Spring is coming, which means Easter will be here soon, the most important – and misunderstood – of the Christian holidays. A story of ultimate loss, and the hidden revelation of redemption; a message of hope that began as a tragedy.
What is the true story of Easter? Was it that Jesus died on the cross, to be reborn three days later? Or something more … complicated?
It’s important to remember that much of the New Testament was written hundreds of years after the Anointed One’s death … it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine what is based on historical truth, and what might have been added later, as Christianity developed. Of the four gospels, for instance, only Luke and Matthew record the Nativity of Jesus.
The books that became the New Testament weren’t fully finalized until the Council of Nicea, some three centuries after Jesus’s death. The same council which, not coincidentally, declared Gnostic Christianity a heresy. In the three hundred years between the Crucifixion and the Council, Christianity had gone from a Jewish heresy promulgated by a minor cult into the official religion of the Roman Empire. Why? What drew Constantine to the story of a Jewish carpenter who died on a cross? Could it be that there was something more, some promise that had to be kept secret?
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”
— Matthew 10:34
The truth is that Jesus died on the cross. His very name proclaims it – Jesus the Christ, the Anointed One. Only two kinds of people are anointed: the holy and the dead. The Anointed One was dead to the Tribes of Israel, an abomination so unthinkable they excommunicated him from their midst. Remember that it was the Jews who condemned Jesus; Pontius Pilate offered Barrbas to the crowd, but they said no. He warned them history would not judge them kindly, but the crowd replied “his blood is on our hands.” Not blood libel, as the histories would have us believe – pride.
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you…”
— Matthew 5:11
What could have been so horrible that the crowd would prefer the freedom of a condemned criminal? Israel bordered the land of the Phillistines – David’s battle with Goliath was against a Phillistine warrior.
By Cush – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14613766
Archaeology has been strangely silent about the Phillistines; the best consensus so far is that they may possibly be related to the “Sea Peoples” who invaded Egypt about this time. If so, it explains why there is so little evidence for them, as this invasion, or mass migration, or what have you, disrupted the entire Near Eastern world.
If they were somehow related to the Sea Peoples, it gives us our first clue to the real meaning of Easter – a link to the ocean.
We can also be fairly certain they spoke some form of Semitic language, since most of their names, and the names of their gods, were Semitic.
Dagon, for instance.
Now we have a link between the Phillistines and the Cthulhu cult, in the form of an Old One who is somehow connected with Great Cthulhu – as priest, follower, perhaps son or father, if those terms can even be said to apply to such entities.
The Old Testament portrays the Jewish conquest of Canaan, and the wars with the Phillistines, as a holy obligation, a commandment from YHWY. Modern readers have interpreted this as just authorial bias on the part of the rabbis who compiled the book.
What if the academics are wrong? What if Israel was fighting a holy war?
We know the Jews came up out of Egypt, the most ancient and unhallowed land in the Near East. Were they running from something – only to find it waiting for them on the plains of Negev?
“And it was then that Nyarlathotep came out of Egypt.”
— HP Lovecraft
The Council of Nicea decided what books should be in the Bible – did they also edit those books? They must have – in an era when everything was hand copied by half-blind, most likely half-mad scribes working in cramped, dark monastery cells, it would have been inevitable that small differences would arise from book to book. The Luke of Alexandria may not have been the Luke of Constantinople. Someone had to go through and make certain that everyone was reading the same thing.
That someone, then, could just have easily ordered a certain … troublesome passage to be rewritten.
“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
— Matthew 4:19
Or was it fishmen?
In Part II, we’ll look at why Christianity survived the death of Jesus, and the real meaning of the Easter festival.