We call it Easter because of the pagan feast it replaced, and celebrate it at the wrong time in most years. And what do coloured eggs and bunnies have to do with anything? Learn the truth about the most important day in human history.
I thought I’d start the meeting off tonight with a little explanation on how Easter came to be so early in the year this year and what’s going on and why that happens. And so as you know, Jesus rose out of the tomb sometime before sunrise on the Sunday morning after the crucifixion. That day on the Hebrew calendar was the day in which they celebrate the Feast of First Fruits. The Feast of First Fruits always falls on the day after the Sabbath that follows Passover.
Now Passover is always on the 14th day of the first month of the year. Their first month, which usually falls from mid-March to mid-April on our calendar — they follow the lunar calendar, we follow a solar calendar, and that’s what makes the difference. And so Passover always falls on the 14th day of their first month. And then starting on the 15th day, the very next day, they have a seven-day feast called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And over the years Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread have become merged together if you will in such a way that mostly today, in our modern day, they just call the 15th of the month Passover, and it’s also the first day of the feast. Because you see if you read in the Book of Exodus the 14th day of the month was the day that the Israelites were supposed to slaughter the lamb and they were supposed to put the blood on the doorpost. All this was supposed to happen on the 14th day of the month, and then when sundown came, between sundown and midnight the destroying angel came through Egypt and destroyed all the firstborn.
Then the next morning the Israelites left Egypt, and they left with their kneading troughs with them, but since they were on the move they couldn’t stop to take the time for the bread to rise, so they ate unleavened bread, and it was called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days they ate unleavened bread, and it became one of the national holidays in Israel. A seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread that started the day after Passover, started on the 15th of the month and ran for seven days.
In the midst of all that, after they got into the land, they developed this Feast of First Fruits which was the dedication of the early harvest to the Lord. It was a Sunday morning, it was the day after the Sabbath (their Sabbath was on Saturday which followed the Passover) they went into the fields at sunrise, and they took a sample of the grain harvest and they took that sample to the temple, and there the priests dedicated the harvest to the Lord. And so that day is called the Feast of First Fruits because it is the first fruits of the harvest.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul called Jesus the first fruits of the first resurrection. He was the first of the harvest of souls that God would take through the Church age and on into the future. And so you had in the spring feasts, you had those three right together. On the 14th you had the Passover, on the 15th and running through the 22nd you had the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and then on the Sunday that fell in the middle of that week, you had the Feast of First Fruits.
Now that Sunday feast, First Fruits, was not a holy day. People went to work on that day. And so it was just a dedication of the harvest, but it was a regular day for everybody. Today if you look at most calendars, or many calendars I should say, you’ll find that actually Passover they have it listed on what’s the 15th day of their month. Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread were always date-specific just like our Christmas is always date-specific. Christmas always comes on the 25th of December; it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is, it always comes on the 25th of December. Passover always comes on the 14th day of their first month, the Feast of Unleavened Bread always starts on the 15th day no matter what day of the week it is.
In the year that Jesus was crucified Passover was on a Thursday. And the next day was, if you read John 19 you’ll find the next day was, something he called a special Sabbath. That means it was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. That was on a Friday. The day after that was the regular Sabbath which was a Saturday. So in that week, they had two Sabbaths, and that’s why Mary and the other women who went to anoint the body of Jesus for burial couldn’t go until Sunday morning. Jesus was in the tomb by sunrise on Thursday. He was in the tomb Thursday night, Friday, Friday night, Saturday, Saturday night. Sunday morning the women went to the grave because that’s the first time it was legal for them to do any work, and they went to anoint the body, and the body was gone. That was on the Feast of First Fruits, that was that morning.
Resurrection Morning is always on the Sunday which follows Passover. Okay, so when is Passover? Well since the Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar, it varies widely within a 30 to 40 day period sometimes. At least 30 days I think. But it always comes on the 15th day of their first month.
Our calendar and the Jewish calendar don’t mesh because the Jewish calendar, being lunar, has 354 days in a year. Our calendar, being solar, has 365 and a quarter. There’s a real complicated system that the Jews use to reconcile the calendar.
It’s like every third year in a 19-year cycle there is an extra day in the month, in some months. And then every, I forget how many years it is, they have what’s called a leap month. It’s a short month, and technically it is called an intercalary month. It’s the 13th month. And so they get to the end of the year, and every so often they have this leap month, this 13th month, and then the year starts over again.
