Easter

The City Podcast: How to Go from Fasting to Feasting

by Timothy Motte on April 21, 2014

The City, a podcast of Houston Baptist University: Smart. Sane. Spiritual.

Featuring: Fr. Micah Snell, Cate MacDonald, Dr. John Mark Reynolds

How do you make the transition from 40 days of fasting to 40 days of feasting? For some people that can be hard. What about you?

Here is a resource that many of you may find helpful. Let Us Keep the Feast: Living the Church Year at Home

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Email us at podcast@hbu.edu with your thoughts, questions, or suggestions for future episodes.

You might also be interested in The City Podcast: What 3 Anglophiles Think of England.

The City, a podcast of Houston Baptist University: Smart. Sane. Spiritual.

Featuring: Mary Jo Sharp, Cate MacDonald, Dr. Holly Ordway

The historical events of the week leading up to Easter are absolutely crucial to the project of Apologetics.

What is Apologetics?

Glad you asked. In this edition of The City Podcast Professor Mary Jo Sharp, a Baptist, and Dr. Holly Ordway, a Catholic, discuss why it is so important to point to the Resurrection of Christ as we defend the faith.

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To respond to the podcast or suggest topics, email podcast@hbu.edu.  He is risen! Happy Easter!

Books referenced:
The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Gary Habermas and Michael Licona
The Risen Jesus and Future Hope by Gary Habermas
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller

A to Z with C.S. Lewis: E is for Easter

by Lou Markos on October 22, 2012

Most readers of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe have no trouble seeing the parallels between Aslan’s death on the Stone Table and the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  In both cases, the innocent Aslan and the sinless Christ are killed on behalf of a traitor (Edmund, Adam and his heirs) whose betrayal and disobedience have enslaved them to the power of the enemy (the White Witch, the devil).  In both cases as well, the blood shed by the righteous scapegoat provided the ransom to buy back the traitor from the power of evil.

In Narnia, this exchange is called the deeper magic—an ancient promise that when an innocent, willing victim died in the place of a traitor, the Stone Table would crack and death would start working backwards.  In our world, the exchange is called the atonement—the powerful and eternal promise that when Christ died on the Cross, he brought us back into a right relationship with God the Father.

As a pledge of those promises, both Aslan and Christ rose from the dead, and, in doing so, crushed the power of the White Witch and the devil.  In Narnia, this resurrection occurs at dawn, some six hours or so after Aslan is killed; in our world, it occurred on the third day, on that first glorious Easter morning.

That Lewis means these two resurrections to parallel one another is also something that few readers miss.  However, there is a deeper level to Lewis’s reworking of Easter that often goes unnoticed by even the most careful reader—a reworking that has the power to open our eyes to a dimension of the Resurrection that is too often overlooked by Christians.

In Lewis’s telling, after Aslan rises from the dead, he leaps into the courtyard of the White Witch’s castle to rescue the poor Narnians whom the Witch has turned to stone.  One by one, Aslan goes up to the statues and breathes on them, causing them to regain their status as living creatures.  Though Lewis does not say this directly, it is implied that before experiencing and defeating death, Aslan did not have the power to breathe on statues and bring them back to life.

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul makes a vital distinction between the first Adam, whom God made a living soul, and the last Adam (Christ), whom God made a life-giving spirit.  Unlike Adam (that is, us), who possessed a life that eventually ran down and died, the Risen Christ possesses Life itself—a life that can never get sick or grow old or die.

In Mere Christianity (IV.1), Lewis makes an equally vital distinction between our own mortal, creaturely life (bios in Greek) and the eternal, indestructible Life of God (zoe).  To become a Christian does not mean gaining more bios: to do so would merely extend our life by a few decades.  No, becoming a Christian means having our bios killed and replaced with zoe.

And that is why, Lewis concludes, the transformation from an unregenerate sinner to a saved saint is less like a sick man becoming a healthy man and more like a statue coming to life.

When Christ rose again on that first Easter Sunday, he went through death (bios) and came out on the other side.  As a result he now possesses Life (zoe) and can share that Life with others.

He is Risen

by Benjamin Domenech on April 12, 2009

All the Gospels refer to the period when the heavens were just beginning to brighten in the east. This, of course, does not take place until the sunrise is at hand. For it is the brightness which is diffused by the rising sun that is familiarly designated by the name of the dawn … For as the day breaks, what remains of the darkness passes away just in proportion as the sun continues to rise.

Augustine of Hippo
Harmony of the Gospels

Mary Magdalene

The squabbling soldiers gone, the women got
What fell to them. Beneath the drooping eyes
Of Pilate’s guard (the afternoon was hot)
They laid him out and shooed the stinging flies,

Rubbed linen strips with myrrh and aloes, rinsed
The dust from limbs whose wounds no longer bled.
As if the crown still pressed there, Mary winced
When, with a separate cloth, they wrapped his head;

And she recalled the pressure of his palm,
The scent of spikenard, Simon’s baleful stare,
And how, the whole house filling with the balm,
She wiped his wet feet with her loosened hair.

Days later, at the empty tomb alone,
She thought first of his pierced and broken feet
And wept, incredulous. But he was gone,
The wrappings, neatly rolled, still faintly sweet.

A gardener was bending in the shade
Among the gravestones. Trembling with dismay,
She cried, “Where is he? Tell me where you’ve laid
His body. Who has taken him away?”

He didn’t answer. When she called again,
The stranger stood and took a step or two.
Her fear became bewilderment. And then
He said her name, and suddenly she knew.

Catherine Tufariello
Published in the Winter 2008 Issue