by Allen Williams
The Christian faith has adopted many pagan practices and rituals over the centuries in its mission to carry out the great commission. This has given rise to a number of religious myths, which have been counter productive to the church's mission to spread the gospel. People sense the phoniness.
The best recognized Christian myth is that Christ died on Good Friday and was resurrected on Easter Sunday. But, how can Christ's raising from the dead be a myth, you ask? The resurrection is a well-documented and witnessed event that is not in question but rather the Church's Easter Sunday resurrection claim.
There is not a shred of evidence to support the church's Easter resurrection story despite the biblical account. In fact, Christ's own words contradict what most churches teach about his death and resurrection.
The Pharisees had asked Jesus to give them a sign that he was the long awaited messiah. His response was "This is an evil generation; they seek a sign; and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonas" the prophet." - Luke 11:29 (KJV). So how does the prophet Jonah prove that Christ was Messiah?
We know from the book of Jonah that he spent 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the great fish God had prepared. (Jonah 2:17)
The bible gives us a clue with Christ's statement in Matt 12:40: " For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly of the great fish, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" . In this verse, Jesus makes the claim that he will be in the tomb of the earth for 3 full days and 3 full nights, the same length of time that Jonah was in the whale's belly.
Remember "..man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." (Luke 4:4) In order to be God, any timetable predicted must be precise.
If God's word is truth, then Christ's claim of
being in the belly of the earth for 72 hours must be taken as a literal
not a metaphoric interpretation. But there is a problem with the
traditional Easter story that claims Christ was in the grave just two
days and one night, counting from the sixth hour on Friday afternoon
until sunrise Easter morning. Some apologists have claimed that He
wasn't in the tomb as long as He thought, so then how could he be God?
Clearly the traditional account does not fulfil the 72-hour prophetic
sign that must occur for Christ to be Messiah.
The Pharisees of the day clearly understood the prophesy that Jesus gave, as the bible states that the day following the day of preparation, they came to Pilate asking for guards to make sure his disciples did not steal the body on the third day. (Matt 27:v62-63) So, if Jesus was in the grave as he claimed for 72 hours, then what day was he crucified on?
The bible gives a clue to the actual day of crucifixion when it mentions the 'day of preparation', a term used to denote the day before a high Sabbath. High Sabbath's only occur in the annual Holy days laid out by God's Master Plan in Leviticus 23, which are separate and distinct from the weekly Sabbath. This means that the crucifixion had to have occurred during the week of one of the biblical holy feasts but which one?
To answer that we look to the book of John: "Now before the feast of the Passover when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the father.." This statement establishes the crucifixion occurring during the week of Passover. (John 13:1) "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29)
These passages indicate that Christ was the Passover lamb symbolized by the lamb without blemish in the old testament ritual (Exodus 12:v5-7). The lamb's blood was to be placed on the side posts and lintel of the door so that God would spare Israel's firstborn in His final plague on Egypt. This lamb was to be killed on the night of the 14th of the month as commanded in Leviticus 23.
Christ and his disciples celebrated the last supper on the 14th day of the seventh month, which places his crucifixion on the following day, Wednesday the 15th of Nisan, a day of Preparation. The Jews celebrate Passover the evening of the 15th.
The 1st day of unleavened bread occurs on the 16th and is a High Sabbath. So the week of Christ's crucifixion had two Sabbaths, the weekly one and one from the annual holy days. No work could be done on any Sabbath so food preparation for the holy day must occur on the preparation day. Neither Mary nor anyone else could have possibly gotten to the tomb before early Sunday morning because of the preparations required before the two Sabbaths that week.
In 33 AD, Tuesday night was the 14th of the month. About the 6th hour on the 15th, Jesus died.
God counts time from 'even to even' as one 24-hour
day as defined in Genesis 1:5. So, Christ was in the tomb Wednesday
even (sundown) to Thursday even (sundown) which is one day. Then from
Thursday even until Friday even for a second day. And finally from
Friday even until Saturday even for a third day as well as the nights of
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
This satisfies the exact 72-hour requirement in the heart of the earth that Christ prophesied, fixing the Resurrection on the biblical Sabbath, just before sundown and confirming Him as the long awaited Messiah.
But, the bible clearly states that "In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre", which was definitely Sunday morning.
The earthquake and the appearing of the Angel as recounted in (Matt 28:v2-6) was NOT to let Christ out of the tomb because he was already risen (not at dawn that morning but before sunset the previous day. Otherwise, the sign of Jonah could not have been fulfilled.)
Easter sunrise services are simply another myth perpetuated by Christianity's mixed pagan teachings.
"There was no "Easter sunrise service" in the early Church—even according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica: "The name Easter… is derived from Eostre, or Ostara, [ISHTAR] the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring… There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament." (1911 ed., p. 828). - Tomorrow's World - the Sign of Jonah
So why does Christendom teach such nonsense? Christ provides the answer in Mark 7:9, "Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. " My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27). His voice of truth stands out from the malaise.
So, do you believe the God of the Bible and follow his command 'to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.." (Matt 28:20) or do you choose to believe Christendom's pagan fables?