"Today is Good Friday!" She announced to me excitedly "I just wanted to share the joy that I've found in Christ with you." While I love heartfelt expressions of the Lord, I couldn't help but wonder, why she choose to share her testimony with me in a store filled with people. I had all, but one of my children with me. And being African-American mother, we are typically perceived as single-parents who have multiple children by many men. Granted, she could have another perception, but I couldn't help but notice, that she never spoke to anyone else in the store. In any event, I waited patiently and respectfully while she finished her testimony, and proceeded to firmly proclaimed my love, my walk for the Lord, and His unquestioned divinity as God's Son. I shared with her the names and the Hebrew meanings of the names of my sons. "Wow, what beautiful children." she said thoughtfully. "Yes" I responded, "We are blessed." By now, that glint in her eye, when she greeted me, had dimmed a bit. I couldn't help, but sense a slight disappointment emanating from her. Strange, yes? But it has been a very typical experience for me. Instead of being embraced as another in Christ, there is unperceived division. While I never confessed to be a part of a Church or religion, once I confessed Christ, it was assumed that I was and that is where I believe the disappointments come from. Our parting was awkward at best, as she extended an offer of prayer. What shall I ask her to pray for that my God hadn't already provided?? I thanked her kindly for her offer and proclaimed the blessing of the Lord in our lives. "We are truly blessed, He has been our Provider." I said. Not wanting to appear ungrateful for her consideration, I added, "You can pray for His continuing protection over our family."
Afterwards I used the opportunity to share more truths with my oldest child. While I cannot criticize one's belief in what they believe, too many believe in a Jesus that has been manufactured to conform to the limitations of man. I explained to my daughter that while we knew Jesus to be the Son of God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, I don't know what Jesus SHE thinks she knows. Just from her simple declaration of "Today is Good Friday", its clear that her understanding of Christ's resurrection may be in error.
I hate to break to you folks, but today, isn't what has come to be known as "Good Friday". Let me clearly state that when it comes to various calendars, I have very limited understanding of how it all works. For me it's simple, it comes straight from Scripture. Let the record show that Christ was crucified during Passover.
And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. - John 19:14-16
According to the Jewish calendar, Passover begins on the 15th day of Nisan (7th month). Easter, however, is calculated as the first Sunday after the full moon. If the full moon occurs on a Sunday, then Easter occurs on the following Sunday. As stated on www.infoplease.com:
The Western church does not use the actual, or astronomically correct date for the vernal equinox, but a fixed date (March 21). And by full moon it does not mean the astronomical full moon but the "ecclesiastical moon," which is based on tables created by the church. These constructs allow the date of Easter to be calculated in advance rather than determined by actual astronomical observances, which are naturally less predictable.
Let the record show that Christ was the promised Seed of Abraham and thus the fulfillment of the Covenant.
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. - Galatians 3:16-17
Let the record show that Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the fulfillment of the symbolic Passover, by which lambs were sacrificed and their blood placed on the doorposts, so that the angel of death passed over those who were in Egypt. If we know that by Christ's Crucifixion and Resurrection, we, who believe on the Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, receive His blood upon our souls that we may have eternal life with Him. Death indeed has passed over us!
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: - 1 Corinthians 5:7
I have been scolded for causing others to "doubt" what they believe (which is amazing to me) when it comes to Easter. The facts are clear and straightforward. It's not about one's conscience, but rather it's about distinguishing what has been changed (by man) from what has been ordained (by God).
If you still believe I'm wrong to place a "stumbling block" to one's conscience, please read the following facts, taking note of how similar the worship styles are to what has now come to be called Easter to how it was originally used to worship a fertility goddess:
"Ostara was, of course, a fertility goddess. Bringing in the end of winter, with the days brighter and growing longer after the vernal equinox, Ostara had a passion for new life. Her presence was felt in the flowering of plants and the birth of babies, both animal and human. The rabbit (well known for its propensity for rapid reproduction) was her sacred animal.
Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny both featured in the spring festivals of Ostara, which were initially held during the feasts of the goddess Ishtar | Inanna. Eggs are an obvious symbol of fertility, and the newborn chicks an adorable representation of new growth. Brightly colored eggs, chicks, and bunnies were all used at festival time to express appreciation for Ostara's gift of abundance." -- The History of Easter and It's Traditions
The worshipping of Ostara is similar to how today's Christians have come to worship the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ, right down to the "astronomical" date. As a matter of fact the only thing different is that the goddess has been replaced with Christ... with the Last Supper thrown in for good measure.
This "stumbling block" I've laid before hard-core Christians, is not my own, but the Lord's own. Being liberated from the law, in this case, the observances of Passover, as stated here:
"But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead (in Christ) wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter."
...is one thing Believers embrace, but to incorporate and encompass His death and resurrection, the very CORE by which we, proclaim and believe, and are called to separated from those who have rejected Him, spiritually, with a worship style that was used to celebrate and honor an idol created by the figment of man's corrupt imagination, is way out in the left field.
So folks, according to "the tables created by the (catholic) church", that were determined by the "ecclesiastical moon,"(whatever THAT means), in comparison to the Word of God in Scripture.....Today is NOT "Good Friday".... unless, of course, you're paying homage to Ostara.
*Author's Note: The redden font in scripture is my own, for the purposes of understanding scripture in it's context. By all means, read the entire chapter for clearer understanding for any scripture I've used in this post. Passover (Pesach) begins April 20th through April 27th of this year. "Good Friday" would be on April 24th