Easter has been around for a long while that one can’t help but think the prevailing meanings attached to it as they are often told from the lectern to be not in the least bit insipid.
God, they say, gave his life for us.
“Rejoice,” suggest others, “for we now have eternal life!”
Well, awesome (not really).
Again, insipid. Barely even bland. Innocuous, at best. Because those feeble attempts to expressly explain what Easter is about, effete as they are, can scarcely enlighten, often just confounds, or even fatally misleads, as it woefully understates the grandeur of what God has accomplished.
Easter is as much about ‘being saved’ as medicine is about taking pills, which is to say it’s exactly about little if not zero of that. If you’re a Christian who’s already legally permitted to drink yet still think Easter to be all about your being ‘saved’ and being given ‘eternal life’ just on account of your ability to recite the proper incantations, then maybe it’s time you considered converting to atheism.
See, modern man has only Christianity to thank for the fact that we no longer look at with utter bewilderment the idea that man is an end in himself and not merely a means to one. Societies who predated Christianity for millennia happily estimated man’s worth to be close to nill, until Judaism comes into the picture and teaches that man was made in God’s image. Suddenly, this man whom they called the Christ comes along, was scourged till much of his flesh hung from bone while the thorns pressed into his scalp caused him excruciating pain, elevating man’s worth even further. Not only was man made in God’s image but so important was he that God condescended to man through Jesus.
So, Easter is about the divine repudiation of what the pagan infant-killers who preceded Christianity thought in their bones to be true, and what we lotus eaters now all seem to have forgotten is true absent the divine. And that is that we are, essentially, and without mincing words, animal shit.
Easter was the divine affront to that idea; it’s about God coming down and saying “No, [animal shit] you are not;” it’s about being the children of a God who loves us; it’s about the fact that life has objective meaning and purpose.
And that is why we rejoice this Easter.
I was listening to a discussion a while back between a Christian and an atheist, and the topic of the resurrection came up, the evidence for which the atheist pointed out was scant and insufficient for him to change his mind.
The atheist then gave a Russell-esque teapot analogy to explain how he thinks the evidence for the resurrection must be treated; he asks us to ponder on the consequences should he try to convince someone to believe in the death from which he had been subsequently resurrected. He says it will be –or should be– impossible for him to be taken seriously, notwithstanding any good number of eyewitnesses who will willingly attest to the claim. In other words, it’s the distinctly Humean inclination to dismiss remarkable claims unsupported by remarkable evidence; it’s David Hume’s argument against miracles all over again. It was a bit frustrating that the Christian interlocutor wasn’t, in my opinion, able to answer him on this to the audience’s satisfaction, because, not only was it tangential to the discussion but also because of the time constraints –which the host was keen to point out as the show was winding down.
The problem with the atheist’s analogy is that it’s a false one; it’s not parallel to Jesus’s resurrection. In fact, here below, I’ll take the liberty of modifying it to be more analogous to Jesus’s resurrection so we can see if, in this more accurate form, Christians can still be accused of credulity.
So, are we justified in believing person X’s claim of having been bodily resurrected, given the following background information? :
1.) God exists (separate arguments for this).
2.) X had previously made outlandish claims of being the son of God, the messiah, and so forth.
3.) X also previously made implications of his own resurrection event (John 2:19 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”)
4.) X had been, without question, killed and was subsequently buried.
5.) The people around X –a lot of whom were previously sceptical of his claims to divinity– themselves claim to have seen his resurrected body and are now willing to die –a lot have in fact died– a very gruesome death for said claim.
5.1) Eyewitnesses number in the hundreds, and the appearances were to individuals and groups of people (which kinda renders the hallucination hypothesis a bit effete –no, completely effete.)
*All of these points about Jesus, aside from 1 — which we can give separate arguments for– are historically accepted facts, and, by themselves, don’t make any supernatural claims. In other words, in the context of the historicity of the man Jesus, they’re not controversial and are in fact accepted by most historians.
**Had the atheist been keen to lay out this precise analogy instead of the puerile one he opted for, he would have made more sense and would have at least been fair with respect to the resurrection.
Now, should X call person Y and say “hey man, I died and God raised me from the dead to validate all those previous claims I made“, given the above background information, will Y be justified in believing him?
The answer to me seems to be a resounding yes –given the background information, the most likely hypothesis is that God raised X from the dead.
The reason, I think, that some people will deny this is that they initially deny 1 (God exists) because of the presupposition that naturalism is true, or because they haven’t fully thought about and therefore haven’t realized the impotence of competing hypotheses (which I may go more into detail at another post).
This clip is proof that, in this day and age, any blithering idiot, no matter how unqualified, can grab a camera, make a documentary, and be taken seriously.
The documentary claims to show how Jesus’s story had been borrowed from Pagan myths.
Their best example is the Pagan God Mithra, who they say was born of a virgin, had 12 disciples, was crucified, put in a tomb and rose from the dead after 3 days.
What’s funny is that they have this douche travelling around to different places and talking to “experts” who in turn give their ideas that, when cherry-picked, supposedly support the Jesus-is-a-pagan-myth hypothesis.
Let’s see if the supposed similarities between Mithra and Jesus add up:
Mithra was Born of a Virgin, so they say. Nope, Mithra was born out of solid rock, wearing a frigging hat. But who knows, the rock may have been a virgin. I don’t think that counts, however. Sure, contemporary books about Mithra say he was born of a virgin, but those writers were bozos. Go to the original manuscripts describing Mithra and find out he was born of a rock already wearing a hat. Doesn’t really sound so Jesus-esque to me.
Mithra had 12 disciples. Nope. This idea came from a carving of Mithra’s image surrounded by 12 other smaller images which led some rather dumb people to believe that it was his “disciples”. However, those aren’t his disciples, those are the 12 signs of the zodiac. That carving was also dated to 200 years after the time of Jesus, so if anyone borrowed anything, it would have been the other way around.
Mithra died, was buried, and rose from the dead after 3 days. No. This is completely false. Mithra didn’t die. He never died. He killed a cosmic bull –whatever that is. The unfortunate bull died, not him. There has never been any record of any belief about Mithra dying. If that bastard were real, he’d still be alive today.
This is the type of nonsense one gets from watching too much Dan Brown movies and Zeitgeist Documentaries. The fact that a lot of people take these lies with much alacrity is sad and pathetic. These kinds of conspiracy theorist documentaries about the origins of Christianity also only serve to show the imbecilic nature of the minds producing them.