now when we begin to discuss these things, we can only scratch the surface of this topic, but there is so much more you need to know. That's why we've produced a free booklet. It will help you to discover the truth. You can go online after the program to BeyondToday.tv to download this special booklet. You can read. You can order it. It's called Holidays or Holy Days: Does it Really Matter Which Days We Observe? Call for your free booklet. Toll-free: 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632. Or go online to BeyondToday.tv . We offer this booklet free of charge as an educational service. The days you keep, it does matter to God. So get this booklet and discover what those days are about and why they're so important to you. You know if you want to worship God in spirit and truth, you probably realize that bunnies and eggs, they just don't fit with the resurrection story. When we strip away those traditions, is it possible to still honor Christ in Easter? In other words, is the Easter Sunday tradition the biblical way to worship our resurrected Christ? No. Let's look
at the real heart of the problem with Easter and let's see why it's an incorrect way to worship Jesus. Now we've got to go back. You probably know that the religious leaders at the time of Jesus Christ, did they believe Him? Did they believe He was the Messiah? No they didn't. They fought against Him! They didn't believe He was the Messiah. Some said to Christ, they said, show us a sign that you're really the Messiah. You know what Jesus did? He gave them one sign that He was the Savior of all mankind. Now, do you know the sign that Jesus Himself gave? He said, He wouldn't give them any old sign, or all kinds of signs. He said He would give them no sign except this: You can find it in Matthew chapter 12, verse 40. Christ Himself said, "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." (Jonah:1:17 in the grave) In other words, in the grave. So here's the question: Did Jesus fulfill this sign? That was a promise! That was it! That was the proof! So have you ever wondered about that? Have you ever wondered about a Friday crucifixion and a Sunday resurrection? Have you ever stepped back and done the math? Many mistakenly believe that He was crucified on Good Friday. Now if that were true, let's count the days and count the nights. Remember Christ said three days and three nights. We'll count those nights from Friday to Sunday and see if it fits. Does that scenario fulfill the promise of Christ? Sounds like three; Friday, Saturday, Sunday. But is it really? Now if you check your Bible, it says that He was put in the tomb at sunset. So let's begin counting. We have Friday night; that's one night. Saturday day; that's one day. Saturday night; that's a second night. And then Sunday morning; that's a second day. Now when we think about it, if a Friday crucifixion were true, what do we find? At most, Jesus would have been in the grave two nights and two days. You see there's no way to get three days and three nights into that scenario. It just doesn't work. There'd be about 36 hours, technically only about a day and a half. It just doesn't add up. And did you notice something interesting, it didn't even add up to just parts of three nights. Not even parts of it! So that argument falls flat. So we have to ask ourselves: What's the big deal? How critical was it that Christ fulfilled that sign? It's absolutely of utmost importance. Jesus said, I would be killed. I'll be dead, and then later I'll come back to life. And not just any old way, and not just after any old amount of time, but an exact amount of time: Three days and three nights after I'm put in the grave. That was His promise. That was the sign. It would an indisputable proof that He was the Messiah, the very Son of God. (Matthew:12:40) Jesus was crucified not on a Friday. That scenario doesn't fit. He was actually crucified on a Wednesday and was resurrected at the end of the Saturday Sabbath. You can verify it. But you know, it's going to take an open mind and an open Bible. Because there's two important things that you need to understand. First, throughout the Bible when they considered a day, instead of counting midnight to midnight like you and I do, they counted from sunset to sunset. That's a very important point. And secondly, the week that Jesus was crucified actually had two Sabbaths in it. First, the normal weekly Sabbath, the seventh day, from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset and then was an annual Holy Day, an annual Sabbath, that was observed on Wednesday sunset until Thursday sunset.
Now keep that in mind and let's see if the biblical scenario, what God recorded for us, adds up. You see the fact is, the Bible tells us that Jesus died near three o'clock on Wednesday (Mark:15:24, 37) and was buried just before sunset that day (Luke:23:54). So, let's add it up. Wednesday sunset to Thursday sunset; you've got one day and one night. Then we've got Thursday sunset to Friday sunset; two days, two nights. Friday sunset to Saturday sunsetâ€Ś What does it add up to? Three days. Three nights. You see, it does add up! It fits! There can be no doubt: Jesus Christ was in the grave. Three days. Three nights. He was already risen, long before the women came to the tomb on the first day of the week. You can find that in your Bible. On the first day of the week the women came to the tomb. But you know what, He was gone because He was already resurrected at the end of the Sabbath day (Luke: 24:1-6). He was resurrected on the Sabbath. So the way that figures out is Jesus Christ's very words were perfectly fulfilled as you'd expect. He was the Savior. He is the Savior. He is the Messiah. And He had to be resurrected at the end of the Saturday Sabbath to truly be our Savior. If He were resurrected on Sunday morning, there'd be a contradiction. There'd be a flaw in that prediction, and He couldn't possibly be our Messiah. But when you check out the facts of your Bible, Jesus came back to life at the exact time that He claimed He would. So, you see Easter is exposed by the Bible itself. There's no other conclusion that you can come to. Biblical evidence reveals that the Good Friday-Easter Sunday tradition is a charade. You know, when you look at the New Testament Church, look at what the apostles taught after the death of Christ. Do you find an observance of Easter in the New Testament? Now you may be shocked by it! It may be surprising to you, but you will not find it in the New Testament. You see, Christians have not always observed the resurrection of Jesus on Easter. Now the true, authentic Church of God--the Church that's found in your Bible, the New Testament Christian Church--never observed Easter. They observed the Passover, not Easter. Now, now wait. You might say, well haven't all Christians always observed Easter? No. Millions of people commemorate the resurrection of Jesus, but you know they don't do it on Easter. It's not happening. Could it be possible that all these other Christian churches could be wrong? Yes. Matthew:15:9, Jesus Himself said, "â€Śin vain [do] they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." So if you were to stop observing Easter, do you realize, you wouldn't be alone? In fact today, tens of thousands of Christians follow Jesus' teaching and do not observe Easter, because the truth puts Easter in jeopardy. It's not just a game. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." (John:14:15)
