Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Easter - the Extraordinary Found in the Ordinary image

By Rev. David Brown, Associate Professor, Religion & Ministry Department

It was during my trip to Israel that I realized the absurdity of it all.  I had read about the characters and events in scripture and seen many maps of the nation, in fact, I had even taught students how to draw maps of the Holy Land by folding a paper into four quadrants. But after we landed in Tel Aviv and were on the bus trip to Jerusalem, something I was completely unprepared for happened.  As the bus drove up the incline towards the city of Jerusalem, our guide pointed to a ravine next to the bus stating “Ladies and gentlemen, on the left side of the bus you can see a ravine that is probably like the valley that was between the army of Israel and the army of the Philistines when David fought Goliath.” The first thought that entered my mind was “there isn’t a lot of distance between those two hills, in fact this place is considerably smaller than I imagined that it would be.”  For the rest of the trip I was shocked by how insignificant each place seemed.  The Jordan river was unimpressive, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Mount of Olives, the Upper Room, the Temple Mount were all much less ostentatious that I had expected, much more ordinary. But isn’t that one of the surprising things about Easter? God takes the ordinary things and changes history through them.

Jesus seemed to be just an ordinary person. He was so ordinary that people in his hometown rejected him asking “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” He appeared just another hometown boy who had grown up among them, a carpenter whom they had seen working, doing commonplace things in conventional ways. But, contrary to appearances, this was not just an average man but the Son of God who invaded both time and space to not only change the course of history but change the destiny of millions.  A light has broken through the darkness that had ensnared and engulfed humanity, offering them forgiveness for their sins, redemption from their bondage, reconciliation with their Creator and a glorious hope for the future.

Easter poignantly demonstrates how absurd this salvation actually is. Who would expect that the God who created everything from nothing and formed man from the dust of the earth would choose to reconcile the world to himself by sending his only begotten Son into the world as someone who was just as ordinary as everyone else?  That’s absurd because that’s not how it’s supposed to be. It should be that the people who do wrong acts should be the ones who pay the penalty for their own actions, they are the ones who suffer the consequences of their sinfulness, they are the ones who are punished for their wrongdoing. But that’s not the way it is. Easter tells us that the one to whom the debt was due, the one who had been offended, the one whose trust had been broken, came to an inconspicuous place, lived a remarkably ordinary life and accomplished something truly unfathomable, incredible and extraordinary, the redemption of humanity. 

Articles of Interest

Dr. Caleb Friedeman Publishes Major Reference Work

Published: April 1, 2021

Ohio Christian University is pleased to announce that Dr. Caleb Friedeman, David A. Case Chair of Theology and Ministry and Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, has published A Scripture Index to Rabbinic Literature(ASIRL) with Hendrickson Academic. This volume is a comprehensive Scripture index to classical rabbinic literature in English that contains approximately 90,000 entries and represents over 2,500 hours of work by a seven-person team over the course of two and a half years. In addition to the work of the editorial team, a group of OCU staff and students assisted in
Ohio Christian University is pleased to announce that Dr. Caleb Friedeman, David A. Case Chair of Theology and Ministry and Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, has published A Scripture Index to Rabbinic Literature(ASIRL) with Hendrickson Academic. This volume is a comprehensive Scripture index to classical rabbinic literature in English that contains approximately 90,000 entries and
Ohio Christian University is pleased to announce that Dr. Caleb Friedeman, David A. Case Chair of Theology and Ministry and Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, has published A Scripture Index

Archived Articles of Interest

The OCU Religion Department Welcomes New Students into its Learning Community image

The OCU Religion Department Welcomes New Students into its Learning Community

The OCU Religion Department Welcomes New Students into its Learning Community image

Published: September 23, 2014

The students, staff, and faculty of the Religion Department gathered Monday evening to share in information and fellowship --- a kick-start to the new academic year with the professors giving insights to the students on how they can be successful within the department and in their future ministries.Dr. Rick Christman started the evening with a warm welcome, and then introduced each of the faculty and staff to help new students match names with faces, and encouraging communication between students and faculty. The professors were then given the opportunity to share their passion for
The students, staff, and faculty of the Religion Department gathered Monday evening to share in information and fellowship --- a kick-start to the new academic year with the professors giving insights to the students on how they can be successful within the department and in their future ministries.Dr. Rick Christman started the evening with a warm welcome, and then introduced each of the
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A Model of Faithful Giving image

A Model of Faithful Giving

A Model of Faithful Giving image

Published: October 2, 2013

Two days after Anna Brevard passed from this life, the last check she sent to support the ministry of OCU arrived in the mailroom. It wasn’t the amount of that check but rather the faithful years of Lewis and Anna Brevard’s giving that so clearly spoke of lives characterized by stewardship. That check was the last of many that had been faithfully given to support the ministries they had felt directed to support throughout their lives. Lewis and Anna Brevard were not only faithful in giving of their treasure, but also of their time and talent.A gifted guitarist and singer, Lewis always
Two days after Anna Brevard passed from this life, the last check she sent to support the ministry of OCU arrived in the mailroom. It wasn’t the amount of that check but rather the faithful years of Lewis and Anna Brevard’s giving that so clearly spoke of lives characterized by stewardship. That check was the last of many that had been faithfully given to support the ministries they had felt
Two days after Anna Brevard passed from this life, the last check she sent to support the ministry of OCU arrived in the mailroom. It wasn’t the amount of that check but rather the faithful years
Modeling the value of a Christian Education: If It’s Good Enough for Dad image

Modeling the value of a Christian Education: If It’s Good Enough for Dad

Modeling the value of a Christian Education: If It’s Good Enough for Dad image

Published: June 7, 2013

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Four years ago he was denied a promotion due to his lack of a degree. His children were headed down the same road with the all too common attitude, “If it was good enough for Dad then it’s good enough for me.” But Ted Murphy wanted more for himself and more for his children. Two weeks later he registered for classes at Ohio Christian University to begin working on a Bachelor of Arts in
Four years ago he was denied a promotion due to his lack of a degree. His children were headed down the same road with the all too common attitude, “If it was good enough for Dad then it’s good