Read Mark 16:1-20. Jesus’ resurrection and ascension are historical facts witnessed by many, and recorded by a number of historians.
The Apostle Paul makes these statements in II Corinthians 4, 5. “Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes (all of His creation and all of His works, are there to meet our every need) that the abundant grace might, through the thanksgiving of many (be all to the glory of God)… But though our outward man (our body) perish, yet the inward man (our soul and spirit) is renewed day by day… While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things that are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal… For we walk by faith (in God’s every Word, and) not by sight.”
The Passover event in the land of Egypt is described by God to Moses in Exodus chapter twelve. A perfect lamb was to be selected on the tenth day of that month, the month of Nisan, which from then on was to be their first month of the year. On the fourteenth day, the lamb was to be killed, and to take the blood and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door posts wherin it is to be eaten, giving more details on how the lamb was to be eaten, etc. It was called a “passover feast,” because the Lord would “pass through the land of Egypt… and smite all the first born… both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment. I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the house where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”
Why is the blood only a token? And a token of what? A token is something that is used in place of, or an indication of the real thing. A white flag is a token of surrender. This blood was a token of their faith in their God of the promise to spare them, if they put the blood up as required by God as an indication of their faith. The lamb’s blood did not save them, but their obedience, as a result of their faith in God’s Word to save them, setting them free from their bondage to the Egyptians. The blood of the lamb was the price paid to cover their sins. The price of their redemption was the lives of the many Egyptians that died. Exodus 6:4-8, “And I have also established My covenant with them” (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), verse 3: “I will be your God and you shall be my sons, daughters, and people), to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherin they were strangers. And I have (also) heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered My covenant (the one I had made in the beginning, one covenant, the old covenant ‘I will be your God’). Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: and I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it to you for an heritage: I am the Lord.
This was all done not only to redeem My people from their bondage.” But as stated in Exodus 9:14-16, 29, “That (all) mayest know that there is none like Me in all the earth… And in every deed for this cause have I raised you up, for to shew in thee My power, and that My Name may be declared thoughout all the earth… that thou mayest know how that the earth is the Lord’s.” Yes, the earth and all of creation is His!
As John 1:3-4 states, “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and that life was the light of men.” Continuing in Exodus 10:1, 2... “I will shew these My signs before him: And that thou mayest tell in their ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, which things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the Lord.”
“And Moses said (in Exodus 11:4), Thus saith the Lord, about midnight will go I out into the midst of Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon the throne, even upon the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of the beasts… But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.” What did the Lord put as a difference between the Egyptians and Israel? The blood on the doorpost was only a token of the difference, but the real difference was that the children of Israel by faith applied the blood, because they believed and obeyed their Lord and God’s every Word.
“And this day (Exodus 12:14-17) shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. Seven days shall ye eat unleaven bread… And the first day there shall be an holy convocation (4711-from 7121-to call out for a purpose a public assembly, an holy day, a Sabbath in which is to be free of secular work), and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you.” The two Passover Sabbaths, one at the beginning and the one at the end of the seven days. The day of preparation was always to be in the fourteenth day of Nisan, the first month of every year no matter what day of the week. “And ye shall observe the feast of unleaven bread (the Passover); for in the selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever… Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your house.” A note… Their days started at sundown and ended at sundown, where today, with the use of the Gregarian calendar,our days start and end at 12:00 P.M. midnight.
Jesus, in His observance of the coming Passover, prepared Himself for what He came to fulfill. Jesus was anointed to be the Lamb for the sacrifice (John 12:1-7) six days before the Passover Sabbath on fifteenth. The next day (John 12:12-19) He was chosen by the people to be their Messiah and King, the same day the spotless lamb was chosen for the Passover observance crying, “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” On the day of preparation He was crucified (John 19:14-21) by those who should have known the Scriptures, but had a history of rejecting the King of kings and Lord of lords from ruling over them. Read Exodus 32:1-10; I Samuel 8:1-22; I Kings 11:1-13.
He was then taken down and buried because the Passover Sabbath was the next day (John 19:31), “for that sabbath day was an high (holy) day.” This was the first full day Jesus was in the grave. The next day (Mark16:1) when the (Passover) Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him.” Luke 23:56, “And they returned and prepared spices and ointments, and (then) rested the (seventh day) Sabbath day according to the commandments.” There were two sabbaths with a day in between. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, as prophesied in Hosea 6:1-3 and by Jesus Himself in Matthew 16:21; 17:23; 20:19. On or before sundown Saturday evening the tomb was then empty!!