He tells you how to follow His lifestyle, to honor Him the way that He wants to be honored. That includes observing the days that Jesus Himself observed. Do you know those days? Do you know the biblical Holy Days that honor Jesus Christ? Those are the days that He kept? You know, isn't it time to take a more meaningful approach to religion, more than the holidays? To dig a little bit deeper? God showed us how to worship Him. He doesn't want us to worship Him through Easter or any other man-made holiday, but instead worship Him on His days; the Holy Days of God. You need to find out about them. Take time to read your Bible. Discover them for yourself! Now there's so much more to discuss on this topic. Could it be possible that what you thought was the truth, really isn't what your Bible actually teaches? And after all, does it matter? Does it matter what days we worship? Up next, we'll be talking another in-depth look and having a discussion with fellow Beyond Today host Darris McNeely. And you know, if you're looking for biblical understanding, looking for biblical truth, we have a special offer for you. It's The Good News magazine. This magazine contains important articles that will help you understand the truth behind the Holy Days and how God truly wants you to worship Him. The Good News will give you insight into life's questions--your questions. That's why you need to request your subscription to The Good News . It will help you with answers. You can click or call: 1-888-886-8632. Or read it online. You can request it as well. We'll send you a free subscription to The Good News magazine at BeyondToday.tv. So much happens so fast in our world today, you need help analyzing world events especially as it relates to the Bible. Request your free subscription today. God has an amazing plan for mankind and for you personally. The Good News magazine will help you understand. So, order your free subscription today! Now we've been talking about Easter and exposing it to the truth of the Bible. Now, we're going to discuss this whole subject with fellow host, Darris McNeely. Steve Myers: You know Darris, you and I are Christians. We're Christian pastors. Darris McNeely: Right. Steve Myers: And yet, we're men that don't celebrate Easter. But, it wasn't always that way. Darris McNeely: No. Steve, there was a time when I did celebrate Easter, just like everyone else, raised doing so; colored the eggs, rolled them on the lawn, ate the chocolate bunnies--you were talking about earlier--and had the Easter baskets and all of that, but there came a time when that changed. And, I learned that that was not exactly what the Bible teaches. That was not the appropriate way to understand the resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as His death. Steve Myers:
I know in my family one of the fun things, especially my mother would get into, dressing all us kids up. Darris McNeely: Yes. Steve Myers: You know we'd get the little hats on. And I've got some embarrassing photos, you know with the little hats and the little bowties, and she used to really enjoy doing that sort of thing. And it was a lot of fun that was involved in that. Darris McNeely: There's always fun when it comes to holidays like that and traditions that are passed on from, within the family, and how people do that. The key--as you've already brought out--is whether or not, when it comes to the things of God, that is really in the Bible and what God tells us to do. Steve Myers: Yeah and that's the interesting thing because it seemed that as God opens your mind to what the Bible really has to say, you realize, boy there's a lot more to the story. Is this really getting to the real meat of what God wants me to do? And you know when you begin to think about those things, you know, how do you really find the truth? You know, how do you get to it? It's not just showing up once in a while and going to sunrise service, like we used to do, and have the scrambled eggs after services and the whole thing. Darris McNeely: A "C" and "E" Christian. Steve Myers: Right. Christmas. Easter. Is that the only time, time we show up at Church? But when you dig into it, you know how do you do that? Where do you go? What do you have to do? How do you really get to what God really wants us to do? Darris McNeely: Well you have to base it on the Scripture. You have to look and see what does God tell us to do in regard to these significant events, and in this case, and the event of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is central to the story of salvation and how we gain eternal life. Member, there was a rich young ruler that came to Christ and asked, how do I gain eternal life? What must I do to live forever? And Christ showed him, you know, keep the commandments but it was a central question he had and everyone has and this story, of the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith. And getting it right is important. That's why the Easter traditions, the Easter myths, that have been overlaying to the true story from the Scriptures of salvation are so critical to be able to peel away and unfold to get back to the truth. If you want to get to an understanding, and remember Steve, you've got to replace error with truth. What you've done today in this program is, in a sense, take away from what people understand.
Steve Myers: We're trying to replace it, right? Darris McNeely: We're…yes… Steve Myers: With what's right. Darris McNeely: We want to replace that with what the Scripture says. If you want to find out where, turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 5 for instance. And you look where the apostle Paul was speaking to the Christian Church in a very basic letter, and he said to them, at one point here, very, very clearly and very carefully. He said, "purge out the old leaven"--this is 1 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 7--"that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us." Christ here is said to be the Passover sacrificed for our sins. This is what Paul is addressing here, which is a, again a major event of the Bible. But then he goes on to say in verse 8, "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." Steve Myers: Now that's interesting, if you stop right there for a second. He's really giving a command. He's not saying keep Easter. He's says keep the feast. Darris McNeely: He is teaching these Christians to keep a festival, a major festival in the spring, right at the same time. Generally as Easter is found, may vary from on the calendar, but it is the festival on which God gave the Church to remember the death of Christ and then to commemorate His resurrection. And this is what he's talking about here. It is actually a seven day festival on which a Christian focuses his life and his mind on the resurrected Christ and His life in us as changed Christians. Steve Myers: Probably the question that's in people's minds is does it really matter and if it does, what am I supposed to do about it? Darris McNeely: It matters to God. We honor Christ, we honor God by doing what He tells us to do, not what we think is a better way or a more convenient way. Steve Myers: We've got to start there, don't you…
