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Spring Feast during the death, burial & resurrection of Jesus Christ

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Points To Ponder, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. Points To Ponder

    Points To Ponder The Scriptures are the foundation of my faith.

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    I have not seen much discussion on this subject. It would be great to understand what exactly the priest were doing on the exact days and times of Jesus's crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection. I've seen one person discuss their belief that at the very moment the first fruit grain was harvested by the priest was the exact moment Christ was risen from the grave first and followed by Old Testament Saints being resurrected (Matthew 27:52-53) (firstfruits harvested)

    Some believe that when the first fruit grain offering was marked in the field on mount olivet was when Christ was in Heaven with the captives out of Sheol (realm of the dead) (Paradise/Hades) presenting himself as the firstfruit along with the captives (O.T. Saints)
    (1 Corinthians 15:20-23) to the Father. If I understand correctly, while Jesus was in the grave he first went to the Paradise part of Sheol (Abrahams Bosom) and then took the Godly souls to Heaven including the thief on the cross and presented himself and those Saints to God as the firstfruits. On the 3rd day we know he rose from the dead and in Matthew 27:52-53 it tells us that many graves were open and many of those who came out of the graves were seen by many in the Holy City.

    This was the physical resurrection (Jesus and the Saints). Jesus had taken their souls to Heaven earlier and their bodies were risen right after Jesus rose. Only Matthew recorded this. Some think that since Matthew was primarily directed towards the Jews is why he recorded it and Mark, Luke and John didn't (they directed toward a broader audience ?).

    We know from Ephesians 4:8-10 and 1 Peter 3:18-19 that Jesus took the captives to Heaven. We know from Psalms 16:9-11 that David said God would NOT leave his soul in Sheol. It looks like the leading of the Godly souls to Heaven, the resurrection of their bodies in Matthew 27:52-53 paint a picture of what to expect at the Rapture for those in the body of Christ. After the cross Christians souls upon death go to Heaven, ungodly souls still go to Sheol/Hades. I feel like I've only scratched the surface in my understanding of this. Did the OT Saints who came out of the graves who many saw in Jerusalem ascend into Heaven when Christ did?
     
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  2. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here are a few scriptural things I consider >

    It says "many bodies of the saints" (Matthew 27:51-53) came from the graves and appeared to "many" people in Jerusalem.

    Jesus was seen ascending into Heaven; but we do not have a report that those saints were seen ascending after Jesus.

    But, of course, in Revelation 6:9 John does say he saw souls of martyrs under the altar of Heaven.
     
  3. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    The Church calls the Feast of Christ's resurrection Pascha, it comes from the Hebrew word Pesach, i.e. Passover.

    Christ suffered during the time of Pesach, so the Passover was the Jewish Feast being celebrated at Christ's Passion. And the significance of the old Passover has given way to the new Passover of Christ, Holy Pascha, usually called "Easter" in English, from the name of the old Anglo-Saxon month that roughly corresponds to our month of April.

    So what was going on in the Temple around that time was the sacrificing of lambs for Passover. Which were the type which prefigured the One who is Himself the one and only true Lamb of God, He who takes away the sins of the world.

    There's nothing in Scripture that talks about Jesus going to heaven before His Ascension; the Lord descended into She'ol, or Hades in Greek, the place of the dead. This conquest of Hades is known as the Harrowing of Hell, and is what we mean when we confess in the Apostles' Creed, "He descended into hell."

    The Lord's statement to the thief about going to Paradise has nothing to do with going to heaven, but rather Jesus is saying the thief will be counted among the righteous. "Paradise" was simply the other side of Hades/She'ol. The place of the righteous dead was called Gan-Eden, or translated into Greek Paradaisos ("Paradise") in Greek. The place of the wicked dead was called Ge-Hinnom, which is rendered into Greek as Gehenna.

    The episode described in Matthew is peculiar, and we do not have any clear information outside of Matthew to try and make sense of it. Even the early fathers of the Church don't really say too much more than what we read in Matthew, but merely present it as one of the miraculous happenings: tombs were rolled away, and many dead came back to life. Some indicate that Jesus took these up with Him at His Ascension, and they were translated bodily directly into heaven with Jesus.

