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

Rev. David Dean, Graduate

Graduate Profile: Rev. David Dean

Rev. David Dean, Graduate

Published: August 27, 2019

Upon graduation in Theology from Ohio Christian University, David Dean entered Olivet Nazarene University’s Church Management program and earned his Master's degree. Since then David has been an evangelist in many churches, camps, and colleges, as well as a servant in mission fields for 25 years. Since 2015, Rev. Dean is serving as OCU’s Director of Church Relations and Executive Director of the Toler Leadership Institutes. He is also the appointed Chairman of the Commission on Evangelism and Discipleship for Churches of Christ in Christian Union. Previously, David was Senior Pastor
Upon graduation in Theology from Ohio Christian University, David Dean entered Olivet Nazarene University’s Church Management program and earned his Master's degree. Since then David has been an evangelist in many churches, camps, and colleges, as well as a servant in mission fields for 25 years. Since 2015, Rev. Dean is serving as OCU’s Director of Church Relations and Executive Director
Upon graduation in Theology from Ohio Christian University, David Dean entered Olivet Nazarene University’s Church Management program and earned his Master's degree. Since then David has been an
Students serve with World Gospel Mission in Argentina

Students serve with World Gospel Mission in Argentina

Students serve with World Gospel Mission in Argentina

Published: May 16, 2016

Ohio Christian University students had the opportunity to minister abroad in Argentina during Spring Break 2016. Professor Jamey Gremillion, OCU’s Intercultural Ministries Director, led the team of six, which included Liliana Burgos, Ben Caplan, Andrew DeMint and Lindsey Lawler, along with Jammie Wilhelm, who serves as an AGS Director and Professor. The team had the privilege of remodeling a kitchen for an elderly woman who feeds nearly 60 neighborhood children every weekday. In two days, the team removed the old cabinets, storage area and counter-tops, replacing them with a custom-
Ohio Christian University students had the opportunity to minister abroad in Argentina during Spring Break 2016. Professor Jamey Gremillion, OCU’s Intercultural Ministries Director, led the team of six, which included Liliana Burgos, Ben Caplan, Andrew DeMint and Lindsey Lawler, along with Jammie Wilhelm, who serves as an AGS Director and Professor. The team had the privilege of remodeling a
Ohio Christian University students had the opportunity to minister abroad in Argentina during Spring Break 2016. Professor Jamey Gremillion, OCU’s Intercultural Ministries Director, led the team of
OCU WGM Argentina Task Force Team 2016 image

OCU WGM Argentina Task Force Team 2016

OCU WGM Argentina Task Force Team 2016 image

Published: May 13, 2016

On February 5, 2015, a WGM Missionary couple serving in Argentina came to OCU’s Global Café and shared their vision for reaching young adults. Due to the sensitive nature of their work, we will not use their names. Their ministry was so exciting to our students and Professor Gremillion that they returned to OCU on the following Monday and Tuesday to speak in a few select classes. This couple has discovered a unique way to implement a program similar to what has been called Community Health Evangelism (CHE) at WGM. This type of outreach seeks to meet the felt needs of non-believers in
On February 5, 2015, a WGM Missionary couple serving in Argentina came to OCU’s Global Café and shared their vision for reaching young adults. Due to the sensitive nature of their work, we will not use their names. Their ministry was so exciting to our students and Professor Gremillion that they returned to OCU on the following Monday and Tuesday to speak in a few select classes. This
On February 5, 2015, a WGM Missionary couple serving in Argentina came to OCU’s Global Café and shared their vision for reaching young adults. Due to the sensitive nature of their work, we will not
Mike Butto of the West Side raises his arms in prayer as he and dozens of other gathered for the National Day of Prayer observance ceremony on the steps of the Statehouse on Thursday

Ohio Celebrates Faith and Freedom on National Day of Prayer

Mike Butto of the West Side raises his arms in prayer as he and dozens of other gathered for the National Day of Prayer observance ceremony on the steps of the Statehouse on Thursday

Published: May 5, 2016

Kali Smith wasn't going to venture out into the gray, chilly Thursday. She wanted to take a nap. But, instead, the 24-year-old German Village resident felt called to attend the Ohio National Day of Prayer observance outside the Statehouse. "God was definitely pulling at my heartstrings to come here, and I'm really thankful that I did," she said. "It was definitely rejuvenating and very educational, and they stayed true to God's word and the reality of Jesus. So I loved that. It was powerful." The Christian event was as much patriotic as religious. Along with saying prayers that
Kali Smith wasn't going to venture out into the gray, chilly Thursday. She wanted to take a nap. But, instead, the 24-year-old German Village resident felt called to attend the Ohio National Day of Prayer observance outside the Statehouse. "God was definitely pulling at my heartstrings to come here, and I'm really thankful that I did," she said. "It was definitely rejuvenating and very
Kali Smith wasn't going to venture out into the gray, chilly Thursday. She wanted to take a nap. But, instead, the 24-year-old German Village resident felt called to attend the Ohio National Day
Seniors honored at Awards Chapel 2016 image

Seniors honored at Awards Chapel 2016

Seniors honored at Awards Chapel 2016 image

Published: April 22, 2016

Ohio Christian University held its inaugural Awards Chapel on April 21, 2016. More than 100 people were in attendance for a time of worship and recognition. Students in the top percentage of their class were inducted into Sigma Beta Delta, Delta Epsilon Chi, and Epsilon Pi Phi. OCU was also pleased to announce the Josias Rodriguez scholarship award recipient, Victoria Bobb. Dr. Dave Garrison was awarded the Faith and Liberty award for his efforts in establishing the School of Business and Government. This high honor is also held by various other faith leaders, such as Dr. James Dobson
Ohio Christian University held its inaugural Awards Chapel on April 21, 2016. More than 100 people were in attendance for a time of worship and recognition. Students in the top percentage of their class were inducted into Sigma Beta Delta, Delta Epsilon Chi, and Epsilon Pi Phi. OCU was also pleased to announce the Josias Rodriguez scholarship award recipient, Victoria Bobb. Dr. Dave
Ohio Christian University held its inaugural Awards Chapel on April 21, 2016. More than 100 people were in attendance for a time of worship and recognition. Students in the top percentage of their