Resurrecting the triumph of Easter
By J. Bradley Keena     (edited by B.C. Chrysostom)
OrthodoxNet.com - March 28, 1999
 
How 'scholars' short-change Easter's importance.
 
Every year at this time, various newsmagazines like to stoke up the fires of criticism against the Christian faith.  Recently, U.S. News & World Report detailed a "quest" by some modern scholars to recast Jesus as a secular mystic.  Still others use Easter as the excuse to parade questioning scientists and philosophers who publicly speculate over who Jesus was and why He was important.  In the end, the Biblical account of Christ gets left out of most discussions in favor of ideas with presuppositions that fall well short of Jesus' divinity, let alone His resurrection and triumph over death.

The search by modern scholars for the historical Jesus is nothing new.  Similar essays were written 100 years ago.  None of it is anything more than a redefining of the facts to unseat God from His throne of autonomy over the universe.  Genesis says God made man in His own image.  Yet, modern scholars try to make God in their own image and then tell you and I why we should no longer believe in the self-authenticating Creator.

To prove their notion of who they think Jesus ought to be, scholars offer us history judged under the microscope of modern rationalism and measured by the ruler of their own empirical conjecture.  That such judgments and measurements are purely subjective is not open to question.  Without the yardstick of Scripture, each modern scholar has only his or her own bias upon which to judge God.  In the end, rationalism and empiricism can no more demonstrate the true nature of Jesus than can they establish that Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.

But God offers us his own presupposition: that mankind is fallen and therefore without the ability to make such judgments in the first place, apart from God who makes His case in the Scriptures.  Therefore, either believe in the Scriptures or not.  Itís that simple.  But many people miss it because it is just that simple.

Jesus said "I know whence I have come and where I am going."  The scientists and religious experts of His time wanted to stone Jesus when he told them, "before Abraham was, I AM."  For, you see, in that single phrase, Jesus called Himself by the ineffable name of God which, translated, literally means "I AM."

In the same way the scientists and religious experts of today want to destroy the Biblical Jesus.  Like Judas Iscariot, they wait until this great week leading up to the Easter commemoration of Jesusí sacrifice on cross to spread their falsehood.  Like the Pharaoh, they wait until this Passover week to force upon our culture a "historical" idol in place of the Biblical God.

It is the weight of Scripture versus the whims of cultural elitists, and on any day Scripture wins hands down.  That is, until the battle moves to publicityís uneven playing field.  In newsmagazines and on other networks and many newspapers around the country, the quacks get all the ink; but Scripture is not allowed to speak for itself.  This disease which seeks to harm our faith is also attacking our culture.

Today, like never before, those who believe in God must walk a narrow path.  Today belief in God requires you and I to overcome our fears with the moral courage to risk perhaps everything wevalue in this world in order to stand upon that which we know is the true in the face of increasing popular criticism.

If we deny God in favor of modern thought we win the approval of those who are slowly engineering our society away from Americaís moral foundation.

  • Acquiesce to the presuppositions of those who would diminish the Creator?  No, thank you!

  • Succumb to their hopeless scheme of history?  No, thank you!

  • Sacrifice Scripture on the altar of modern thought?  No, thank you!

  • Entrust the sober work of theology to charlatans?  Worship the graven image of science?  Surrender the purpose of my every breath on earth?  No, thank you! No, thank you! No, thank you!

    But how comforting are the words of David, who never worried about the unbelievers of his day, proclaiming even "the heavens declare the glory of God."

    How comforting are the words of the Prophets, one of whom wrote, "He was despised and forsaken of men. A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. . ." and also "They made His grave to be with wicked men, yet with a rich man in His death, although he had done no violence, neither was there any deceit in His mouth."

    Thanks to the Dead Sea Scrolls science knows full well that a prophet named Isaiah wrote those words nearly six hundred years before the week of Christís death and His Resurrection on the Third Day.

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