Darris McNeely: That's where you start. Not the traditions of men, but what God says is truth--worshipping him in sincerity and in truth. That's the big decision every one of us has to make, whether or not we will forsake the holidays of men to keep the Holy Days of God. Steve Myers: You know, we hope that you can begin your search for truth, and we want to help you on that journey. We have a special booklet for you. Remember these free offers: Holidays or Holy Days: Does it Matter Which Days We Observe? It does. If you order this booklet, go online, this will help you to separate out all the counterfeit traditions and get down to the truth of God. And here's how you can get it. You can read it online at BeyondToday.tv or you can download it, or request your own copy. We'll send it to you free. You can call! Toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632 and request your free booklet. Of course, you can't forget about your free subscription to The Good News magazine. This unique magazine will help you recognize what's going on in the world in the light of your Bible. There's also all kinds of articles that are relevant to your everyday life, so be sure and order your free subscription to The Good News magazine. This unique magazine will help you recognize what's going on in our world in the light of the Bible. There are also all kinds of articles that are relevant to your everyday life so order your free subscription of The Good News magazine. Now, when I was a young boy, it was so exciting to be at Eastertime and we'd get those Easter baskets and we couldn't wait to get--my favorite part was that chocolate bunny! Gotta have that chocolate bunny. And you know one of the most disappointing things as a kid, was opening up that chocolate bunny and it was hollow. You know the real thing was solid and I remember opening a chocolate bunny that was empty! It was hollow. And you know as I became a man, and God started to work with me, I began to see, you know, Easter and its traditions, they're like that bunny. They are hollow. If you want the solid truth, you want to honor God solidly in His way? You want the real thing? Go to your Bible! Look at what it says. Even though you've always believed something, you know that doesn't make it true, Jesus said the Word of God is truth! If you want to find the truth, go to your Bible! It's found by getting that book out. Getting to know what it says and getting to know your God! Honor Him the way that He wants to be honored, not in those traditions of man-made holidays. Don't let the trappings of Easter separate you from something so much more meaningful. Instead, worship God on His days. I hope you'll personally look into the Holy Days of God, the biblical days of worship. Those are the very days that Jesus Himself observed and He taught to His Church. So why not follow Him? Take the time to read your Bible and discover them for yourself. Take the challenge! Look into the history books and you'll find the Easter traditions exposed. Look into you Bible and you'll discover, discover the depth of what Jesus really taught. Thanks for joining me today. I hope you'll tell your family and friends about our program. I'd like to invite you back again next week, same time, for another edition of Beyond Today . I'm Steve Myers. Thanks for watching.
Early Christianity became divided over the Passover/Easter Sunday controversy. What are the Biblical proofs? Which should Christians observe?
Source: Roger Nettles Recently, I was asked why I believe Jesus was crucified on Wednesday and rose on the Sabbath before sunset. This is what the gentleman said: "You say that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday. This can't be. We know from Luke:23:53-54 that he was taken down and laid in the sepulcher the same day that he was killed. That means that Wednesday night (would have been) the first night He was 'in the belly of the whale.' Thursday, the first day. Thursday night, the second night. Friday, the second day. Friday night, the third night. Saturday, the third day. We know that He rose again the first day of the week: Sunday morning. If true, that means that He would have been 'in the belly of the whale' on Saturday night, making it 4 nights, not three (see Matthew12:38-40). This cannot be. Now, if he was crucified on a Thursday, this would work, but not on a Wednesday. See my point?" And further, from Luke:23:54-56
, he said, "We can see that Pilate took down the body, wrapped it in linen and laid it is the sepulcher and that these things happened right after Jesus died; (and) that day was the prep day, so it had to have been a Friday. (And in) Verse 55, they (the women) followed after them that took the body on Friday evening to lay it in the sepulcher, again, on Friday evening. Verse 56, they left the site and came back on Friday evening with their ointments and spices because they knew they would not do so the next day, the Sabbath day of rest. This is evident as we read in the last half of verse 56. He must have been crucified on a Friday. Your thoughts?" These are good questions. How would you answer those who observe Good Friday as the day of Christ's crucifixion, and Easter Sunday as the time of His resurrection? And how can you prove if Jesus was crucified on Wednesday afternoon and resurrected on the Sabbath before sunset?
How do we solve this dilemma? How can we prove which is right from the Bible? This person was correct in saying that the Bible says Jesus was crucified and laid in the sepulcher (tomb) on the Day of Preparation, and that Friday is a prep day for the weekly Sabbath. But he assumed that THIS Preparation Day had to be a Friday, and THAT Sabbath was the weekly Sabbath. Let's consider what John wrote in John:19:31: "…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)…" And in verse 14 he explained that THIS Preparation Day was "the Preparation Day of the Passover," not the weekly Sabbath. According to Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, "high day" from the Greek "megas" meaning great, is here virtually equivalent to holy. There are seven annual high holy day feasts in the Old Testament, called "The feasts ("moed" meaning appointed times or appointments, seasons) of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations." They are called holy days (meaning sanctified or set apart for God's purpose) and Sabbaths (meaning a time of rest to cease from one's labor) (Exodus:35:2; Leviticus:23:1-4,24,32,37-39; Nehemiah:8:2,9-11). Traditional Christianity does not understand or proclaim them because they have substituted and keep pagan "holidays" instead of God's true holy days (see " God's Holy Day Plan—Hope For All Mankind " and " Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Keep? ") The Passover is an observance which always occurs on the evening of the 14th day of the first month of the biblical year (Abib or Nisan: Exodus:12:1). It is not a Sabbath holy day or high day, but it is a preparation day. The following day of the 15 th is the first holy day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is the 15th of Nisan (a high day Sabbath: Leviticus: 23:5-8).
Was Jesus resurrected on Sunday? Another assumption this person made is that, "We know that He (Jesus) rose again on the first day of the week: Sunday morning." Is that what the Scriptures really say? [Note: Sunday came to be called the "Lord's Day" to justify changing from keeping the "Jewish" Sabbath, based on the assumption that Jesus rose from the grave on Sunday, the first day of the week. But Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath," not Sunday (Mark: 2:27-28; Luke: 6:5). God's Sabbath has always been the seventh day, which the Lord God sanctified after creating man (Genesis: 2:1-4). Matthew: 28:1-6, says: "Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb." An angel said to them, "Do not be afraid,
for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said" (see also Mark: 16:2-6 and Luke: 24:1-7). Notice that it does NOT say when He rose, but rather that He had already risen, even as He said He would. He said He would rise after being dead and in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights—72 hours (Matthew:12:40). As the angel also said, "Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again’" (Luke:24:6-7). If we believe the Scriptures, then we must believe that Jesus rose as He said, after being dead and in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. That is from Wednesday evening to Saturday (the weekly Sabbath) evening, not Friday evening to Sunday morning. Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees, who wanted to see a sign proving He was the Messiah, "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 (72 hours) 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" (Matthew:12:38-40).
