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Is Celebrating Easter Biblical?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
April 4, 2023 4:36 pm

Is Celebrating Easter Biblical?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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April 4, 2023 4:36 pm

Episode 1198 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes


Questions in this Episode


1. Is Christ a person or something like an idea or force?

2. What is the difference between law and grace? Does God’s grace trump his law?

3. Is the celebration of Easter biblical?

4. Does revelation 12:7 mean that Satan still has “access” to heaven?

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Is celebrating Easter biblical? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi there, and happy Monday. I'm Bill Meyer. It's Tuesday, I'm sorry. Tuesday.

Bill, what's going on? You forgot your name. You forgot the day of the week.

Come on, man. Okay, so I'll start over again. Happy Tuesday. This is Bill Meyer with Adriel Sanchez, and this is the Radio Program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. And we'd love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Of course, you can always email us as well. Here's our email address.

It's Adriel is the little mermaid from, isn't it? Oh, I know that girl.

Yeah, that's right. I often get mistaken for her. It's strange. But anyways, Bill. Oh, boy, I hope whatever's going on in your mind gets fixed, Bill. Come on. Thank you.

We'll work on that. All right, let's get to a voicemail that came in from one of our callers. And this is Felipe. Hi, Pastor Adriel. Real quick background on myself.

My family's Catholic, Brazilian. I've taken my own path to how I see the universe that I wouldn't contain to, I would say, just a Christian view. But I see a lot of merit in that. I guess I'm wondering, when you guys speak of the return of Christ, do you see it as the return of an individual that, you know, embodies the Christ, similar to the Bhagavad-Gita? With Krishna returning, you know, the sun rises and sets, but it's always there. Is it a single individual that rises out of reality and represents and embodies and is the principle of the Christ? Or do you see it as a general revival and return beyond the individual of Christ?

I'm just curious how you perceive that question of the return in the Christian mindset and maybe your own beyond that framework. So, yeah. Hey. All right.

Well, thank you for that question. Well, in terms of the return of Jesus Christ to the earth as judge, the Bible is very clear. We're not talking about somebody who sort of embodies the Christ consciousness that comes or some idea or something like that. We're talking about the eternal son of God who assumed humanity, suffered, died, rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven and is going to come back in the exact same way as he ascended.

He's going to descend to the earth to judge the living and the dead. And this is what this is what the Bible teaches. This is what the disciples of Christ there who witnessed the ascension of Christ learned as an angel spoke to them.

This is the book of Acts, chapter one, verse 10. While they were gazing into heaven as he went, that is, as Jesus ascended, behold, two men stood by them in white robes and said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven. And so we believe in the bodily return of Jesus Christ, which is going to bring about the final judgment and the resurrection of the dead.

This isn't just an idea. This isn't just, you know, the you know, the Christ consciousness or whatnot. This is this is Jesus who suffered and died for our sins and rose again for our justification coming back as he promised and we're looking forward to that day. You see, Christianity is not just a religion of ideas. You know, when you think of so many people today when they when they talk about religion and you know, we all kind of believe the same thing.

It's all kind of pointing in the same direction. Jesus taught the same things that this, you know, Eastern spiritual leader taught over here. And basically it can be summarized as, you know, we love each other. We love God. We're bettering humanity. I mean, isn't that what religion is all about? Well, no, that's not primarily what the Christian religion is all about.

Yes, God calls us to love our neighbors and to love him. But Christianity is the revelation of the fact that we have not done that and God has conquered death for us. These aren't these aren't fairy tales.

These aren't stories for us to just sort of glean moral principles from and that's precisely what all of the Apostles taught and what the church is taught for 2,000 years. Listen to how Peter put it in 2 Peter chapter 1 verse 16. We did not follow cleverly devised myth when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty for when he received honor and glory from God the Father and the voice was born to him by the Majestic Glory.

This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased. We ourselves heard this very voice born from heaven for we were with him on the holy mountain and we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed to which you will do well to pay attention as a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. What I would say to you is know the true Jesus is not just an idea spiritual idea. We're talking about the eternal Son of God who came into the world Felipe for you for your sins so that you might experience the grace of God and have your sins forgiven and we're looking forward to the day that he is going to return to judge the world.

