5 Facts About Christianity

im-a-christian-01

*Not suitable for children*

It seems like everyday I come across another misunderstanding on the internet about our Dear Lord Jesus. I thought I would address some of these today.

If you have any questions, ask in the comments below.

1. Jesus wasn’t a tall, white man with long hair.

JESUS-620_1587358a

The New Testament gives no description of Jesus. We can only figure out what Jesus would have looked like by looking at the time and place in which he lived.

Isaiah 53:2b says: “he [Jesus] had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”

Common Jewish traditions meant men had beards – and were humiliated to have a shaven face.

His hair would not have been that long. Not only does Paul says many did not like it that way, but, as a carpenter, it would have gotten in the way.

He probably had a lot of muscles, as working with the wood and stones would have been very laborious.

His family were not rich, so his robe would have looked like all others.

As we read in numerous verses, Jesus looked much like all other Jewish males of the time, and we need to remember that looks have nothing to do with the power and majesty that is our Lord Jesus Christ.

Is this so bad? Personally, while I think it’s important to know the truth and understand his appearance doesn’t mean anything, we can also view it as

2. Magi, Wise Men, or Kings?

1-three_wise_men

Almost every Christmas carol mentions either three Magi, three Wise Men, or Three Kings. But who were they?

We don’t know how many there were. It is commonly thought to be three because they gave gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but it could have been two, or numerous.

They were not Kings. They would have been scholars who were fluent in the Old Testament and knew the signs to look for. They came from the East (the orient), which was possibly Persia or Babylon, etc.

3. The Wise Men were not at Jesus’ birth.

dp1780861

In Matthew 2:1-12 we read that the Wise Men came looking for Jesus after he was born. They approached King Herod, who then proceeded to call together all of his “chief priests and teachers of the law”. From here, the Wise Men went all the way to where Jesus was. This could have been back in Nazareth since time had passed, although it was probably in Bethlehem because when Herod had the babies killed, it was the cry out of Ramah.

Herod’s order decreed the death of the children under two years old, so time must have passed.

4. They counted the days differently.

o-CALENDAR-facebook

If Jesus was crucified on Friday, and rose again on Sunday, how could he have been dead for three days? The answer lies in how the days were counted back then.

We can read more in-depth about it HERE, but there are two ways to calculate Jesus’ death and resurrection as three days.

1.

DAY 1 DAY2 DAY 3
THU
starts at
sundown on Wed.
THU
ends at sundown
FRI
starts at sundown on Thu . . .
FRI
ends at
sundown
SAT
starts at sundown on Fri.
SAT
ends at sundown
SUN
starts at sundown on Sat.
SUN
ends at sundown
Night Day Night Day Night Day Night Day
Crucifixion Sabbath He rose

“The solution is simple when we learn that according to Jewish custom any part of a day, however small, is included as part of a full day. “Since the Jews reckoned part of a day as a full day, the ‘three days and three nights’ could permit a Friday crucifixion.””

2. 

“The verses above tell us that the Passover occurred on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish Calendar year. This corresponds to our months of March-April. It is possible, then, that this Passover could have occurred during the week with the Saturday Sabbath following. Since Lev. 23:5-7 tells the people to rest on the first day (not the last day Saturday), this is a type of Sabbath occurrence. Therefore, perhaps the following chart could represent a Thursday crucifixion and a subsequent set of three “night and days” before the Sunday resurrection.”

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
13th of Nisan 14th of Nisan 15th of Nisan 16th of Nisan
THU
starts at
sundown on Wed.
THU
ends at sundown
FRI
starts at sundown on Thu . . .
FRI
ends at
sundown
SAT
starts at sundown on Fri.
SAT
ends at sundown
SUN
starts at sundown on Sat.
SUN
ends at sundown
Night Day Night Day Night Day Night Day
Passover/Crucifixion Sabbath He rose

“Something worth mentioning concerning this is that in the Greek in Matthew. 28:1, it says “Now after the Sabbaths [PLURAL], as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.” It is possible that there may have been two “sabbaths” during that week. The first may have been the Passover related “Sabbath” and the second may have been the Saturday Sabbath.”

5. Jesus had brothers and sisters.

You’ve probably heard about Jesus, human-father Joseph, and the Virgin Mary. But did you know Jesus had brothers and sisters born after him? In numerous places in the New Testament, we read about Jesus’ siblings. These would have been his half-siblings, as Joseph was not his father (God was).

There is a great website, HERE, that explains it perfectly. Excerpts include:

“Jesus’ brothers are mentioned in several Bible
verses. Matthew 12:46Luke 8:19, and Mark 3:31 say
that Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see Him. The
Bible tells us that Jesus had four brothers: James,
Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55). The Bible also
tells us that Jesus had sisters, but they are not named
or numbered (Matthew 13:56).”

So, hopefully you’ve learned a bit about Christianity. I will be adding more Facts About Christianity, so make sure to subscribe and check back.

The Birth of Jesus – Year 1 and 2 scripture lesson

With Christmas quickly approaching, it is now time to plan my scripture classes. While there are many websites out there with lessons you can use, I thought I would share what I did. For the most part, in keeping with the great work already done by others, I took what was already written, using ‘The First Christmas’ by Gaby Goldsack and Caroline Pedler (available for purchase here). I also wrote a post about the book here.

But more than just reading the book, I wanted to make the lesson more interactive and enjoyable for the kids.

In my limited experience, the end of the year approaching is making the kids extra restless. With their attention hard to capture and keep, I wanted to get them involved in telling the story. In the past, I was randomly choosing children to hold pieces of paper with pictures up for the rest, but that always had people missing out.

For this lesson, I have decided to have a box filled with items I will take out and help me tell the story. Here, I will simply post the pictures of the items.

Here we go!


Good morning/afternoon everyone.

Q. Who can tell me what’s something very special that’s coming up. We celebrate it every year near the end of December? Christmas

Today we’re going to talk about Christmas, the story of baby Jesus.

I have a box with some items inside. One by one I’ll pull one out, and it will help us tell our story.

*Reading the book while pulling out these items -*

ITEM: Nazareth street sign (made myself)

ITEM: Mary, Joseph, donkey, stable, Jesus in the manger, stable (here)

ITEM: an Angel (can’t find it)

ITEM: Bethlehem street sign (made myself)

ITEM: mean King Herod (here)

ITEM: Wise men (here)

ITEM: star (I can’t remember where I found this one)

ITEM: pyramid (here)

CONCLUDING PRAYER: Dear God, // Thank you for sending Jesus. // Help us in these last few weeks. // Amen.

Activity sheets –

1) Colouring-in (found on AZColoring)

m8cgexkta-2

2) Find-a-word (made using Puzzle Maker)

screen-shot-2015-11-07-at-11-43-59-pm

The kids really enjoyed the activities, especially the find-a-word.

All in all a very successful lesson and I can’t wait to figure out the next lesson.