When did the three days and three nights begin and end? So when did the three days and three nights begin and end according to the Scriptures? We know that Jesus had already risen BEFORE very early Sunday morning, "as the first day of the week began to dawn" (Matthew: 28:1). Also, we know that He was laid in the tomb in the evening, just before the High Holy Day Sabbath (Mark: 15:42-46; Luke: 23:53-54; John: 19:14, 31, 38-42). If He was laid in the tomb in the evening and was there three days and three nights (72 hours), as He said He would be (Matthew:12:40), then He rose in the evening BEFORE Sunday morning, which would have been on the weekly Sabbath just before sunset—NOT Sunday morning! We can therefore count back three days and three nights to determine what day Jesus was laid in the tomb. Counting back three days and three nights from Saturday (Sabbath) evening takes us to Wednesday evening. Jesus was, therefore, crucified and died on Wednesday afternoon, and laid in the tomb just before sunset. He rose again three days and three nights later on the evening of the weekly Sabbath just at sunset. All four gospel accounts agree on the events of Jesus crucifixion and resurrection.
Which should Christians keep, Passover or Easter? Should Christians keep Easter Sunday or the Passover—and when is the Passover to be kept? The scriptures are clear that Christians (disciples of Jesus Christ) should follow the example of Jesus. Jesus and His apostles kept God's holy days and the Passover. He said, concerning the Passover, "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them" (John: 13:15, 17). Peter wrote concerning Christ's example, "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:" (1 Peter: 2:21). For more information on the Sabbath and God’s holy days, request the free booklets: Sunset to Sunset: God's Sabbath Rest and Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Keep? KARS
Thank you for the education offered in remembrance of why we observe the Sabbath and annual Holy Days. I just read something today that said exactly this: "Listen , O daughter, Consider and incline your ear; Forget your own people also, and your father's house; So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is our Lord worship Him." Psalm 45:10 NKJV What does He mean by this? Because of the duality and parallels of scripture it can get confusing; even if I read it in context. stuart 46
Why do people make such a mess of what is very simple! Keeping the sabbath and holy days is not you just have to do it. The scriptures are very clear until men put their own spin to them to suit themselves, many wars have been fought due to misinterpreting the word of God. jgehrke
Thank you for the page and discussion. I have additionally read that in the Hebrew Jewish time a partial day (any portion) was equivalent in language to a day, so not to argue but to raise a possibility of being in the tomb one hour before sunset being 'a day'. For example **Link removed to comply with comment policy**I seriously do not intend to upset anyone, and please educate me further if desired, and above all have a peaceful Passover in our Savior's love. Marie Jooste I believe that Jesus was crucified on the Friday. There is a simple solution. If He was crucified on another day, for example the Tuesday, The women would have been there the very next day to prepare his body. The Sabbath was forbidden to do so. This gave Him a day to go and fight the devil. As for your day theory. Day 1 Friday, day 2 Sabbath, day 3 Sunday, = 3days. This raises another question. If Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath, who do they pray to on Sunday? Jesus also never told us to keep Easter Sunday, etc. He kept the Passover of Israel leaving Egypt. Should we then not be eating flat bread and lamb with bitter herbs? The circus with chocolate bunnies and eggs are a whole other religion that again is commercialized and for personal treats. Blessmeintended ou Know , I am a non-denominational christan if there is such a thing, for over 30 years, and I have never gotten more out of the bible more than I get from just a few weeks ago I started taking bible lesson from the Church Of God , I am hungry to know God and Jesus in a personal way, Itâ€™s amazing what I learned , You know they say if you are doing something to try and get to heaven , then you have to stop and do nothing , because Jesus did it all , otherwise your little manipulative mind have missed the boat , I am hopes of heaven one day and will be happy to see all of you there. I believe the answer to your Question Marie, Jesus said when you pray, pray in this manner, OUR FATHER, so who is our father, GOD.I also believe that Jesus was crucified on Friday, But the bible don't say he rose on the third day it say he was not there n the first day of the week when Mary Madegline and the other Mary went to the tomb. J. White @Marie, You have to understand, the world believes he was buried Friday evening... Friday evening to EARLY Sunday morning cannot be possibly scientifically correct. Are you saying that he was buried Friday- Monday? Because that's a full 72 hour span. Explain please... My beliefs, I believe he was in the heart of the earth preaching from Wed-Sat, rising Saturday night. However, it can be confusing due to Jewish calendar believes that the night and the morning are first day... See Daniel 9:27... I'm just trying to learn here as much as anyone else... Shalom Steven Britt
Marie Jooste, Regarding your counting the time Christ was dead, "Day 1 Friday, day 2 Sabbath, day 3 Sunday, = 3days," let me remind you of two important points. Firstly, days in the bible begin at sundown. This was established at creation - Genesis 1:5 says "So the evening and the morning were the first day," and a similar refrain is added for each day of creation. The Sabbath and all of God's Holy Days begin at sundown and end at sundown. Secondly, putting to rest any ambiguity, Christ said in Matthew 12:40 He would be dead for 3 days and 3 nights. The common claim of modern Christianity is that Christ died Friday afternoon and was resurrected at first light on Sunday. If Christ died on Friday (meaning before sundown on Friday in order for it to be considered Friday still), then that gives you (part of) 1 day. The evening (i.e. what we call "Friday night" is really the beginning of Saturday by God's reckoning) gives you 1 night, and the day of Saturday gives you a 2nd day. The next evening (i.e. what we would call Saturday night, which God would reckon as the beginning of Sunday) gives you a 2nd night. Disregarding the fact that the 1st "day" in this counting is only 3-4 hours instead of a full day, where do you find a 3rd day or 3rd night? Ivan Veller
