According to a story in Religion News Service, “Every Christian knows the story: Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and rose from the dead on Easter Sunday.”
Actually, I’m one of many followers of Jesus, or Yeshua as He was known, who don’t know this, nor believe it.
In fact, I would suggest, like a growing number of believers, that today would be the most appropriate day to celebrate the Resurrection.
What every Christian should know is that their Lord and Savior died on Passover, not Good Friday. Every Christian should also know that Yeshua rose from the dead before sunrise Sunday, because, as the Bible tells us in Matthew 28:1, Mary, the mother of Yeshua, and Mary Magdalene traveled to the sepulcher after the Sabbath, while it was still dark, and He had already risen.
It is highly unlikely Passover took place on a Friday that year if Yeshua rose about 24 to 36 hours later. No way that could be interpreted as three days in the tomb.
What makes much more sense is that Yeshua died on Passover as “the lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” as John wrote in Revelation, and arose from the dead on the Feast of First Fruits – thus fulfilling two biblical holy convocations. (Actually, three if you count the weeklong Feast of Unleavened Bread that encompasses both Passover and First Fruits.)
Today is the Feast of First Fruits.
Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter are simply man-made traditions.
It’s time for people who call themselves “Christians” to begin recognizing who their Lord and Savior really was. He was the Jewish Messiah. His entire earthly ministry was about announcing that to the Jews – many of whom, but not all, refused to recognize Him.
I sometimes wonder, when He returns again, as He promised to do, how many “Christians” will recognize Him.
Why did so many Jews not accept Him as their messiah? Because they had placed their manmade traditions and laws ahead of the Word of God. I fear most “Christians” are doing the same thing today, as we seem imminently close to His Second Coming.
I don’t say this to be mean or condescending. I say it because the church needs to pay closer attention to the Bible and less attention to the teachings of popular preachers and the so-called “scholars.”
When I write about these issues, I’m often asked, “By what authority do you speak? Which school of theology did you attend? From which seminary were you graduated?”
The answer to that question is that I speak from the authority of Scripture alone. Can I be wrong in my interpretation? Of course. Do I understand everything in Scripture? Of course not. But there are some basics that are not difficult to comprehend unless we allow ourselves to accept tradition over the clear inspired and inerrant text.
That’s not to suggest that men more learned than I can’t help in directing our understanding of Scripture. But if the teaching of men conflicts with Scripture in any way, they themselves are deceived and deceiving others – no matter their worldly credentials.
There are teachers who have been enormously helpful to me in my study of the Bible. That is not to say that I agree with them on everything, nor, for their sakes, do I want to suggest they agree with me on everything. But gifted teachers of the Bible can elucidate our own independent study of Scripture along with the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Some of my favorite contemporary teachers are:
- Chuck Missler
- Hal Lindsey
- Jonathan Cahn
- Joel Richardson
- Jim Staley
- Mark Biltz
- Ray Comfort
- Greg Laurie
I’m privileged to say I know all these men – and their hearts for our Lord. And another thing they have in common, to one degree or another, is a deep appreciation for the Hebrew roots of our faith.
Without that, Christianity just doesn’t make a lot of sense.