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

Students Honored at Ministerial Banquet  image

Students Honored at Ministerial Banquet

Students Honored at Ministerial Banquet  image

Published: April 11, 2016

Ohio Christian University took an evening to honor students and faculty in the Ministry department at the annual Ministerial Banquet on April 11, 2016. Over 50 guests were in attendance for dinner, worship lead by the Intercultural Department, and an awards ceremony. Various students were scholarship recipients, thanks to multiple generous donors. In addition, top students were nominated for titles such as Ministry Student of the Year, as well as up and coming Ministry Student of the year (for underclassmen).
Ohio Christian University took an evening to honor students and faculty in the Ministry department at the annual Ministerial Banquet on April 11, 2016. Over 50 guests were in attendance for dinner, worship lead by the Intercultural Department, and an awards ceremony. Various students were scholarship recipients, thanks to multiple generous donors. In addition, top students were nominated for
Ohio Christian University took an evening to honor students and faculty in the Ministry department at the annual Ministerial Banquet on April 11, 2016. Over 50 guests were in attendance for dinner
Students Participate in Poverty Simulation  image

Students Participate in Poverty Simulation

Students Participate in Poverty Simulation  image

Published: April 7, 2016

The Ohio Christian University’s Intercultural Department was pleased to have VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) facilitate The Poverty Simulation on last month. The Poverty Simulation is intended to be an “immersive experience that helps participants increase their knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of poverty.” According to their website, “The Poverty Simulation is a unique, enlightening experience that helps individuals begin to understand what life is like with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress. It moves people to think about the harsh realities of
The Ohio Christian University’s Intercultural Department was pleased to have VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) facilitate The Poverty Simulation on last month. The Poverty Simulation is intended to be an “immersive experience that helps participants increase their knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of poverty.” According to their website, “The Poverty Simulation is a unique
The Ohio Christian University’s Intercultural Department was pleased to have VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) facilitate The Poverty Simulation on last month. The Poverty Simulation is
OCU Welcomes WGM Coordinator to Campus image

OCU Welcomes WGM Coordinator to Campus

OCU Welcomes WGM Coordinator to Campus image

Published: March 25, 2016

Ohio Christian University’s Global Café was pleased to welcome Dr. Joy Phillips as a guest speaker on February 25, 2016, as she shared her passion for reaching out to those in Kenya and South Sudan. Phillips currently serves as World Gospel Mission’s Coordinator of Compassionate Ministries.Having worked with WGM for almost 30 years, Phillips explained how her perception of the mission field changed over time. While in college, she prayed, “God, I will do whatever you want me to do – but please don’t send me to Africa!” Obviously, her life took an unexpected turn when she felt the call
Ohio Christian University’s Global Café was pleased to welcome Dr. Joy Phillips as a guest speaker on February 25, 2016, as she shared her passion for reaching out to those in Kenya and South Sudan. Phillips currently serves as World Gospel Mission’s Coordinator of Compassionate Ministries.Having worked with WGM for almost 30 years, Phillips explained how her perception of the mission field
Ohio Christian University’s Global Café was pleased to welcome Dr. Joy Phillips as a guest speaker on February 25, 2016, as she shared her passion for reaching out to those in Kenya and South Sudan
OCU Welcomed Siran Stacy to Campus image

OCU Welcomed Siran Stacy to Campus

OCU Welcomed Siran Stacy to Campus image

Published: March 22, 2016

Ohio Christian University was pleased to have former University of Alabama football star Siran Stacy as a guest speaker on Tuesday, March 15. Siran delivered a message in chapel services, urging students to make changes to their lifestyles in accordance with scripture. “God wants me to tell you: put your life in order!” Siran said; he went on to describe inconsistencies among the recent generation. He suggested that some students may be struggling with living orderly lives for Christ. “Some of you are masquerading as Godly people on weekdays, while acting like sinners on the weekends
Ohio Christian University was pleased to have former University of Alabama football star Siran Stacy as a guest speaker on Tuesday, March 15. Siran delivered a message in chapel services, urging students to make changes to their lifestyles in accordance with scripture. “God wants me to tell you: put your life in order!” Siran said; he went on to describe inconsistencies among the recent
Ohio Christian University was pleased to have former University of Alabama football star Siran Stacy as a guest speaker on Tuesday, March 15. Siran delivered a message in chapel services, urging
OCU Welcomed Robert Spencer and Samuel Whitfield to Campus image

OCU Welcomed Robert Spencer and Samuel Whitfield to Campus

OCU Welcomed Robert Spencer and Samuel Whitfield to Campus image

Published: March 18, 2016

Ohio Christian University was pleased to welcome both Robert Spencer and Samuel Whitfield as guest speakers on Thursday, March 17, 2016. They agreed to answer questions facilitated by Dr. Garrison, and later responded to questions from the audience. The speakers tackled a relevant question: Is Islam a religion of peace Robert Spencer spoke first, citing the main issue with Western culture as the inability to deal with Islam openly and honestly. “America is stigmatized against honest discussion…” he said, sharing a story about a media store employee who was hesitant to turn in a video
Ohio Christian University was pleased to welcome both Robert Spencer and Samuel Whitfield as guest speakers on Thursday, March 17, 2016. They agreed to answer questions facilitated by Dr. Garrison, and later responded to questions from the audience. The speakers tackled a relevant question: Is Islam a religion of peace Robert Spencer spoke first, citing the main issue with Western culture
Ohio Christian University was pleased to welcome both Robert Spencer and Samuel Whitfield as guest speakers on Thursday, March 17, 2016. They agreed to answer questions facilitated by Dr. Garrison