Dear Intended, How thrilling---I'm so happy for you! :D Hearing of your hunger to draw nearer to God the Father and Christ brings me such delight. God fervently and intensely desires that close, personal relationship with each of us. How truly marvelous and beautiful is Christ's offer of engagement...that we be his fiancĂŠ---his 'intended' ("promised...in marriage...to Christ," 2 Cor:11:2 HCSB)! (This topic would make such a lovely bible study.) So, perhaps we stop--out of sheer overwhelming joy over the proposal--
and, doing nothing for a brief moment or two, simply ponder God's amazing love! But then we get quite busy (as we must), eagerly preparing for our wedding day: "[Christ’s] bride has made herself ready…righteous acts" (Rev:19:7b-8a, NIV 2011). This process is critical, because we must be clothed in righteousness to marry him (Mat:22:12). Staying in the relationship requires we remain faithful to God, as demonstrated by developing the righteous character and virtues required to be Christ's bride. He wants to marry someone who shares his same values and priorities. While Satan will try to dissuade us from the path God has sat out for us, in years to come we must always remember to remain faithful to our calling. Even the apostle Paul, writing perhaps 25-30 years since his conversion, admitted, "I don't feel that I have already arrived" (Php. 3:13 CEV); and talked about his own need to continually be engaged in the process of developing the "righteousness of God that depends on faith" (Php. 3:9, ESV 2007). "Blessings crown the head of the righteous" (Prov. 10:a NIV). We can be confident that God will richly bestow blessings on those who "hunger and thirst for righteousness" (Mat:5:6; LEB 2010). As Jesus taught: "I am the bread of life...No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry…again" (Jn:6:35 HCSB). May you be richly satiated in the love of Christ! Here are some beautiful passages to equip you in your journey. These scriptures reveal God's heart and character in an intensely personal way: http://www.ucg.org/booklet/new-covenant-does-it-abolish-gods-law/jesus-t... http://www.ucg.org/booklet/jesus-christ-real-story/jesus-teaching-gods-l... http://www.ucg.org/booklet/heaven-and-hell-what-does-bible-really-teach/... onormanns
Very precise. I have pondered this question an amazing hidden solution to all our dilemmas ensued: - Jesus was born September 11, 3 BC, Rosh Hosannah, we can prove Herod died in 1 BC**Link removed to comply with comment policy**. This makes him “about” thirty in the Sabbatical year of 27/28 AD when he began His Ministry (decoding John 4:6-26/4:35-38), and in His 33rd year, 3.5 year later, when He died Wednesday April 25, and Rose again Saturday dusk April 28, in 31 AD, exactly three nights and three days later as from the womb of Jonah. This fulfills Daniel's 70th week from 457BC - 27 AD from the first decree. - According to Jewish tradition of Passover, the first full moon after spring equinox (March 26, 31AD) was to be moved forwards one month, upon determined when the first Aviv barley would be ripe. Nisan should be within the month of Abib, which start the first day of the waxing new moon, where Nisan 14, started 6 PM, Wednesday April 25, 31 AD.
- Jesus was judge 9 AM, crucified 12 AM, died ~3 PM, taken off the cross before 6 PM and placed in the tomb on the evening of this "preparation" day. Then the only possible red moon eclipse proof marker from 20 to 24 hours 31 AD. 33 AD misses their eclipse happened before sunset and below the horizon and 30 AD had none. -There is one major problem with this and took me a while to figure, symbolically the Passover lamb was to be slaughtered between the two evenings (Num 9:1-4), in this week that would normally have been Thursday afternoon. But you see already when they where to put Jesus in the tomb; Mark 15:42 "Now when evening had already come, since it was the day of preparation (that is, the day before the high Sabbath). So this evening was the start of the preparation day, and Jesus was dead. i.e. the Passover! Thus AD 31. - Normally the First fruits Offering is the day after the High Sabbath following Passover, this time (31 AD) the weekly Sabbath came right after, thus the double Sabbaths and an exception to post pond the First fruits until Sunday by tradition, it fits only 31 AD and is the hidden solution for the age old Sabbath dialectic. - The women had all Thursday until 6 PM to buy their oil. - The priests began to make the first cutting right at the end of the Sabbath, then continuing over into the next day (this year Sunday) of the week, when the bulk of the work would be done. exactly as did Jesus our H KARS
What is twilight? Is it the span of time between sunrise and sunset? If so, could we say that Jesus Christ rose during twight of the Sabbath day just before dark of the first day of the week? Or was it sundown, then the sky light up with twilight, then darkness of the first day of the week? Just wondering. I have been at the beach during dark, watched twilight before the rising of the sun. I even took pictures of the whole event. Darkness with the moon was shining; the twilight when the sky is purple, then grows light in colors; then the sun rises on the horizon of the water. It is a sight to see; including the rising of the moon, followed by the sun. Awesome experiences. So what do you say about this? David L. Nunn
To Jwhite. UCG's position is that Jesus Christ was crucified and died on Wednesday, 4/25/0031 AD. He was put in the tomb near sunset. The immediately approaching Sabbath was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (a high day--John: 19:31). After that Sabbath passed, the women bought spices (on Friday). Mark: 16:1. They prepared the spices and then rested on the Sabbath (Saturday). Luke: 23:56. Jesus Christ was resurrected near sunset on Saturday night, after being in the tomb for exactly three days and three nights (i.e., 72 hours). Jesus Christ was (really really) dead after He died. Revelation: 1:18. He did not go places and preach while dead. See UCG's Jesus Christ: The Real Story booklet. The "preaching" event you refer to (1 Peter: 3:18-20) was when Jesus Christ (as the Word) confronted evil spirits at the time of The Flood in Noah's day. To Marie Jooste-The Friday crucifixion theory, though popular, is incorrect. See above. Review how Nehemiah counted 12 years at Neh:5:14 (year 1 was the 21st year, not the 20th). Thus, even if Christ was crucified on a Friday, which he wasn't), day 1 would be Saturday and day 3 would be Monday, not Sunday Two men ran through the streets of the city each trying to be the first to discover if it was so. The last few yards the lead changed several times but when they turned the last corner and arrived on the scene they both stopped. One leaned over and looked into the space and noticed a neatly folded pile of linen cloths. He was astounded and backed away not believing what he saw. His friend moved into the space, tucked his head and went in. He saw the same neat pile of linen cloth and a single handkerchief lying separate. He too was stunned. Then the other joined him inside, and seeing an empty, rock-carved room came to realize something beyond human belief had occurred. At that moment, he saw and he believed. These two men, Peter and John, were standing in the empty tomb where a little more than three days and three nights earlier, the dead body of their master and teacher, Jesus of Nazareth had been placed. They had come to an empty tomb and their lives were transformed. Jesus was not there, He had risen from the dead. All things had changed. Have you looked into that tomb? Have you seen that Christ is indeed risen? Have you been transformed by this event? Join us on Beyond Today as we look at "Christ's Resurrection: Our Hope of Life." I am a Christian, but I do not observe Easter. Now, I know that this holiday traditionally commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection defines the Christian faith. But Easter Sunday traditions, like colored eggs, bunnies