When that happens, our two calendars are way off at the beginning, but because of that extra month, they mesh together again. Some years Passover falls on the Thursday before Easter, Easter is this Sunday morning. Every few years that happens that way and some years it happens that it’s way off of kilter like it is this year.
Now that’s compounded by the fact that Easter Sunday in the western calendar is not celebrated based on Passover. In the western calendar Easter Sunday is determined by the spring solstice, the first day of spring. And Easter is actually the first full moon after the spring solstice. This year the spring solstice, that’s the first day of spring, March 21, this year the full moon was the next day. And so that’s why it’s so early this year. But in Israel they are putting their 13th month in there and so in Israel Passover doesn’t happen for another month.
This year Passover is on April 20th. And Passover actually falls on a Sunday this year, and so the Feast of First Fruits is the following Sunday because it’s always the day after the Sabbath after Passover.
And so the Feast of First Fruits, if they were celebrating it, would actually be April 27th. That is Resurrection Morning. So in the western Church — and let me back up a little bit to further complicate things. When Christianity became popular in the Roman Empire, you know the Roman Empire had two divisions, an eastern division, and a western division. Rome was the capital of the western division. Constantinople, which is called Istanbul today, was the capital of the eastern division. The first popes reigned from Constantinople, named after Constantine who brought the Christian religion into Rome.
Over the years the western and eastern legs of the Roman Empire disagreed with the religious aspects of it, and they split to the point where the western division of the Roman Empire became known eventually as the Catholic church, and the eastern division of the Roman Empire became known as the Greek Orthodox church. There are actually Green Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Antioch Orthodox, but they are all the eastern leg.
In the early days you had two popes, you had a pope in Constantinople and one in Rome. Even today you have a patriarch of the Greek Orthodox church who is equivalent to the pope, and you have a pope in the western church. Those two haven’t spoken for 1,400 years; there is that much division between them.
When Christianity came into the Roman Empire, the eastern church, which was composed mostly of former Jews, wanted to stick with the Passover formula. They wanted to have Easter, or Resurrection Morning as they call it, they wanted to have it celebrated on the day after the Sabbath after Passover when it really is supposed to be celebrated.
The western church was mostly Gentiles, and they had a big feast on the spring solstice. It was a pagan fertility feast; it was called the Feast of Ishtar. Ishtar is the Babylonian goddess of fertility. And they used rabbits and coloured eggs and all kinds of things to convey the idea of fertility because they were dedicating the land really, they were beseeching the Babylonian fertility goddess Ishtar for all of the healthy things that you would want to have. They wanted lambs to be born, they wanted calves to be born, they wanted colts to be born, they wanted the grain to grow, and this was all part of their fertility rites.
And so the western church, and you’ll hear this spoken of by people today, the western church said:
It shouldn’t matter what day we celebrate the Lord’s resurrection as long as we do, and since we already have this big festival going on, why don’t we just incorporate that into this big festival because people are already used to having a holiday, the stores are already stocked up for things. And you know, there is tradition with this. Let’s just superimpose the Christian thing on top of it.
They did the same thing with Christmas by the way, you know that. The feast of Saturnalia, Christmas was just superimposed on top of that in December at the winter solstice. And so both Christmas and Easter had their origins in these pagan religions, and they just superimposed the Christianity on top of it.
For four or five centuries, no self-respecting Christian would ever celebrate Christmas or Easter because they knew of its pagan origins. It took about 400 years for people to get used to doing it, and now we don’t think anything of it. But if you stop to think of it all the things you see around Christmas time: mistletoe, yule logs, hot cross buns, stuff like that, it’s all out of the pagan rituals. And at Easter time the easter eggs and the jellybeans and the rabbits and all that, that’s all out of the pagan origins that has nothing to do with Christianity, but simply the two got melded together.
Now the eastern church stayed with Passover and so if you go to a Greek Orthodox church on Sunday, April 27th you can celebrate Easter morning on the anniversary of the Lord’s resurrection, because they celebrate their Easter on April 27th, the Sunday after Passover, which is the way it really should be done. So if you want to celebrate the Lord’s resurrection on the anniversary of its day, you would do it on Sunday, April 27th this year.
And if you want to find out when to do it on any year, google “Passover for the year.” You’ll find out what day it is and look it up on the calendar, (some of the calendars have Passover marked on them already) go to the Sunday after Passover and that’s the anniversary of the Lord’s resurrection.
That is how Easter came this year a whole month before Passover because the calendars are the farthest apart they ever get. And like you were saying earlier it happened early this century, in the early 1900s, and it is going to be about 200 years before it happens this early again because of the way the calendars have to adjust themselves.