And I just want you to know this and this is important for all of you listening right now. Jesus is going to come back bodily and since he's going to come back bodily. We need to turn from our sins to repent. This is Paul preaching to a group of non-christian philosophers in Athens and listen to what he said. This is how he concluded his sermon in Acts chapter 17 verse 30 the times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. In other words Christ truly is risen from the dead alive right now and because he rose from the dead.

We know for certain that he is coming back to judge the living and the dead. Therefore, what should we do? What should you do repent that is turn from our sins to God to receive the grace that he has for us the grace that he has for you my friend. And so thank you for that for that question love getting your question. If you want to follow up feel free to give us another call as well. God bless. You know Adriel, I'm just thinking that Felipe's question really reminds me of what so many of our young people are saying today.

My daughter who is a sophomore in high school said that many of her friends. Believe that Jesus was a fictional character not, you know, set aside the the crucifixion the resurrection. They don't even believe that Jesus existed historically, which is just stunning to me. Yeah, I mean that that view is so out there the idea that Jesus didn't even exist. It's rejected by non-christian historians.

Why? Because there's just so much evidence. It's not like it's not like there's any question about the existence of Jesus. We have the historical evidence. The question is how do we make sense of all of the evidence that we have and I think that the best answer is that Christ was who he said that he was that he truly rose from the dead, which is why you saw what basically happened in the first century there in Palestine throughout the world.

And so, you know when people say that, you know, well, you know, gosh, you think Jesus actually existed that they're really exposing how little they know of the the actual history because that's not that's not a view that's that that's really supported even by those who reject Christianity. Well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Wayne calling in from Kansas. Wayne, what's your question for Adriel? Good afternoon guys.

I just appreciate your your services and your show. So I have a question about law and grace. I got to be honest and I'm really confused because this question came up in a in a Bible study that Bible study group that I'm belong to and My understanding of law and grace is that well number one to define law. I have always been told that the Bible defines law as the as what God gave Moses that was the law that we were to that we were to guide our lives by. It was my understanding that everything we see in Leviticus and stuff was Mosaic law, which was the everything that was added to you know, by the Pharisees and and and those people but What my understanding is is that the law, you know that God give us is used to is used to tell us that that we that we need God and and that we need Christ and it's used to guide us to Christ. And when we accept Christ, we are given forgiveness for our sins. But at that time the law to us becomes a guideline for our lives because now we have Christ in our lives to help guide us away from those sins and what I Wayne sorry to but let me just get one more clarifying thing from you.

So what was that? What was the issue with what you heard in the Bible study because what you're saying so far sounds pretty accurate to me and I want to touch base on that but but specifically what was said in the Bible study that was concerning to you. What was concerning to me is I have been told that the law no matter no longer matters that since Jesus covers our sins, we we will never be sinless people.

So we don't have to worry about sin anymore. Yeah. Okay, that concerns me a lot. So first you're totally right.

Now. There are different ways of thinking about God's law. You have the moral law right summarized in the Ten Commandments, which is always binding upon us and upon all of humanity. You also have the the the moral law. That's described in the Old Testament associated with the types and shadows of the temple. You think of the various rituals that are outlined in places like the Book of Leviticus and the Book of Numbers those ceremonial laws that ceremonial law has been abrogated set aside by the law.

Because all of those things were for a time pointing us forward to the Messiah Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. You also have the civil law and sometimes there's there's overlap between these laws, but with with the civil law you think about those civil codes. If you will that God gave to Israel in the Old Testament as a political body there. You have the church in the state essentially being one. So you have these these civil laws that are also given now.

The church is not Israel as a political body under the Old Covenant. So that civil law as well. I mean, there are there are applications we can draw from those passages, but that civil law isn't binding on us today in the same way that it was for Israel.

And so we sometimes talk about that those three distinctions within the law and again, you know, there's over the years. But the law the moral law of God is always binding and always important for us. Now. We can't be saved by that law and we are always going to sin, but that doesn't mean that we set the law of God aside. In fact, that's not the law of God. Is always binding and always important for us.