and parades really obscure the rich meaning of this event. Unfortunately, many observe Easter Sunday without really understanding the actual timing and the full truth of Christ's resurrection. Many others do not believe Christ was either divine or that He was even resurrected from the dead. Perhaps you feel the same way or you may be confused about this important subject. As the traditional Easter Sunday approaches, many will observe this day without really considering what they are trying to keep. Easter hides the vital truth about Christ's resurrection and its deepest meaning. Is it time for you to consider whether Christ rose from the dead and if He did, what that means for your life? If He did not rise, then Christianity is a pious fraud. If He did, then it makes all the difference in the world. Now we have covered this subject in past Beyond Today programs. "The Easter Charade ;" "Easter Exposed " are two episodes that you can find archived on our BeyondToday.tv site. In these programs we carefully examine the false Easter traditions in the light of the Bible. You should look into this subject. The Good Friday and Easter Sunday traditions do not hold up to the light of Scripture. Christ was not killed on a Friday and by the time the disciples came to the tomb on Sunday morning, He was already resurrectedâ€”the night before. In today's program, we are not going to cover this territory again. Rather, we are going to focus on the key truth that is covered up by the Easter traditions. That truth is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead after being in the grave for three days and three nights. Christ's resurrection is a defining teaching of the New Testament. So let's examine Jesus' resurrection here today, directly from Scripture, without traditions that have been added later. The resurrection of Christ formed a central part of the announcement that the apostles took to the world. Peter's first recorded sermon spoke to the very fact of Jesus' resurrection in Acts 2 where he said, "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also knowâ€” Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. "Therefore let all the house of Israel [now assuredly know]know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts:2:22-24 ; Acts:2:29-33
; Acts:2:36). You see, these men and women saw the resurrected Christ, handled His wound and received teaching from Him about the Kingdom of God for 40 days following His resurrection. They saw
and accepted this as a fact that confirmed their faith and enabled them to take the gospel to the peoples of their day. Their testimony, written in Acts and the epistles of Paul, are accepted by scholars as firsthand evidence that is sound and admissible proof of Christ's resurrection. Paul showed the resurrection was central to the Christian hope when he wrote this in 1 Corinthians 15: He said,"...Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." And in verse 12 he says, "Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say [that/omitted] there is no resurrection of the dead? (1 Corinthians:15:3-4 ; 1 Corinthians:15:12-19
). Let us pause there for a moment. You see the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate, after Christ's death, and they requested a security guard around the tomb so that the disciples would not come and steal the body to claim a resurrection. These Jews remembered Jesus said that He would be raised after three days and nights in the tomb. Pilate gave them a guard, and the stone was placed in front of the opening. The authorities knew this, both the Roman and the Jewish, so they took necessary precautions. In Matthew's account, he goes into detail to show that there were eyewitnesses to an earthquake and an angel of the Lord descending and rolling back the stone. The guards shook with fear to the point that they were nearly frozen into inaction. These guards, and keep in mind they were not Christ's disciples, these guards went and they reported what had happened, and what they saw with their own eyes to the authorities. They were bribed by the officials to keep quiet. The point is this: this event was a commonly known fact among the Jews for many years. People knew about the resurrection of the one called Jesus. There were multiple eyewitnesses. Paul said that Christ was seen by all 12 of the apostles. He was also seen by over five hundred people who in turn gave eyewitness testimony to thousands! (1 Corinthians:15:3-7
[Matthias chosen to replace Judas]) The point is this was not done in a corner. It was not covered up and then dragged out to dress up an effort to create a church that the disciples wanted to start. Think about this. These unlearned fishermen, tax collectors, women, they were the least likely of people to do a new church start-up in their day, especially on the story of a man who had been crucified like a criminal and then resurrected! Paul makes the case to these members in Corinth in 1 Corinthians that they have a Savior, and a hope of salvation. He wanted there to be no doubt in their mind of this truth. For you and I, there can be no doubt as well. Paul goes on to show the implications of a faith without a resurrected Savior back in 1 Corinthians 15. Let's read it again. He says, "But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty... And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable." What Paul was saying is this: Either Christ rose from the dead or He didn't. This is a deep issue of faith for a believer. Our modern world is geared to rip from our mind and from our heart any belief in God and even more so that Jesus of Nazareth was the divine Son of God, sent to this earth, born of a womanâ€”died and was resurrected to life eternal and sits today at the right hand of the Father waiting for the signal to return in all power and glory. It is the most important of matters in this life for you and for I to resolve. With this truthâ€” everything matters. You know, faith for me has been a really a lifetime project, just as I am sure