Matthew 28:1-4, “In the end of the Sabbath (Saturday at sundown), as it began to dawn toward (2020-to draw toward) the first day of the week… And behold there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it... His countenance was like lightning and His raiment white as snow: And for fear of Him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.” The stone was rolled away and the keepers had left before the two Marys came to see. Matthew 28:5-7 states the angel said to the women, “Fear not ye: for I know ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell the disciples that He is risen from the dead… Now when they (the women) were going, behold some of the watch (had already) come into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.”
After three days and three nights He had risen! Jesus said of Himself in Matthew 12:39-41, “An evil and adulterous generation (with many gods that they worshipped) seeking after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the (huge fish’s) belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Why do we not take His words literally?) “The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with (even) this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and behold, (now) a greater than Jonas is here,” and they now refused Him again!
Jesus came to fulfill the promise given as a signature bond for the ransom that was to be paid on the appointed day, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. What is our excuse for distorting the Scriptures to fit our imaginations? Let us celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of the Lamb of God, which not only covers our sins but cleanses us from all evil thinking, making God’s forgiveness just, because He paid the price for us; setting us free from the bondage to the knowledge of evil; giving us life more abundantly, and a hope of rest in heaven, the gift of eternal life in the land of promise. Praise be to our Lord, God, and Creator, that has covenanted with us to meet our every need, even the forgiveness of our sins! Let us also remember this sign as one of the many signs He has given to us to see and remember His faithfulness to all generations with confidence, that His name mat be declared throughout all the earth, that thou mayest know how that the earth is the Lord’s, His creation, and know how that He is Lord, whether anyone likes it or not!
Why do we call the resurrection day “Easter?” The Greek word “Pascha” is found 29 times in the New Testament translated Passover 28 times, and only once translated Easter in Acts 12:4. Why? “Pascha” (3957) is Greek for the Aramaic, the Passover. Also the Hebrew word “Pecach” (6453), which comes from “Pacach” (6452) means “to pass over, to spare,” a feast instituted by God in commemoration of the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. The word signifies the “Passover Feast,” the “Paschal Supper,” the “Paschal Lamb,” and “Christ Himself.” The Hebrew word “Pecach” (6453) appears 49 times in the Old Testament as the Jewish Passover, or the festival 46 times; and the victim, or the Passover offering 3 times. The Hebrew word “Pacach” (6452) means to hesitate, or skip over.
The one time “Pascha” (3957) was translated “Easter” in Acts 12:4 which etymologically arises from the Anglo-Saxen “eastre” which is derived from “east,” which means “to shine, to dawn, for the resurrection of Christ.” Unfortunately the pagans also had a holiday which corresponded to honor “Estra” the goddess of spring where sacrifices were done in the time of the spring equinox. Later, the Saxons used “Estra” to represent the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which isn’t the case at all, but blaspheme, along with all the other symbols originating from pagan holidays! Thus adding to the words of God, and a compromise of His character with the gods of this world. The word “Easter” is not derived from any Greek or Hebrew texts, but is first mentioned in Bede’s, “The Reckoning of Time,” A.D. 725. When this was first dreamed up is not known. The original King James Version is the only version I have found to use Easter in this verse. Most others do not, but usually insert a footnote making excuses for the use of it.
The celebration of His death burial and resurrection is of the fulfillment of the promised Savior that would bruise the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). The Old Covenant which promised the birth of a forever King (Numbers 24:17; Micah 5:2) with a glorious entry into Jerusalem (Zechariah 9:9) only to be rejected again by His own (I Samuel 8:7; Isaiah 53:7; Isaiah 50:6), a crucified Savior (Isaiah 53:5), “the Lamb slain (Isaiah 53:12) from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8), only to rise again (Psalms 68:18) taking captivity captive.
The New Covenant added to the Old, fulfilling only what the Old could not do, a temporary atonement covering by the blood of animals. Since both were forever covenants, the New only does away with what was temporary, being only a covering for our sins, for that which is permanent, a cleansing of all our sins by the spotless Lamb of God. Thank you, God, for your great love for us; to make all of this available to us, at such a great price. That by faith we can be one with You in truth and purpose. Amen!