This morning was a very icy drive for all of us. Chuck Traw didn’t make it till almost 7 am. I had to wait for 30 cars to get on highway 1. But we all made it ok. Today is our last day on Matthew. We had a discussion about the women at the tomb and exactly what happened. each of the gospels tell it a little differently. John says Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and He told her not to touch him as he had not ascended to the Father yet. All versions have Mary Magdalene at the tomb. Sometimes He appeared to either Mary or the disciples at the tomb, but most did not. I am sure there was a lot of confusion at that time, and as Mark keeps telling us, the Bible is not a DVR recording everything exactly as it happened. Matthew frequently discusses aspects of his ministry for Jewish Christians. Thus he is more interested in telling them about how different this ministry of Jesus was from that of the Jews. It is significant to him that Jesus was crucified for our sins. It is of lesser importance to him that Jesus rose from the dead, witness the shortness of chapter 28 as compared with 26 and 27 about the events leading up to the Crucifixion and the crucifixion. However, the resurrection of Jesus sets him apart from all of the other Messiah wannabes that were preaching at that time. Vatican 2 raised the stakes on Easter. The word for Easter comes from Origin of the Word Easter: This mythical figure is said to have been the goddess of the sunrise and the spring. She is the Teutonic goddess of the dawn. The direction of the sunrise, East, is named for her. In Norse mythology, the name is spelled Eostare. Another considered the Norse/Saxon goddess of spring is Ostara. Eastre is believed to be an ancient word for spring. – See more at: http://www.allabouthistory.org/origin-of-the-word-easter-faq.htm#sthash.7aMu1u6I.dpuf
Both Jews and Muslims recognize Jesus as a great prophet. The Muslims even recognize that he ascended into heaven. But they also say that Mohammed ascended into heaven as did a number of people who claimed to be prophets in their sect would have ascension stories, usually to receive instructions from God for their people. http://religionresearchinstitute.org/Mohammad/ascension.htm
We talked about various Easter remembrances and experiences that people had as they were growing up. Gene talked about playing his coronet at Easter. Norm about the Japanese experience at Easter. They had all climbed a high hill before dawn to see the sunrise. Bob said that all of Saddam Hussain’s staff were Christians because he didn’t trust the Muslims. Mark noted that Luther was more interested in the incarnation of Jesus as opposed to his resurrection.
Next week we go to Judges!