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

Awaken Ministries Headlines Fall Revival image

Awaken Ministries Headlines Fall Revival

Awaken Ministries Headlines Fall Revival image

Published: September 12, 2018

Garrett Howell, founder of Awaken Ministries, opened OCU's Fall Revival with a message highlighting how to escape ‘strongholds’ that weigh down people from satisfying their hunger to live Christ-centered lives.  He likened these ‘strongholds’ to buckets filled with bricks that people carry with them that contain their worldly, sometimes demonic, habits and obsessions, such as with pornography or comparative envy to others. These ‘strongholds’ may become so heavy they weigh down individuals and keep them from moving forward to fulfill the potential of their callings.  In the days
Garrett Howell, founder of Awaken Ministries, opened OCU's Fall Revival with a message highlighting how to escape ‘strongholds’ that weigh down people from satisfying their hunger to live Christ-centered lives.  He likened these ‘strongholds’ to buckets filled with bricks that people carry with them that contain their worldly, sometimes demonic, habits and obsessions, such as with
Garrett Howell, founder of Awaken Ministries, opened OCU's Fall Revival with a message highlighting how to escape ‘strongholds’ that weigh down people from satisfying their hunger to live Christ-
Dean Joe Wuest

Dean Joe Wuest Recognized with 2018 Ruth Bamford Award

Dean Joe Wuest

Published: July 30, 2018

The Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) honored Ohio Christian University’s Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Joe Wuest, M.A., with the 2018 Ruth Bamford Award.  Dr. Edee Schulze, ACSD’s president, explains the award’s significance: “The Ruth Bamford award is presented annually to individuals who have served in the field of student development less than 15 years, who have provided outstanding leadership and service to ACSD and their home institution, as well as contributed significantly to the field of student affairs.  Especially important is
The Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) honored Ohio Christian University’s Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Joe Wuest, M.A., with the 2018 Ruth Bamford Award.  Dr. Edee Schulze, ACSD’s president, explains the award’s significance: “The Ruth Bamford award is presented annually to individuals who have served in the field of student development less than 15
The Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) honored Ohio Christian University’s Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Joe Wuest, M.A., with the 2018 Ruth Bamford Award. 
Dr. Benny Tate Shares Inspiring Lessons in Leadership

2018 Pastors Conference Shares Lessons in Leadership

Dr. Benny Tate Shares Inspiring Lessons in Leadership

Published: April 27, 2018

The Pastors Conference of the 2018 Leadership Forum provided inspiring sessions that shared valuable lessons in pastoral leadership. The Conference began with inspirational worship led by Ohio Christian University’s ABLAZE student music and vocal group singing spirit-filled songs and hymns of praise.  Their performance created a beautiful time for experiencing the Holy Spirit’s refreshing presence. Keynote speaker Dr. Benny Tate, Senior Pastor of the Rock Springs Church in Milner, Georgia, presented encouraging instruction on how to “Build a Healthy Church in a Chaotic World.” In his
The Pastors Conference of the 2018 Leadership Forum provided inspiring sessions that shared valuable lessons in pastoral leadership. The Conference began with inspirational worship led by Ohio Christian University’s ABLAZE student music and vocal group singing spirit-filled songs and hymns of praise.  Their performance created a beautiful time for experiencing the Holy Spirit’s refreshing
The Pastors Conference of the 2018 Leadership Forum provided inspiring sessions that shared valuable lessons in pastoral leadership. The Conference began with inspirational worship led by Ohio
Tony Perkins Receives Faith & Liberty Award

Family Research Council's Tony Perkins Receives 2018 Faith & Liberty Award

Tony Perkins Receives Faith & Liberty Award

Published: February 21, 2018

The Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government’s Center for Faith and Liberty presented its seventh annual Faith
The Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government’s Center for Faith and Liberty presented its seventh annual Faith
The Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government’s Center for Faith and Liberty presented its seventh annual Faith