Always on the first month, which is called Nisan by the way. N-I-S-A-N. The first month of the Hebrew calendar is Nisan. On the 14th day is Passover, and depending on what day of the week Passover comes on you can go to the next Sunday morning, and that is Resurrection Morning.
Many of us believe that as Christians we shouldn’t even use the word Easter because it is simply the Anglicization of the name of the BABYLONIAN FERTILITY GODDESS “Ishtar”.
IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRISTIANITY, AND IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE LORD’S RESURRECTION.
We should be talking about Sunday morning as Resurrection Morning. That’s what it is. It has nothing to do with the pagan goddess Ishtar. And in fact, if you, and I don’t know if you feel like doing this or not, but if you do want to you want to get on the internet and find out what happened during the feast of Ishtar, you will never ever call it that again. Because some of the most abominable things in the Lord’s mind that ever happened on Earth happened during that celebration. It’s the kind of stuff we don’t want to talk about here today. But if you are, and probably I’ve gotten you more curious than you should be now —
Audience question, someone asks: Is that U-S-H- Jack spells it out: I-S-H-T-A–R. Ishtar, yes.
So that’s just a little bonus for being here on Good Friday. And by the way, Good Friday is also a tradition that doesn’t have anything to do with the crucifixion. You know you can’t get three days, and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning no matter how you try to do it, it will not work. On the year the Lord was crucified it took place on Thursday.
And also you have to remember that in the Hebrew calendar the evening comes before the day, so He was in the tomb on Thursday, that was day 1. As soon as sundown came it became Friday night, so Friday night was night 1. And then the next morning was Friday morning, day 2. The next night was Saturday night, night 2. The next day was Saturday day, day 3, and the next night at sundown it became Sunday, night 3. So you have three days and three nights. And that’s what He said, He said three days and three nights.
He didn’t say three full days and three nights, He didn’t say three nights on the Gregorian calendar, He said on His calendar as He counted days and nights as the Jews always did. There were three daytime periods and three nighttime periods when He was in the tomb, and you can’t do that when you start on Friday. It just simply doesn’t work.
The only day of the week by the way that will work and will satisfy not only all of the prophetic requirements but also all of the regular festival requirements, the only day of the week that works is Thursday. Some people think it happened on Wednesday, and He came out of the tomb Saturday night, but that doesn’t work either. The only day of the week that works is Thursday.
And so I don’t know if you want to get into that or not but if that’s important to you then now you know how it really happens. Monday-Thursday is a tradition that really doesn’t come out of Scripture, it comes out of Christian tradition, just like Lent. Lent is not a Christian, or not a Biblical I should say, issue. It comes out of paganism as well. Many of the traditions that we have in Christianity had their origins in pagan religions, it had nothing to do with the early Church. Have we gone far enough into that? (laughs) If that arouses your curiosity, there are lots of places on the internet you can go and read about it, some of them are goofy, and some of them are okay you just have to use your discernment.
But I can tell you without fear of contradiction that Thursday is the only day of the week where you can get three days and three nights, where you can satisfy the Jewish calendar requirements, the Jewish holy day requirements, and come up with a Sunday morning resurrection, which we all — everybody agrees that that happened. Okay.
Those who agree that there was a resurrection agree that that happened. There are some people who say that there was no resurrection and so those people you can’t talk to about this kind of thing because they don’t believe that. So that is how Easter — that’s why there’s such confusion between that.
I have taken, and this is the reason it didn’t dawn on me that this was Good Friday because of two reasons really. One reason I know that Jesus was not crucified on a Friday, and the second is that I believe Resurrection Morning should be celebrated on its actual anniversary as long as we know it.
Now you can make an excuse for Christmas because we don’t know the day the Lord was born. I have my opinion; other people have other opinions. Most people believe it’s in the fall, sometime in September-October, simply because of what the Bible says about it. You know you don’t have flocks in the field in December in Israel especially around Jerusalem and Bethlehem because it’s too cold. The flocks are inside in barns and caves and things during the wintertime because they couldn’t survive out there.
But we don’t know the exact date of the Lord’s birth, and so you could take some leeway there if you wanted to. But we know the actual day of the Lord’s resurrection, and in my opinion, His resurrection is the single most important day in the history of the world because when He came out of the tomb that was our proof that the sins that He took with Him to the cross had been paid for.
Because it very clearly said that when He went — let’s look in Colossians. Now we’re on a different subject than I intended to be, but hey, Jude did it to us — he was going to write about salvation and at the last minute he switched over to writing about false teachers — so we’ll get back at him and do this instead of what we were going to do, or at least part of it.