    I would be incredibly cautious about trying to fasten overt theological and doctrinal significance to something about which is unique and quite peculiar. It is safe to let Scripture speak, and not say too much that is not already being said.

    The point, the real point going on here is simply this: Jesus is the One He said He was, the Messiah, and His passion, death, resurrection, and ascension are all there pointing to this central truth: Jesus is the One He said He was, Jesus told the truth, He is God's the Messiah. He is the Son of David that shall sit upon a throne that shall never perish, with a kingdom that shall never cease. The Christ suffered, died, and on the third day rose again, in accordance with the Scriptures, and He ascended into the heavens, the Son of Man taken before the Ancient of Days and given a kingdom that shall never end, as He reigns as King Messiah not over a small parcel of land in the Levant, but as the King of kings and Lord of lords, given all power and authority in heaven and on earth, and who will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

    "God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ"

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  4. Points To Ponder

    Points To Ponder The Scriptures are the foundation of my faith.

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    We must be careful NOT to alter, add to or remove any of God's inspired word. I apply that to the Apostles Creed. The Apostles Creed is not scripture and therefore not reliable. I do think we as fallible men will always have interpreted difference in the scripture. I think many of those difference are not connected to the tenants of faith. For example we can totally disagree on the size of the ark and it have no spiritual impact.

    The fact that not much has been taught or understood concerning Matthew 27:52 does not diminish its truth. All scripture is given to use by the Holy Spirit. If it says many of the dead rose after Christ then I take God's word for it. The scripture references (not me) that Jesus was the firstfruit. The continued reference in Romans 8:23, Romans 16:5, 1 Corinthians 15:20 and Revelation 14:4 make it clear that Old Testament Saints became the firstfruits. We cannot ignore David in Psalms 16:9. David was in Sheol and knew that God would not leave him there.

    We know for a fact that Jesus went to Paradise (the residence of Old Testament Saints) before his resurrection. We know for a fact that after Jesus rose from the dead many others were resurrected and were seen by many. We do not see scripture saying those ascended into Heaven when Jesus did. We also do not see any further reference to those resurrected interfacing with the Apostles. They must have went somewhere. We rely on logic for our understanding of many things in the scriptures. Is our logic always sound, NO but we cannot assume our logic always fails us or we would be lost in our understanding of many things in the scripture. Logic tells me (with supporting scriptures) that when Jesus went to Paradise he freed the Old Testament Saints (firstfruits) from Sheol, they physically resurrected after Jesus did, they were seen by many. Jesus eventually ascended to Heaven and we have no scriptures mentioning any contact with those who were resurrected so they went somewhere and logic tells me they went to Heaven like the born again souls at death do today.

    I realize that this view is a big problem for certain denominations. Their doctrine cannot accept this as a possibility. Clinging to denominational doctrine is most dangerous.
     
  5. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    So you don't wish to "add" to Scripture, so you reject the Apostles' Creed; but it seems to me that all you are doing is "adding" to Scripture--you're just adding your own speculations, conjectures, and private interpretations and opinions.

    That doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever.

    The Apostles' Creed is a faithful statement of Christian faith. One shared by God's people since the earliest days of the Church.

    What makes your interpretations and speculations better than what has been believed since the beginning?

    To phrase it differently: What is the appeal of making things up rather than seeking to believe what has been confessed since the beginning? What is the appeal of novelty?

    It seems to me that so much of contemporary neo-Protestantism is about how different, novel, and innovative it can be so as to discard the two millennia of established Christian faith and practice that preceded it. Of making the Bible say and mean whatever the individual wants it to say and mean, rather than just letting it say what it says--even if we can't fully understand it.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2021 at 1:21 PM
  6. Points To Ponder

    Points To Ponder The Scriptures are the foundation of my faith.