it has been for you. It began in my youth and I had once had an unusual opportunity to think very deeply about this in Jerusalem, walking over the same land where Jesus lived and taught. This is the so-called Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. Years ago it was identified as the tomb where Jesus was laid after His death. But further study has proven this not to be the case. And while not the tomb of Jesus, it does give an idea of what a rolling stone tomb of the first century A.D. looked like. The empty tomb today can be viewed in Jerusalem and it serves to illustrate what the disciples' sawâ€”an empty tomb where once Jesus had lain. Years ago, while in Jerusalem for a summer of work and study, I used to walk down to that site and sit for a time thinking about the impact of the resurrection. In a rock-cut tomb like this, you can imagine all the events described by the gospel writers. Christ's body was carried and laid out on a piece of rock. Oils and special herbs were rubbed on the body and wrapped in fine linen cloth. And the rock was rolled across the entrance and darkness settled in the room. Three days and nights passed in silence and darkness. And then, at a precise moment, a flash of light
penetrated the dark and life returned to the body—not the same physical life but a spiritual life beyond what any human had experienced. The fullness of God energized the lifeless form and what was, vanished. Christ had risen from the dead and mankind had a Savior. Without a resurrection, Christianity is nothing more than a human philosophy on par with all the other creeds and teachings. With the resurrection there is nothing else but this central fact and truth. With it there is everything. All things have become new and are possible. This is such an important subject. We've got a booklet today that we think will help you to understand another dimension of this. The booklet is The Church Jesus Built . This free Bible study aid thoroughly covers some of the main reasons Christ came to earth in the flesh. It covers the subject with Scripture and it opens up new understanding for many. Jesus Christ is the most misunderstood figure in history. His teachings have been both accepted and denied. His life has been used to support everything from socialism to capitalism. He was considered radical in His day yet by today's standards, His teachings seem out of date. What is the truth? You'll want to study this booklet with your Bible to learn more about the church Jesus founded and how to find the one with Christ as its head, carrying out His work today. Get your free copy by calling: 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632. Or go online to BeyondToday.tv . And here's something for you who have e-readers like the Kindle or the iPad. This booklet and others are available for download off of our website. Just do a search with the booklet name on the site and you can download it for free to your reader. It's the quickest and the most direct way to get to the booklets that we have. Now let me tell you about an event that you will want to mark on your calendar. The United Church of God is sponsoring a series of Kingdom of God Bible Seminars . These are being held in major cities in the United States, Canada, Australia and around the world. At these seminars you will hear in depth presentations about the central Bible teaching of the Kingdom of God. Each seminar is different. If you attended the last one you're not going to want to miss the next in the series. Go to BeyondToday.tv . Look for the "Kingdom of God Bible Seminars" link and you'll find the seminar near you and you can register to attend. Now before His death, Jesus had a meal with the disciples commonly called The Last Supper. You're probably familiar with the depiction of this scene by the famous Renaissance painter, Leonardo DaVinci. What Christ and His disciples sat down to and have was really a Passover meal. But during the meal Christ made some significant changes. We read about it in 1 Corinthians 11 where Paul wrote this. He said, "I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me'" (1 Corinthians:11:23-25 ). Now you see the events of Christ's death took place at the time of the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. The festival is first described back in Exodus 12 at the time Israel left Egypt under Moses. Christ's death and His resurrection breathed new meaning into this festival.
The apostle Paul summed up this festival in eloquent language to a group of believers in the city of Corinth. His intent was to teach a non-Jewish, Gentile church that God's festivals were to be observed with new meaning and relevance. In chapter 5 of 1 Corinthians he says to them, "Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 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:5:6-8 ). Christ, our Passover, fulfilled the symbol of the lamb traditionally killed as part of the Old Testament Passover service. His sacrifice, once for all time, was planned from the foundation of the world. Christ was laid in a new tomb, cut from rock, probably a rolling stone tomb common to the first century of Jerusalem. The Gospels tell us the disciples had to hurry to get this done since the Sabbath was coming on. What most misunderstand about this Sabbath is that it was not the weekly Sabbath, but it was actually the first Day of Unleavened Bread, an annual Sabbath, a part of this Holy Spring Festival. Christ told the disciples He would be in the grave for three days and three nights. This came to pass exactly as He had foretold. It was the one sign that He gave to the skeptics that He was the Son of God, the Messiah. Now when the disciples came to the tomb that morning, they found it empty. The prophecies had come true. The Holy One had not seen corruption. Scores of Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled with this event. The disciples would over the coming weeks piece it together and come to understand that this Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Son of God, the long awaited Messiah. They set out on the commission to take the gospel to the world and to make disciples. They took the good news of the Kingdom of God to the world of their day. We see this fascinating story in the Book of Acts and through the teaching of the apostles; we learn the importance of Christ's life and resurrection to our hope of salvation and eternal life. Christ's death paid the penalty for sin. That judgment is lifted from us when we repent and accept Christ's sacrifice and blood shed for the remission of sins. And this begins the process of salvation for us. But our hope of eternal life as part of God's family, in the Kingdom, lies in the life of Christ in us. And understanding this vital key is critical. Look at what Paul writes in Romans as he conveys this truth. In Romans he says, "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation" (Romans:5:8-10 ).
