What makes Easter so special? A large portion of the world pauses, takes a breath, considers at this time, and recounts a most amazing story of a simple Rabbi some two thousand years ago. Jesus never wrote a grocery list, yet He was literate as borne out by His act of reading in Synagogue. The record of His life and death was trusted to others, some hundreds of years after His death. During his life he predicted His death, and outlined the reasons, which went contrary to Jewish thought of His day. The Jews had ideas of a new King David, who would come and subject the world beneath Israel, ruling with justice and a reverence to the one true God. Jesus had a game plan exactly one hundred and eighty degrees from that.
If you take the Gospels as strictly historical documents you can easily pick them apart for inconsistencies. There are many theories on just how the Gospels came about, one, called the “Q” Gospel, tries to expound the idea that there was one central Gospel, and all others sprang from that. The Gospel of John throws a Menorah in the middle of that idea. The three synoptic Gospels concern themselves with the “what” of Jesus’ ministry. The Book of John examines the “Why.”
Jesus picked Matthew for a specific reason. Matthew was a tax collector, and modern imagery projects a picture of a man, sitting in some office, counting coins and turning them over to the Romans. Matthew had another talent. There were no “1040” forms back then, and if there had been most people couldn’t write anyway, so the evaluation of tax was left up to the tax collector. Matthew would sit by the post, watching fishermen bring in their catch, count rapidly, and making shorthand notes of who caught what, and how many. It wasn’t perfect, but it was close enough for government work. This same Matthew sat near Jesus during the Sermon of the Mount, and didn’t miss a single word! A postage stamp size piece of parchment, found in Egypt over a century ago has been examined and found to be most likely originating in, or about the year 60 AD, which means it was copied from a document most likely coming from Matthew’s actual hand. This demonstrates the innate accuracy of the Book of Matthew, and flies in the face of any “Q” document.
That having been said, most of the Gospels came down through oral history. After the crucifixion the Apostles went in eleven different directions at once, telling the story of Jesus to whomever would listen. Then add in the Apostle Paul, Mark, and always remember that Mary was still alive. You don’t think she talked about her boy? You don’t even have to be Catholic to accept that! The story of Jesus of Nazareth spread out like a Beatles Record across the Roman world. Did you ever look closely at the King James Bible. Just the titles of the Gospels. The Gospel ACCORDING to St. Mark, or Luke, or John, not BY them! The reasoning is very simple. As the apostles, and others spread the word, Christians really believed that Jesus would be back the day after tomorrow. Add a couple hundred years to this, and some enlightened individuals thought, “We’d better write this down!” Unlike the Qu’ran, that came hot off the presses even as Mohammed drew his last breath, it was left to Christians to pull together bits and pieces when they realized that Jesus’ plan of action was a bit wider that previously imagined.
The plan was actually very simple. It was a system of debits and credits. Mankind had run up a bill, and Jesus picked up the tab. Basically it was impossible for man not to fall. He was designed to fall. That was all part of the plan. An all knowing God played Satan like a fiddle, using Satan’s conniving nature to complete His creation. Creating a man from dust was the easy part, but to make man in the image of God required something more . . . A soul! An unseen being within a being. A driving force that could never die, residing within the “egg” of a physical body, waiting to emerge and take its rightful place with God in the eternal kingdom. This entity had to be created, or born. After that it had to grow, and mature, but it could never be perfect. An assist was needed. To put the polish on the apple God came up with an idea. Since He, and only He could ever be perfect, He’d just come up with a way to share some of Himself with this new creation to round out the deal. The sins would come, that was a given, but since there is no deficit in heaven someone had to pick it up, and God just did it Himself! Sin is just divination from God’s plan. He only gave us ten rules with the full understanding that we couldn’t even follow that any more than we could adhere to the Sermon on the Mount, so we ended up with a system of sin and punishment, which was just, but God didn’t want that, He wanted to complete His creation and SOMEbody had to pay the tab. That was a rule even God wouldn’t break because to ignore sin would just be a lie, and God cannot lie!
Jesus called it being “born again,” and had quite a time explaining this concept to a tax collector, a few fishermen, and a bunch of hard headed preachers hanging out over at the Temple, who all had their eyes firmly fixed upon what they deemed to be “reality!” He frequently used the phrase, ” Those who have eyes to see,” and you would never have those eyes unless you allowed those eyes to be born. If you did not accept the plan you would be forever spiritually blind. The price was horrendous. Nay-Sayers reason that God must be a cruel master for killing His own son in such a fashion, but they miss the entire point. God didn’t kill his son, he killed HIMSELF! The Muslims go on and on about one God, and they are correct as far as that goes, but where they veer off onto a camel path is not understanding the personalities or power of God. God manifests Himself in multiple ways, but it’s always God. He can be a spirit, or a carpenter from a small village in Israel if that’s what he wants to do. Mohammed could never see that because he never accepted the “eyes.”
So, Jesus went up on that cross, created the bank account, and made all mankind co-signers. The creation was now complete. It doesn’t matter if you buy into evolution, of believe man was made from a clot, in the end, if you understand God’s master plan, you get a well rounded human being, spit and polished, ready for eternity. Pretty good for seven days work, even for God!
Atheists, agnostics, and of course Muslims pick apart the story of Jesus with blind eyes. Everything from rewriting it, all the way up to trying to say He didn’t even exist at all, and His ministry was some kind of Rabbinical theory expounded in the first century. In spite of all of this they still can’t prove that a wood worker just got up one Sunday morning and walked out of his tomb like He had good sense! They point to other men who supposedly did the same thing all through history, but if you can understand that God is above time, and Jesus split that time at Golgotha, could it be that these images, both forward and back, reflect that image like two mirrors facing each other with the event going endlessly into eternity both ways? It’s called parallel universes, and yes, God runs them, too, deal with it!
The plan remains the same. You can chant on your Rosary beads, thump that Bible, or scream the Islamic call to prayer until your face turns blue, but you will never change the plan, nor the outcome if you are not signed up to that bank account in the sky. God sifts His chosen, but there is a janitor in the bank lobby, ready to lure the greedy, the doubters, and the devious over to his side. God never forces. He speaks with a soft voice, and His greatest creation was free will. People wonder how if God is an all knowing God that we still have free will. Think of it this way. The cosmos is like a book, and God is the author. Of course He knows the outcome of the general plot of the book. Shucks, He even told us that in Revelation! But, as God creates man He gives us personality, and then He sits back and allows those personalities to peruse their own course, much like you would give rules to a children and then allow them to play in the yard. God creates man over and over again, each time a baby is conceived, and the word is CONCEIVED, in the MIND of God! He just uses us to enact the physical body. All the rest is already set up, and when you try to alter that set up you try to impeach God! Did you think that baby’s soul died under the abortionist’s knife? No indeed! They are sitting with God waiting for those people to explain their theories on the last day. At the moment of conception God already knows that person, has already planted the seed, and waits for the seed to sprout. He allows free will because He wants friends, not robots.
Easter is the one day of the year that we are reminded that the plan is still in effect. It’s the one time that believers come together and remember Jesus, who He was, and what He really did to perfect us to join Him. He never wrote a book, never raised a sword, and never forced anyone to accept the plan, yet that message went all over the world, and the janitor waits to pervert it in any way he can, but that’s ok, because God also set up an unemployment line with no check at the end. Happy Easter folks!