Let’s go to Colossians 2, and I want to prove to you why Resurrection Morning is the most important day in the history of the world.
He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations that was against us and that stood opposed to us;
In other words, when He says He cancelled the written code with its regulations, that means He fulfilled the requirements of the law.
There was an indictment against us you see, every one of our sins is a violation of God’s law and represents an indictment against us. It’s a crime against God when we sin, and the penalty is death, you understand that right? And so every one of our sins was an indictment against us; the penalty was death. When Jesus went to the cross, He fulfilled the requirements of the law and enabled God to cancel the indictment against us. Therefore we were no longer under a death sentence. Now we are living again.
he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
All right, so this is the picture that Paul is painting for us here. In the physical realm, had you been standing at the foot of the cross, you would have looked up there and seen a sign over the Lord’s head which was the recitation of the crime for which He was being executed.
Now Pilate had written in this sign Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. He wrote it in Aramaic, he wrote it in Latin, and he wrote it in, I think it was Greek. It was written there in those three languages. And that meant that Jesus was being executed for treason, that was the legal basis in Roman law on which He was executed. He had claimed to be the King of the Jews, and that was a crime against Rome punishable by death. It was treason, because Caesar was the king of the Jews, having conquered Judea, and he had named a friend of his named Herod to serve as the local representative of the king, but the Roman emperor was legally the king over the Jewish people.
And so that was the basis on which the Jews got Pilate to execute Jesus, because you remember Pilate did not want to do this and he kept saying:
Look I can’t find any fault with this guy, He has broken none of our laws. If you want to deal with Him and He has broken some of your laws, then you deal with Him.
And they said:
Well you know because you have conquered us we no longer have the authority to put anybody to death, and this is what we need to do with this guy we need to put Him to death. And then they said:
You know He claimed to be the King of the Jews and that is a crime punishable by death under your law.
And on that basis, Pilate agreed. He washed his hands of it and said do what you want. And so in the physical realm, you and I would have seen that sign over the cross: Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, that represented the crime.
The idea of having that crime posted up there is that Jesus was crucified along a major highway that ran from Jerusalem to Damascus, and all of the people coming into town had to go right past Him. The idea is that they would look up at the cross, they would see the sign which listed the crime for which He was being crucified, and they were supposed to think to themselves:I will never do that!
It was supposed to be a deterrent, that was what it was for. And so whenever somebody was crucified they always hung the sign up there.
Now had you been in the spiritual world and looked at the cross, like Satan and his people were, you would have seen a different sign. On the sign in the spiritual world was a listing of all the sins ever committed, past, present, and future by humanity. He died for all the sins of the world. Past, present and future.
He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
He nailed God’s law to the cross, and that signified that He was dying to fulfil the penalty that was due to you and me for the violations we commit against God by breaking His law. Do you understand that? And so that is what Paul is saying there.
And when it says He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over the cross they thought, Satan and his cohorts in the spiritual realm, thought that they had finally beaten God by killing His son, the Redeemer. The Redeemer is gone, now mankind is ours! They were having this huge, I imagine it this way, they were having this huge celebration as Jesus hung there dying. But lo and behold, all of a sudden over the Lord’s head came the crime for which He was dying, and they discovered that He had not only not lost humanity, He had actually saved humanity. That put a whole different tone on the party. What had been the greatest victory became the greatest defeat. Later on in 1 Corinthians Paul wrote in, I think it’s2:8let me see if I can find it for you.
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age,
Now when Paul says rulers of this age he is talking about the spiritual forces who control the world. He is not talking about the kings and queens and things. Later on, in several places, I can show you where, when he talks about the rulers of this age he is always talking about spiritual powers.
No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.
God had this in His mind before the creation. Now look at verse 8:
None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
This took Satan so by surprise. If he had known that this was going to happen, he would have done anything to prevent it. And that’s why it was always kept secret, that’s why Paul calls it a secret wisdom. You’ll find it in prophecy in the Old Testament but only because you already know it exists!
But the devil didn’t know it you see. And so when he looked up and he saw suddenly the sign of all of God’s law being broken and he saw that Jesus was dying for all the violations that mankind had committed against God, and therefore He was redeeming them from their death sentence. His biggest victory became his grand defeat, and from that point on he knew that anyone who chose to do so could receive a pardon for all of his sins, no questions asked.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Okay, so all of the sins of the world are “on the Lord’s head now.” In fact, the crown of thorns, if you want to get into the real theology of all this, the crown of thorns He wore to the cross — the thorn bush was a symbol of the curse. Remember when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden and the Lord said:
Thorns and thistles now will grow up here and you will earn your keep by the sweat of your brow, and the land will produce these thorns and thistles?