Verse 10 gives us something to talk about. Many times well meaning religious people focus on Christ's death and do not bring into proper perspective His life. There is focus on His passion and His death, a very important part of God's plan. Christ's death provides us with the sacrifice necessary for the reconciliation with God and the forgiveness of sin. Very important! But this only begins the process. That Christ lived again, was resurrected from the grave and lives today is necessary for us to have any hope of eternal life. We are saved, and salvation— eternal life—is a gift of God by grace. Now comes the important point. Follow on in the following verses from Romans. Paul says, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" You know, today sin is a word that we really don't like to talk about. Don't like to admit it. People don't want to admit to conduct that's wrong, that violates the law of God. Our physically saturated world dulls our sensitivities to a spiritual dimension of life that's real. We can think the physical is all there is to life. The existence of spiritual laws that govern how we live—that's right—I said govern our life, it's an alien thought. Man is a physical being with a spiritual dimension that allows us to connect with God and have a relationship. These same spiritual laws, when obeyed, enable us to live successfully, free of a lot of the pain and suffering brought on by bad decisions and behavior. Sin is why God sent His Son to live and to die for us. And Paul goes on. He says, "Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. "For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. "For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God" (Romans:6:3-6
; Romans:6:10). Now in this passage, Paul provides us a vision of how to live once we have repented of living contrary to the spiritual laws of God, and made a choice to obey God and turn from a life and from a culture of death to one that puts us squarely on the road to eternal life. To begin this life, this journey, is to begin to live as we have never lived previously. It is a new life. We are alive to God in Christ. This new life is about Christ in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. It's about a different approach and a different attitude toward life than we would have without that help. It's about a choice that we make to become free from sin and its consequences. It's about deciding to stop the destructive behavior of addictions to whatever may currently enslave us. It's about deciding to forgive others and letting go of past hurts and moving on in life. It's about deciding to avoid the people, the places, the attitudes and the temptations that keep us in the holes of life.
Now our free offers today of the booklet about the church and about the magazine that we have, make this subject very clear. When you call today and request the booklet, you're going to also be given the opportunity to have a free subscription to our magazine, The Good News . Six issues a year. And each issue includes many subjects on prophecy, Christian living and biblical teaching. Your knowledge of the Bible, of God and of His great plan for your life will grow with each issue of this important, this vitally important magazine. You can receive this free magazine by calling the toll free number: 1-888-886-8632. Or go online at www. BeyondToday.tv. In addition, I really encourage you to visit our website. We're now producing daily videos on breaking news and important topics. Join us throughout the week for BT Daily and get additional material to help you better understand life. I'm now joined with my fellow Beyond Today hosts, Gary Petty and Steve Myers, as we go deeper into this subject. Why is it a challenge for a person to believe in Christ's resurrection? [Gary] You know, Darris, I think it's because we live in such a secular society; that people tend to take the Bible and make it a myth. They may believe that Jesus actually existed as a person, but they don't really, truly believe in His divinity. And one proof of that is a number of years ago, the novel The Da Vici Code and the movies that it spawnedâ€”which actually took Jesus and simply made Him a good man where He got married and had children. There really was no crucifixion. No resurrection. And a lot of people actually believe that. Millions of people actually believe that novel was true. [Steve] I think it has a lot to do with being eye-witnesses. We weren't there. We haven't seen it. And so without experiencing it for ourselves, we tend to minimize it and think well maybe it didn't happen after all. [Darris] That eye-witness is an incredible testimony and the truth of the Scriptures, really directly point to that. [Steve] It is amazing how many times it says that Christ was seen after the resurrection. Even preaching the Kingdom of God for 40 days afterwards and seen by hundreds. Five hundred at once, you mentioned! [Darris] Christ made sure that He was seen enough times that day in that age for that to be understood. All of that being true, I think that the most important aspect of proof comes by the doing and by the life of Christ in us. Galatians:2:20, Paul writes, "I have been crucified with Christ;[and] it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." That's a powerful scripture. [Gary] Well, for those who don't accept that Jesus is the Christ, that Jesus is divine... You know when we make statements like, we have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and that's as real to us as any relationship we have in our lives. And yet for people who don't have that, they don't know what we're talking about. That scripture you just read, Christianity is more than just believing in Jesus Christ. It is following Him as a brother. It is worshipping Him as the Son of God. It is imitating His life and it's actually having a relationship with Him. [Steve] I think one of the stories that relate to the resurrection, of course revolves around doubting Thomas. Everyone knows the story of doubting Thomas. And he hadn't seen Christ yet and so he doubted the whole thing. He just could not believe it because he hadn't seen it. And so
Christ finally appears to him and when He does, He makes that point so clearly because Thomas says my Lord, by Godâ€”when he finally sees Him and touches Him with his own hands. And yet Christ makes that amazing point where He says, blessed are those who haven't seen and yet believe. And that's us! We haven't physically seen Him but it makes it no less real. I mean Christ is everything. Galatians:2:20 brings that home that He is our Savior. We're to die to our old selves and become like Christ. And so that's the reality of it. The reality of the resurrection is that Christ lives in me. [Darris] That's what Paul was saying. The life I live, I live by faith or the faith of Christ within me. That's just a powerful concept; takes a whole lifetime to come up to and to understand. [Gary] Right. [Steve] Changed lives. I think it comes down to changed lives. Being a part of the true faith means my life can be changed. I don't have to have the same worries, the same concerns, the same perspective that would override us otherwise. You know because of the faith of Jesus Christ, we can be different. We can live a different life. We can be a different person. [Darris] If a person is wanting to escape the traditions that have surrounded all of this, what's the best way to get to the clear, unvarnished truth, from Scriptures of Christ's resurrection and the meaning of His life today? [Gary] You know, first of all, just go back and read the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. See what those people wrote from that time period about Jesus and like in the case of John from his person experience. When you read through that, what you see are people that captured the meaning of His life and what Jesus shows us is how to worship His Father. His whole ministry was about how to worship His Father. If you really want to worship God? You really want to understand God? You have to understand Jesus Christ. [Darris] Remember our free offers today: The booklet, The Church Jesus Built and our bimonthly publication, The Good News magazine. You can call right now: 1-888-886-8632 and request your free copy and your subscription. Again, that's 1-888-886-8632. Or go online at www.BeyondToday.tv . All of this is talking about the resurrection of Jesus Christâ€”the central doctrine of the Christian faith. Its meaning for you is far greater than anything you can learn by the religious traditions that obscure the real meaning of the event. When we understand it within the completeness of the life and the death of Christ, it completely changes everything. The disciples found an empty tomb. He was not there. He had risen and today Christ sits at the right hand of the Father, the Head of a spiritual body called the Church. He is directing the work that you are watching right here at this time on this television program. Keep watching us. Check out what we say with your Bible, and then you decide. Join us next time and remember to keep praying "Thy kingdom come." For Beyond Today , I'm Darris McNeely.