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

OCU Hosts Mission Emphasis Week 2015 image

OCU Hosts Mission Emphasis Week 2015

OCU Hosts Mission Emphasis Week 2015 image

Published: November 24, 2015

The Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department, in partnership with World Gospel Mission, hosts an annual missions conference during a week focused on global missions, called Missions Emphasis Week. Professor Jamey Gremillion (OCU’s Intercultural Ministries Program Director), Andrea Williamson (WGM’s Student Involvement Director), and Dr. David Lattimer (Missions Superintendent for the Churches of Christ in Christian Union) worked tirelessly to expand the global perspective of our students and to challenge them to be a part of the Great Commission call of the church. God used
The Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department, in partnership with World Gospel Mission, hosts an annual missions conference during a week focused on global missions, called Missions Emphasis Week. Professor Jamey Gremillion (OCU’s Intercultural Ministries Program Director), Andrea Williamson (WGM’s Student Involvement Director), and Dr. David Lattimer (Missions Superintendent for the
The Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department, in partnership with World Gospel Mission, hosts an annual missions conference during a week focused on global missions, called Missions Emphasis
OCU Launches Toler Leadership Institute  image

OCU Launches Toler Leadership Institute

OCU Launches Toler Leadership Institute  image

Published: November 23, 2015

Today, Ohio Christian University is pleased to announce the launch of the Stan Toler Leadership Institute— the flagship project of Toler Leadership in partnership with Ohio Christian University. Rev. David Dean will lead the institute as the Church Relations Director, adding a new resource tailored to developing leaders. Through the Toler Leadership Institute, Dean and Toler will work to strengthen the tie between Ohio Christian, the local church, and OCU students. The launch will consist of lunch, a meet and greet with Stan Toler, and conclude with a lecture, Intentional
Today, Ohio Christian University is pleased to announce the launch of the Stan Toler Leadership Institute— the flagship project of Toler Leadership in partnership with Ohio Christian University. Rev. David Dean will lead the institute as the Church Relations Director, adding a new resource tailored to developing leaders. Through the Toler Leadership Institute, Dean and Toler will work to
Today, Ohio Christian University is pleased to announce the launch of the Stan Toler Leadership Institute— the flagship project of Toler Leadership in partnership with Ohio Christian University
OCU Prepares Church and Community Leaders image

OCU Prepares Church and Community Leaders

OCU Prepares Church and Community Leaders image

Published: November 4, 2015

Ohio Christian University is a blessed community of leaders who are impacting the world. How does OCU and the church impact society today? The answer to this complex question is not man-made yet involves all of us! For the church to impact society, there must be a powerful visitation of the Holy Spirit, which radically changes men and women’s hearts toward God. From the prophet Isaiah to Saul on the road to Damascus, the Lord uses transformative experiences to inspire spiritual leaders. These leaders challenge entire generations to action. In Isaiah 6, Isaiah experienced a
Ohio Christian University is a blessed community of leaders who are impacting the world. How does OCU and the church impact society today? The answer to this complex question is not man-made yet involves all of us! For the church to impact society, there must be a powerful visitation of the Holy Spirit, which radically changes men and women’s hearts toward God. From the prophet Isaiah to
Ohio Christian University is a blessed community of leaders who are impacting the world. How does OCU and the church impact society today? The answer to this complex question is not man-made yet
More than 700 OCU Students Pay It Forward image

More than 700 OCU Students Pay It Forward

More than 700 OCU Students Pay It Forward image

Published: October 15, 2015

More than 700 Ohio Christian University students paid it forward by serving the local church and community last week during OCU’s annual Church Service Day. Student teams assisted with landscaping, painting, cleaning, organizing, and general maintenance projects at 44 locations in Pickaway County and the surrounding areas including the Ted Lewis Museum, the Pickaway County Welcome Center, Crossroads Church, First Baptist Church, and Heritage Nazarene Church.  At Ohio Christian University, we make paying it forward to the community a priority. The local church and community has been
More than 700 Ohio Christian University students paid it forward by serving the local church and community last week during OCU’s annual Church Service Day. Student teams assisted with landscaping, painting, cleaning, organizing, and general maintenance projects at 44 locations in Pickaway County and the surrounding areas including the Ted Lewis Museum, the Pickaway County Welcome Center,
More than 700 Ohio Christian University students paid it forward by serving the local church and community last week during OCU’s annual Church Service Day. Student teams assisted with landscaping
Dr. Walter Kaiser, Jr. Speaks at OCU Event image

Dr. Walter Kaiser, Jr. Speaks at OCU Event

Dr. Walter Kaiser, Jr. Speaks at OCU Event image

Published: August 26, 2015

Dr. Walter Kaiser, Jr. Speaks at OCU Dr. Walter Kaiser, world-renowned Old Testament scholar, was the guest lecturer at Ohio Christian University’s Religion Faculty Retreat that took place August 18, 2015, in the Maxwell Library. Dr. Kaiser shared his view on how a Christian university functions in tandem with the Gospel saying, “I’ve endorsed the concept of a Christian university because I’ve been all my life in education, and I sense that that’s a great mission to put the whole concept of Christianity [into practice.] Yet, it focuses in on a “uni”-versity — a one song —so
Dr. Walter Kaiser, Jr. Speaks at OCU Dr. Walter Kaiser, world-renowned Old Testament scholar, was the guest lecturer at Ohio Christian University’s Religion Faculty Retreat that took place August 18, 2015, in the Maxwell Library. Dr. Kaiser shared his view on how a Christian university functions in tandem with the Gospel saying, “I’ve endorsed the concept of a Christian university
Dr. Walter Kaiser, Jr. Speaks at OCU Dr. Walter Kaiser, world-renowned Old Testament scholar, was the guest lecturer at Ohio Christian University’s Religion Faculty Retreat that took place