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    It is not my intent to add or change anything. My interpretation is my interpretation. If your suggesting we must all interpret the same to be faithful I'm certain we are very far apart. My study on this matter has nothing to do with how I or anyone practices their faith. It does not impact the pathway to salvation. I do not think point blank scriptures are "novelty".

    What is novelty about the facts below? What gives you so much grief about the facts below? Is it that it clearly says that many were resurrected? Is it that Paradise might just be empty now? That Old Testament Saints could be in Heaven now? If we do not study the scripture how do we learn? I do not give value to fallible mens traditional doctrine when I can read the Bible for myself. I do not believe we will be able to blame a Priest for our lack of understanding.

    We know for a fact that Jesus went to Paradise (the residence of Old Testament Saints) before his resurrection. We know for a fact that after Jesus rose from the dead many others were resurrected and were seen by many. We do not see scripture saying those ascended into Heaven when Jesus did. We also do not see any further reference to those resurrected interfacing with the Apostles

    I do not wish to be contentious. I do not understand the logic of dismissing scripture because denominational traditional doctrine disagrees with my interpretation. I'm sure I could find others who are 100% in agreement with my view but that is not what I'm looking for. I'm looking to proof, validate and learn. Not dismiss because we do not want to do a deep dive in the word.
     
  7. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Yes, Jesus descended into the place of the dead, She'ol or Hades. That is what "descended into hell" means in the Apostles' Creed. So yes, Jesus descended to the place of the dead, specifically the place of the righteous dead. The place of the righteous dead was called Paradise.

    Thus, if that is what you are saying, so far we agree.

    As far as those who came out of their tombs goes, Scripture is silent.

    I'm recommending that we don't add or say anything more than what Scripture itself says.

    Beyond what is written in Matthew we don't know anything about what happened to those who came out of the tombs.

    So conjecturing here doesn't get us anywhere. And, I'd argue, if we are curious about these things, we should ask the question: "What did the earliest Christians think about this?"

    Study of Scripture is not about us having our own personal interpretations about it. The study of Scripture is about what it is actually saying. Private interpretation is dangerous; that is why we have to rely on proper exegetical and hermeneutical tools.

    If I read the Bible and come to a conclusion that no Christian besides me every arrived at, then I should understand that my conclusion is almost 100% certainly false.

    However, if I am arriving at the same conclusion which Christians have, for two thousand years, arrived at also, then there is a high probability that I'm reading the text properly.

    One of Martin Luther's rallying cries in the Reformation was the Latin phrase ad fontes, meaning "to the source". That's why Luther and the other Lutheran fathers placed such a high degree of emphasis on chief importance of Scripture as the regulating principle of Christian faith and practice. When we come to the Scriptures, we return to the source, the fountain from which all Christian truth has its origin: Jesus Christ and His Gospel. This wasn't, as many mistakenly believe, about "Bible onlyism", which is an explicitly non-biblical doctrine; but that Scripture is the chief and unfailing standard of Christian faith and practice. Tradition isn't wrong, but tradition cannot replace Scripture, and tradition is only ever as useful as it is in agreement with Scripture and serves to benefit the Faithful.

    We go to the source.

    We don't blindly believe popes, councils, and most importantly--we don't blindly believe ourselves--we go back to the source. We read the Scriptures, we hear the Scriptures, we encounter the Scriptures in the context of being a historic, living Christian community that stretches back all the way to the Apostles, and to Jesus Christ Himself who says, "I will build My Church, and even the gates of Hades cannot prevail against it".

    The solution to having a single self-proclaimed Pope in Rome, is not for everyone to become their own pope. Ten million people claiming to be their own pope is ten million times worse than a single Pope in Rome.

    Christianity is not individuals reading the Bible for themselves to figure out what it means for themselves. That isn't Christian faith, that's just madness from the devil.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  8. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    Also, the idea the Apostle’s creed is unreliable is without merit. The Nicene Creed, which does not mention the Harrowing of Hell but does outline the doctrines of the Trinity, the General Resurrection, one baptism for the remission of sins, and the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, is indeed part of the CF.com Statement of Faith.
     
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