Now. We can't be saved by that law and we are always going to sin, but that doesn't mean that we set the law of God aside. In fact, that's precisely what the Apostle Paul said in Romans chapter 3 talking about the doctrine of justification by faith alone. That is that we're justified not on the basis of our obedience to the law, but on the basis of the righteousness of Jesus Christ that's given to us by faith.

Paul says in Romans 3 verse 31. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith by no means on the contrary. We uphold the law. And so while for us as believers in Jesus Christ under the New Covenant the law can no longer condemn us. We're no longer under the law in that sense.

We've got this new relationship to the law where we're dead to it. That doesn't mean that we set the law aside that the moral law of God is now just doesn't matter on the contrary. We by the spirit and this is what Paul is going to say later in Romans chapter 8. Are called to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law. That's Romans chapter 8 verse 4 and so and so the law should be viewed by us as believers in Jesus Christ one it does drive us to Jesus and so far as it exposes our sins, but it also serves as a guide for us. You're 100% right and the idea that the law of God the moral law of God just doesn't matter anymore that we don't have any relationship to it. That's what's known as antinomianism, but you know being against law and that's a very dangerous teaching because it can lead people to Just sort of setting aside the idea of sin altogether. We can live however we want because you know, I'm justified by faith alone. That would be my concern and actually that's part of the problem that was happening in the book of first John John is writing to a group of Christians.

And in that group. There were some who had left the church abandoned the church and what it seems like is they were teaching that there was no more sin, you know, we're fine. Now, you know, we're in Jesus. There's no such thing as sin and that's why John and first John makes it very clear. He says look if anyone says that they're without sin. They deceive themselves.

The truth is not in them. And so as Christians, we have a new relationship to the law of God, but that doesn't mean we set aside the law of God. It's not over you to condemn you anymore. You're dead to it in Christ. Now, you're free by the Spirit to follow Jesus and to seek to obey God's good law, which is summarized in loving him and loving your neighbors and even though we don't do that perfectly. We're still called to that to strive after that those good works which are pleasing to the Lord. And so may God give you grace and maybe share this this answer with the individual who is telling you that the law doesn't matter anymore.

Thank you Wayne for your question. You know, I wonder sometimes Adriel the you know, the what what Wayne heard in his Bible study because people don't maybe understand those three different aspects of the law. Maybe the person was saying well the ceremonial law the civil law no longer applies. And I think that's why it's so important to understand those distinctions when we talk about the law. Otherwise, we can kind of get tripped up especially when it comes to well, I can't eat shellfish anymore, you know, Yeah, which of course we know is our favorite law that was you know abrogated of the ceremonial laws. But I think I think what happens a lot of times is, you know, there's that pendulum swing where maybe someone has been in a circle, you know, a Christian group which really emphasizes the law in a way that's unhealthy meaning they're putting people back under the law.

They're saying if you really want to be loved by God or at least suggesting this, you know, if you really want to be saved you have to be obedient to the law of Moses like the agitators were saying in the book of Galatians. And so and so there's this response to that which which is to swing the other way and to say no, you know, we're dead to the law. The law doesn't matter at all anymore. Well, it's it's neither of those twos to it's not legalism. I'm saved by my law keeping and it's not antinomianism. The law of God doesn't matter for the Christian anymore.

It's realizing that we're dead to the law in Christ but free to love God and to love our neighbors not to earn our justification, but as the justified who are striving to please the Lord. That is so well said. Thanks for that. By the way. We have a core question on this topic.

It's called. Why do you talk about the difference between law and gospel and you can find that by going to core forward slash questions. By the way, our phone lines are open.

If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we'd love to hear from you. Here's the number. It's 833 the core. That's 833 843 2673 will be taking your calls for the next six minutes or so. So now is the time to call. We also want to mention a great resource.

