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Time of the season | Letters From Home Time of the season | Letters From Home

Letters From Home

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Time of the season

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When I was a kid, growing up in central Virginia, I noticed that it always rained on Good Friday. My mother noticed that too and was certain there was a cosmic significance to it.

Of course, my mom was always looking for proof that the things she had been taught to believe were really true. I, on the other hand, had read Greek mythology and the Bible at pretty much the same age (starting at about age six) and viewed them as pretty much the same–history plus an ancient people’s explanation of the way the world worked. So I was no more prone to believe (or disbelieve) that it rained on Good Friday because it had rained on the original Good Friday than I was to believe (or disbelieve) that thunderbolts were thrown by Zeus.

I’ve been re-reading a really extraordinary book, The Jesus Dynasty by James D. Tabor. The book is too complex to do justice to in a brief summary, but the author takes a look at what the evidence suggests really happened 2000 years ago, and it’s not quite what people have come to believe. Among other things, Jesus didn’t die on Good Friday.

I wondered early on about that business about “and on the third day,” because there’s really no way to get a “third day” between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. Christians assumed that because Jesus had to be taken down from the cross before the Sabbath started, he must have died on Friday. But the start of Passover is also a Sabbath, and Passover began on Thursday that year.

So Jesus died on Thursday, was taken down… and on the third day he wasn’t in the tomb. I don’t suppose we’ll ever know what really happened (the Gospels don’t even get the story straight among them). The tomb was empty. How it got that way is a matter of facts or faith.

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Author: infmom

Otherwise known as Infamous Mom.

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