TRAITOROUS TRADITIONS by Paula Yingst (2012)
from My Armor’s Kinda Rusty… Encouragement for Weary Warriors
HAVING TWO OF OUR granddaughters living with us has afforded a
whole new way to look at holidays and birthdays and pretty much every day
that carries with it a reason to regard it as special. To wake up on Christmas
morning and share in the exciting reveal of “Santa gifts” is such a priceless
honor for their Nana and Papa!
We all play the Santa game, but the girls know that Santa Claus is a fictional
character that simply adds fun to the joyous celebration of Jesus’ birthday.
And we all know that Jesus wasn’t actually born on December 25th in a
snowstorm. Thanks to the amazing collection of information on the Internet,
we can be “certain” that Jesus was actually born in April, either on the 6th or
the 17th… or maybe the 19th. But of course there’s the possibility that Mary
may have held off until October 9th. At any rate, we choose to join with other
Christians around the world and sing “Happy Birthday, dear Jesus” on the
date that has become most universally accepted.
I do remember, though, getting a bit huff y as a youngster whenever someone
challenged, “But how do you know that Jesus was born on December 25th?”
I would always confidently answer, “Because my church says so!” However,
during my teen years, as the traditional remembrances surrounding Easter
rolled around – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Resurrection on
Sunday morning – it began to bother me that all of that simply didn’t jibe
with what I was reading in my Bible. Truthfully, it really bothered me. And
as usual, I wasn’t able to find anyone, including pastors, who could give me
a satisfactory answer.
My problem was this: If Jesus said he would be in the grave for three days and
three nights (Matthew 12:40), why do we jump from the crucifixion on Friday
to the resurrection on Sunday. No matter how I tried to rationalize that, it
simply didn’t work. So for years I wondered: Why did Jesus say that?
I finally found the answer – you guessed it – after my fibromyalgia diagnosis,
during the time when I had no choice but to be still and let God teach me
some things that I’d been too busy to pick up on earlier. Lo and behold, into
my hands came a book titled, A Scientific Approach To Biblical Mysteries by
Robert W. Faid (1993; Guideposts and New Leaf Press). And in Chapter 6
– under the presumptuous title, “When Was the Crucifixion? It Wasn’t on a
Friday!” I found the answers I had been seeking for decades.
Once again we need to refer back to the fourth century and the Emperor
Constantine, who apparently forgot that Jesus himself was a Jew, because in
the year 325, he ordered all Jews to leave Rome. At that time, the Nicaean
Council ruled that Christians could have nothing to do with Jews, including
the celebration of Passover. Instead they instituted the pagan holiday known
as “Easter” to commemorate Christ’s death and resurrection in a non-Jewish
sort of way.
According to Jewish custom and the Gospel writers, here’s how it all went
ON SATURDAY, (the Jewish Sabbath) Jesus entered Jerusalem on the colt of
a donkey in fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy (Zechariah 9:9). Christians
call this Palm Sunday.
ON SUNDAY, Jesus entered the temple and rebuked the moneychangers.
ON MONDAY, Jesus returned to Jerusalem and taught in the temple courts.
And Judas Iscariot promised to betray his Teacher for 30 pieces of silver,
fulfilling the Zechariah 11:12 prophecy.
ON TUESDAY, preparations were made for Wednesday’s evening meal,
called the Passover. So, Jesus sent two of his disciples to prepare a place for the
Seder, Tuesday’s ritual evening meal. (Christians call this the Last Supper.)
ON TUESDAY NIGHT after the Seder, Jesus and his disciples – minus Judas
Iscariot – went to pray at Gethsemene. Then they walked across the Kidron
Valley to an olive grove. Judas knew where they would be, and he led the
chief priests straight to Jesus. In the middle of the night, Jesus was arrested
for blasphemy, because he claimed to be the Son of God.
ON WEDNESDAY MORNING, Jesus was brutalized and sentenced to
death. He was nailed to the cross around 9 a.m.
ON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, Jesus died at 3 P.M. (Mark 15:33). His
body was placed in a tomb before sundown in accordance with Jewish law.
JESUS’ BODY REMAINED IN THE TOMB FOR THREE DAYS:
Thursday was Passover and people were not allowed to travel. Roman guards
stood in front of the tomb. Friday was an additional Sabbath, always observed
on the day after Passover, according to Jewish tradition. Saturday was a regular
Sabbath with travel restrictions.
ON SUNDAY travel restrictions were lifted. Visitors were allowed at Jesus’
tomb and they saw that it was empty, except for the linen shroud and the cloth
that had wrapped Jesus’ head.
So there you have it. Another “truth illusion” implemented by the dictates of
men in authority and nurtured as fact throughout the passage of time.
But that was just the beginning of folklore which would ultimately shape our
minds and the world we currently live in.
“Thus you nullify the word of God
by your tradition that you have handed down.
And you do many things like that.”
— Jesus (Mark 7:13)
A RUST REMOVER: How does it make you feel that a majority of Christian
churches around the world still teach the erroneous doctrine that was put into
play back in Constantine’s day? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you reconcile that
fact within yourself, know that God loves you in spite of it, and be at peace.
Now you know the truth.