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Good Friday RevisitedPosted Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at 9:07 AM
Probably everyone who survives college comes away with a favorite professor, some one teacher who made a greater impact or who you simply liked better than others. With me it was Professor Dwayne E Dunning, my professor of Old Testament history. He was at the college I attended only two years before going back to teaching in seminary, for which he was better suited.
Professor Dunning had an article published some years ago in The Christian Standard entitled "The Crucifixion was on a Thursday." Kept this article for a long time and am somewhat disappointed that it has become lost in time and travels.
The essence of the professor's argument was that the traditional day of Christ's death being "Good Friday" in a misnomer. Instead, it seemed to him more likely the day would have been the Thursday before Resurrection Sunday, later called Easter. It was a scholarly dissertation written by a true scholar. From a strictly technical and scholarly point of view he was probably right. Considered a controversial position to take at the time, others have written similar arguments. Strong, well-established tradition, though, is not often deterred by scholars.
The point, however, is not about days and times, but about the truth-claim presented by Christianity over the centuries:
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." (I Corinthians 15.304, KJV)
It is on this truth-claim that all of historical, traditional, conservative Christianity stands:
"And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (I Corinthians 15. 17-19, KJV)
It is this hope, held in trust by Christianity 2,000 years, which is the reason we stop and celebrate the day known as Easter.
In commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, on Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m. Christ Community Church will hold a service on the traditional "Good Friday" before Easter.
"Join us as we take time to reflect on what Jesus did for us on the cross.
"During the service we will read the story of the cross from Scripture and also have a time of worship. We will learn about the torn veil and what that means for us today. Come join us and consider what Jesus has done for us."
With all due love and respect for my old professor, Good Friday service is an old Easter tradition to revisit.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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