The thorn bush became the symbol of the curse. When the Roman soldiers put the crown of thorns on the Lord’s head, symbolically they were putting all of the curse against the creation and humanity, putting it all “on the Lord’s head.”He bore all of that.
In Romans 8 Paul said it’s not just for us that He died but also for the creation, to redeem the creation itself. So you can see why this made a public spectacle of things for Satan.
Okay here’s the punchline: can God exist in the presence of sin? No, He cannot. His eyes are too pure to look upon sin. This is why He had to leave Israel back in the days of the Babylonian captivity because their sins had gotten so bad that He could not be with them anymore, He had to leave. And He left there, and He has never come back.
When Jesus came out of the tomb, where did He go? He went to Heaven. When Jesus came out of the tomb, He went to Heaven, and He sat down on God’s throne at His right side. Remember the Apostles’ Creed?
On the third day, He ascended into Heaven, and He sat on the Throne of God and there He will judge the living and the dead?
It goes something like that. When Jesus ascended, He went into Heaven to sit down beside God on His throne.
Listen to this carefully. All of the sin of mankind had been placed on Jesus, and now He is sitting on the throne beside God who cannot tolerate even one sin.
Now, what does that tell us? That tells us that when Jesus came out of the tomb, every single sin of mankind had been paid for. Every single one. Because if even one sin was left unpaid Jesus would still be in the grave, and there would only be one person on the throne of God. Do you understand that?
If even one sin had not been paid for, Jesus would still be in the grave. Because even one sin on Him would be enough to disqualify Him from ever sitting down beside God in Heaven. Do you understand that?Is that clear? You understand that Jesus died for every sin that man ever has or ever will commit.
That doesn’t mean everybody gets saved. That just means that Jesus died for every sin, and that’s why anyone who asks can receive salvation. Just like that, with no conditions and no hesitation.
That’s why in Matthew 7:7 Jesus can say whoever asks will receive, whoever seeks will find, and to whoever knocks the door will be opened.
Why? Because everybody’s’ sins have already been paid for and anyone who asks will receive salvation. That’s the only thing you have to do now is ask for it, because the conditions have all been met for you to receive it.
Some places you go they’ll teach you that Jesus died for all your sins up to the point where you are saved, and after that, it’s up to you. No.
Some places you go they teach that you have to be as good as you can possibly be and then Jesus will make up the difference. No.
The Bible teaches that Jesus died for every sin that mankind has ever, in the past, present or future, committed. So that whoever believes can receive eternal life. All that is left for us to do is ask. And this is why the resurrection is so important to you because it is your proof that your sins have already been paid for.
The fact that Jesus came out of the grave is proof that you will too. Got it? It’s all done.
His last words on the cross:It is finished.
It was done at that point.
Okay, the question is if He took all of our sins upon Him, we can understand how that saves us but how does He get restored? He wasn’t required to die for His sin because He never committed one, He was only required to die for our sins. And by dying for our sins He could be restored. Just like us. But I want you to know that He never did get completely restored. Ready for this?
On the cross Jesus said: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Here’s a guy who had been arrested about 24 hours earlier — well about 12 hours earlier — He had been arrested, He had endured six illegal trials, He had been beaten and kicked and whipped and tortured to within an inch of His life. He never said a word, then they nailed Him to a cross and they hung Him up there, and He hung up there for three hours, never said a word. That is from 9:00 to noon. At noon He said: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
And at that moment the sky went black. The light was taken from the world, and it was dark at noontime.
Now I’m told — I’m not an expert in these languages — but I am told that He spoke this in — I know that He spoke this in the Aramaic language because the Bible says so. It’s the only untranslated passage in the New Testament. Every other place where Jesus spoke they put it into the Greek language when they wrote it and subsequently got translated into English.
But when He said: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? It is still there in the original language, Aramaic. And then after that in parenthesis, they explain what it means. But He spoke the words in Aramaic. Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani.My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Now here is what I’ve been told. The word Eloi is not singular. The singular word for God is El, E-L. Eloi is not plural, either. The plural word that means God is Elohim. Eloi is what’s called a dual tense, that means it’s not one, it’s not three it’s just two. It’s like we have some words in the English language like that. One is single; many is plural. But both means two. Right? And so we have situations like that in the English language where we have a singular, a dual, and a plural. And I have been told that that is what the word is for God in John when He says in Aramaic: Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani. He is speaking to two people, the Father and the Holy Spirit.
