By Olatokunbo Odunuga
In the event, some may be wondering why this elaborate much ado about Easter, I may need to advance a simple explanation. If a dent on a beautiful car is immaterial, then no need for panel beating and re-spraying.
If Easter in Acts 12: 4 in KJV is inconsequential, then the efforts of all the subsequent twelve or so revisions of KJV and hundreds of others versions would not have been necessary. If there is no need to highlight previous translators’ oversight, then subsequent reviewers might as well overlook any other improper terms, irrespective of how numerous they may be in the Bible.
A couple of days ago, someone sent me a colourful artistic season’s greeting which might have passed through thousands of people. The first two stanzas read thus: And Pontius Pilate Asked The Crowd, “Who Should I Let Go? Jesus Christ, Or Barnabas?”
And The People Shouted Back, “Barnabas The Thief!!!……”
Someone not familiar with the Bible, especially young ones would have been fed a wrong diet by such a forwarded message, believing that Barnabas was a thief and Barabbas was probably an apostle.
Let us again bring to focus the statement of John Calvin, one of the greatest Christian leaders of all time, who to the best of my knowledge, was the founder of Presbyterian Church, and through whom God brought forth a massive revival in France and Geneva, during when revellings and other forms of immorality in 16th century France nose-dived virtually to zero.
He said, “… Whilst in all other branches of learning, the human mind is straining its genius to master all subtleties, and toiling to overcome all difficulties, why is it that this one [Christian] philosophy alone is not pursued with equal earnestness, at least by those who profess to be Christians…..?”
Now, my subsequent observation is this: By instituting the Holy Communion, our Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to commemorate His death, not even primarily his resurrection, which today is essentially celebrated, though may not be regarded as sinful; just as failing one’s final year degree examination may not be regarded a sin.
Rather, we are to be witnesses of His resurrection through propagation, and essentially by adopting and conformity to His image (likeness and lifestyle)-Romans 8: 29 as living epistles, to the point of possible loss of status or martyrdom if need be (Luke 9:23, Amplified Bible ).
I have the feeling that was how Theophilus, after his conversion, and witnessing the resurrected Jesus by his new life, lost his “most excellent” status in Luke 1: 3 to become ordinary Theophilus about 7 years later in Acts 1:1. Lest I forget, the above-cited Romans 8: 29 establishes that our predestination is not about heaven per se, which is futuristic, but about conformity to His image in the here and now!
Please accept it or equally do a check that the word “witnesses” which our Lord enjoined His disciples to be in Acts 1:8 is all about being positioned to be potential martyrs. These are those being helped by grace to die to themselves, to sin, to the world and willing to lose their lives, if necessary, for the Lord they believe in and the message they believe and are propagating, not only as tracts and handbills distributors.
It is of note that the early Christians did the awesome work of reaching out to the then whole world (Romans 1:8, Acts 17: 6, 19: 26) without tracts and handbills because the printing press, even in its infancy, was not in existence until the 16th Century.
Read part one of this article. Follow this link:https://churchtimesnigeria.net/easter-goddess-esther/
So concerning the issue of “Easter”, rightly Passover season, I believe there are great wisdom and profit in utilizing the season for other worthwhile, charitable, and Christ-honouring endeavours rather than pre-occupation with Easter eggs, buns and profane festivities-Colossians 2:8, 16; Galatians 4: 3, 9-11.
As a matter of personal observation, emphasis on practices and observances that have no biblical warrant is sanctionable as reflected in 2 John 9,- “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have God…”.
The customs and traditions imposed by some “elders” of the post-apostolic era, especially during the dark ages of Roman Catholicism between 500-1500 AD, ought not to supplant or take pre-eminence over the words of Christ. O! where are the likes of Martin Luther or Girolamo Savonarola in our generation? It will also not be out of place to take a close look at the thought-provoking 2 Corinthians 6:16-18.
I will draw to a close with a statement by Jacob Boehme of Goelitz in Germany who was acclaimed by St. Martin de Claude, in his opinion, as the greatest light to ever appear on planet Earth, second only to Him who is Light Himself: “…Thus the Church of Christ has become a bazaar where vanities are exhibited, and as the Israelites danced around the golden calf, so the modern Christians dance around their self-constructed fetishes…..”.
As observed by Dr. Tunde Bakare on TV over a decade ago, it was the apex minister of God, namely Aaron who carved out another god for the Israelites in place of the true God. In essence and in conclusion, it is appropriate to declare that in like manner that Calvary is far remote from Calgary, so Lady Easter, a goddess, and Queen Esther were foreign and far remote to one another.
Hence our modus operandi in this season ought not to focus on the celebration of Easter and its pagan appendages but on charitable and Christocentric pre-occupations during the season.