We have available this week. It's a book and it really ties in well with Easter. It's the case for Christ by Lee Strobel. Yes, Lee Strobel's a case for Christ. I mean this book has been used by the Lord to impact so many lives and if you're not familiar with the story. Lee was was not a Christian. I mean, he was not a believer and he set out in one sense. I think to try to disprove the Christian faith and he found that as he was researching and studying more and more.

He became convinced of the core tenets of the Christian faith. And so this this story this book is is that case and it really digs into some of the most important questions that we have to ask as Christians related to the Word of God related to the doctrine of the resurrection. And we know that it'll bless you and encourage you especially this season as we're thinking about the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ as I hope you do get a hold of this resource and build and give you some more information about how to do that. You know the case for Christ was actually a New York Times bestseller over 5 million copies of that book have been sold and it's just such a wonderful book to help strengthen your faith and also as you're talking to skeptics maybe even this week with Easter approaching you're talking to somebody who really doubts the claims of Christ or doubts in the resurrection. This would be a wonderful book for you to maybe sit down with them and go through the book together again. It's the case for Christ by Lee Strobel and you can find that by going to core forward slash offers what we do receive voicemails here at the core and you can call us 24 hours a day and leave your question on our voicemail system.

The number is 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 and here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Amy. Hi my name is Amy and I'm calling from the very my question is is the word Easter was originally not in the original manuscript but it's been put in there and Herod was a pagan and not celebrating Passover why do people say he was celebrating Easter as we call it today. Thank you for that question part of it is just a translation issue obviously you know when I'm guessing you're probably thinking about the translation in the King James version of the Bible. Yeah I mean it's probably not helpful to list Easter there to translate Passover as Easter historically Christians have referred to this time as the time of Passover I mean that's when the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ was fulfilled. And so is it right and proper to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ absolutely I think that's in part what we do every single Sunday that's what we worship on Sundays the first day of the week the day that Jesus rose again from the dead and I think about what the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 5 where he ties together the death and resurrection of Jesus with with Passover he says to the Corinthians giving a little bit of a rebuke here this is not good this is verse 6 of 1 Corinthians 5. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump as you really are unleavened for Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival not with the old leaven the leaven of malice and evil but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth how do we properly celebrate the death of Jesus but also the resurrection of Jesus Christ the way that we do it. Is with that unleavened life if you will of sincerity and truth receiving the grace of God following Jesus turning from our sins and so you know around this time of the year we get a lot of these questions about Easter and is it pagan to celebrate Easter and we actually have some resources about that but but what I'll just say is look celebrate now and always the fact that Jesus is risen from the dead and that your sins have been buried in the dead. That's whom forever gone and that you have the hope of the resurrection to we just can't celebrate that enough and share that message enough and appreciate your question. God bless well said this is core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Let's go to Joseph calling in from California. Joseph what's your question for Adriel? Yes, I had a question. I heard briefly that you had been teaching on Revelation and I ran across this passage in Revelation 12 7 it talks about a war that arose in heaven and Michael and his angels were fighting against the dragon. Does this mean that Satan currently has access to heaven?

Great great question. So the answer to that is no Satan does not have access to heaven currently what we're seeing here in Revelation chapter 12 in one in one sense is this visionary picture of the coming of Christ and the accomplishment of Redemption for us. It's interesting to think about you know, as Jesus was dying on the cross and rising from the dead.

What was going on in heaven? Well Revelation 12 gives us gives us the picture there was a war that was taking place and the evil one was defeated and excommunicated from heaven. And so that's what we have there in Revelation chapter 12 now Satan the accuser cannot stand before God and accuse us anymore. He does go about the earth like a like a lion seeking to devour us, but he has no place in heaven. He's been excommunicated through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here's a beautiful thing.

Here's a beautiful thing. You don't have any accuser in heaven. You only have an advocate Jesus Christ the righteous that is when God the Father hears about you. He's not hearing the accusations of Satan is hearing the pleading of his son Jesus and what a comfort that should be to each of us. The reason Satan was excommunicated from heaven is because Christ conquered him through his cross and resurrection and we have that great hope through Jesus. God bless. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-04 18:44:35 / 2023-04-04 18:54:36 / 10

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