He, for the first time in forever, was excluded from the Godhead. Ripped out of the Trinity. And that is the moment at which He had had too much, He couldn’t take it. That is when He cried out to God. That’s when God turned His back on the cross, and He turned His back on the world. And that’s why the light went away.
Okay now you fast forward to Revelation 5 and you get to the scene of the throne of God and you see John saying:
I wept convulsively because there was nobody who could open the seven seals. And then he says: And then I turned and there was the Lamb as it had been slain, and He had the authority to open the seals and look inside the scroll.
That phrase the Lamb as it had been slain means that Jesus is still in the physical form He was in when He was crucified. He is still a man. He did not become a man for 33 years. When He became a man He became a man forever and now there is a man sitting on the throne of God.
He never did get completely restored because in order to save us He had to become one of us, forever. Now He is what we call a glorified man. He is an exalted man. When Peter and James and John were at the Mount of Transfiguration, and they saw Jesus in His glorified body, they still recognised Him. He looked different, but He was still recognisable. And when John says in, I think it’s his first letter, he says we don’t know what we are going to be but we will when we see Him because we’ll be like Him. In other words, we will become exalted — we don’t become God, we don’t become part of the Trinity, we become glorified men and women. We will be like Him, like He is.
So He never did get completely restored because part of the price He paid for us is to have to be like us. He took our sins upon Himself – what that means is He paid the price for our sins. He took the responsibility for our sins. He never became a sinful man. He paid the price, He took the responsibility. He said:
Blame Me I’ll take it. What’s the penalty? I’ll pay it.
In a sense, He is separated now because the Trinity is no longer, in my opinion, no longer the way it was. Now there are lots of scholars who will disagree with this, but I am thoroughly convinced the Trinity is no longer the way it was before the crucifixion. I think there was a permanent change that took place there and that was part of the price He paid.
Is it possible that Jesus in some way is still on the cross? This is Catholic theology by the way because have you ever noticed in the Catholic church the Lord is still on the cross? In the Protestant church, He is not. The Protestant church has been called the church of the empty cross because we believe He is off the cross. But in the Catholic church they believe that when you take communion basically, this is the body and blood of Jesus, and when you look at the cross, He is still there.
Now here’s what I think. I don’t think He is on the cross. I think that the fact that God is outside of time means that His death can apply outside of time, but He died in the context of time. He died on a day. He was on the cross at 9:00 and He was on the cross until 3:00. Those six hours He was on the cross, in time. And then He was taken off of the cross. The effect of that, however, spans well beyond time because it went back and covered the sins of every man since Adam to the cross, and it went forward and covered every sin of the rest of mankind from the cross until the end of mankind. And so it applied throughout the span of time, but it took place within a context of time. And so I don’t buy the idea that the Lord is somewhere being crucified right this minute because, you know, it’s an outside of time event.
I guess we’ll all have to wait until we actually are able to say: How did you do this Lord? And then we’ll find out, and He’ll tell us, and we’ll say: Oh! That makes sense.
But not right now, none of us can conceive that idea. In the first place, none of us has ever had the kind of union with God that Jesus enjoyed from Eternity-past. Just like we’ve never been one with God, He had never been separated from God. And so we don’t know what it’s like to be one with God. He didn’t know what it was like to be separated until that cross, and that’s the only thing that caused Him to cry out at all. We can’t imagine it.
Okay, that’s our Easter message! We didn’t intend to do this tonight, but I think it worked out okay for us. I would like you to consider though, the point we wanted to make at the beginning of this, and that is the importance of celebrating the Lord’s resurrection on the anniversary of its date is due to the fact that it is the most important day in human history because that is the day on which the Lord proved, by walking out of His grave, that He had paid the full price for your sin.
If you confess, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Two things. All throughout the Bible you hear believe, believe, believe, believe. And that’s true. But what do you believe in? You believe that Jesus is God and that He came out of the tomb. Because if you don’t believe that He came out of the grave you cannot believe that you will. But the fact that He did means you can. And that is the story of the resurrection. That is why it’s so critical. It’s more important to us than His birth, it’s more important to us than anything else that ever happened. Because it’s the day when He made good on His promise that God so loved the world that He gave His only son that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. And the proof of that is He came out of the tomb and went to Heaven to sit down beside God. All the sin problem solved forever.