Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Monday, April 05, 2010

Easter Charade

“He is Risen.”

Mine was the lot of the biblical Martha yesterday. Fixing Thanksgiving dinner yesterday for my family, I paid little to heed the tidings of Easter.

Still, I had hoped to at least follow it on television as I did my work, as Martha heard Jesus talking to her sister Mary, seated at his feet.

But not one station saw fit to mark the Easter holiday. Only at five o’clock as I was finishing the preparations for dinner, did one of the cable networks play “King of Kings”, with Jeffrey Hunter.

The host of the cable show saw fit to sneer at Hunter’s blue-eyed portrayal of Christ.

However, another network (perhaps the same one) did show “The Silver Chalice,” with Paul Newman. Here, the host saw noted that it was the movie Newman hated the most and even urged fans not to go and see.

But it’s Jack Palance who literally “steals the show” as Simon the Magician, who covets the silver cup of Christ in order to crush it and prove Christ was merely a magician, like Simon himself.

In these kinds of denouncements does the real anti-Christian evil work. The Anti-Christ, whoever he is, works to destroy faith. No better ally exists for this purpose than the mundane workings of the natural world.

In The Ten Commandments on Saturday, Ramsees is heard denouncing the plagues of God as nothing more than natural occurrences. A mudslide in distant mountains that poisoned the water, killed the fish, the crops, and the beasts, unleashing yet more plagues of lice, frogs, and locusts.

Taking that lead, a modern-day documentary postulated that the final plague, the deaths of the first-born of Egypt, was the final result of the original calamity: that the first-born were given the bread from the diseased grain first, dying first.

Anything God can think of to do, Men of Science can explain away. They can figure out how to cure the sick just as well as He can. They don’t need to beg the rich to feed the poor; they’ll force them to do it. Why make the poor wait on an uncertain magnanimity?

They have a logical explanation for the creation of the universe and a theory for its eventual demise. In the Sixties, they even declared that God is dead.

But they can’t explain that empty tomb. Up until recently, even if they’d discovered Jesus’ remains, they couldn’t have proven it was him. But now, with DNA and genetic testing, they have the means at their disposal.

They’ll find him, even if they have to dig up every grave in Jerusalem and its environs. They’ll prove to us yet that this Son of Man (as he called himself) did not rise from the dead and live forever.

They’ll crush his bones and Christian faith the way Simon the Magician wanted to crush the Silver Chalice. They’ll find this Jesus and put an end to all the doubts.

They can dig up every graveyard in Jersualem, search every crypt, open every sarcophagus until they locate him. But that’s trying to find Jesus the hard way.

All they have to do is pray.


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