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Questions Your Pastor Will Hate - Part 3

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Questions About the Crucifixion

 Having asked a few questions about the birth narratives of Jesus, it is as good a time as ever to ask some about the last days of Jesus and his resurrection.

 Question. Pastor...Hebrews 9:22 says that just about everything is purified with blood and that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. Ewww...What's with all the blood and why can't God just say, "Ok, that sounds very sincere, I forgive you?"

Question. Pastor...Why don't Christians keep Passover instead of Easter? Doesn't the New Testament make Jesus death a Passover event, like the Lamb of God? (I Corinthians 5:6-8), or was he the Bunny of God? I don't understand how separating Passover by an Equinox, one full moon and the next sunday after as being what was going on there. I mean Christ is our Passover, not our Easter Bunny right?

Question. Pastor...When Jesus needed a donkey to ride on into Jerusalem, Mark 11:2-7 and Luke 19:30-35 say that Jesus intructed the disciples to bring one animal. In Matthew 21:2-6, they are told to bring two, And in John 12:14 Jesus doesn't tell anyone to go get one, he does it himself. Which is it?

Question. Pastor... Mark 11:7, Luke 19:35 and John 12:14 have Jesus riding one animal which is to be expected but Matthew 21:7 has Jesus riding two at the same time! I think Matthew read his Old Testament prophecy wrong about how this would work when he mistook the wording of Zechariah 9:9 for a description of two animals when it was just one to begin with. Wasn't the Donkey a colt, the foal of an ass so to speak and not a donkey and a colt as Matthew thinks? Seems like a pretty big mistake to me. Of course, Matthew is prone to these overreachings as we have already talked about and this one seems to catch up with him. Or am I wrong?

Question. Pastor...Jesus is said to have turned over the tables of the moneychangers in the temple. First of all, why? The money was required to be changed from dirty pagan money to temple money to preserve the purity of the place. What's wrong with that? And wasn't that a rather suicidal stunt to begin with, I mean at Passover with tensions aready pretty high over other issues of the Roman occupation?

Question. Pastor...Mark 11:15-17, Matthew 21:12-13 and Luke 19:45-46 say that this event occurred at the end of Jesus ministry, just before he was arrested. But John 2: 13-16 says it happened much earlier in at the very beginning of Jesus ministry. That's not a minor mistake is it? Which is it? Was on a practice run to see what would happen?

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Question. Pastor...About this same time, Jesus went looking for some figs to eat and finding none, Jesus curses the tree and it withers. John and Luke don't mention it, but Mark 11:20-21 says that the disciples didn't notice the tree withered until the next day on a return trip. But Matthew 21:19-20 says that they saw it wither right then and were amazed. Well I would be to! But they can't both be right. On top of that, it even admits that the reason for no figs was that it wasn't fig season. Isn't that like me getting angry at a watermelon field in the winter? I do know that maybe the point was that just as fig trees without figs deserve to wither, so Temples without good fruit do too, but still it not being fig time and two different stories mean it either didn't happen at all and is just a way to make a point, or if it did happen, someone goofed. Of course, one could argue that fig trees that don't have figs due to it not being time for figs don't deserve to be withered. What happened to dunging and digging around it for three years to give a chance?

Question. Pastor...Next Jesus has his feet anointed, or his head depending on the story. Mark 14:3 and Matthew 26:6-13 say that it was at house of a leper named Simon in Bethany. Luke 7:36-38 says it was in the home of a Pharisee in Galilee. That's a long way from Bethany. Was this a leperous Pharisee named Simon who had a summer home in Galilee? They can't both be right unless he got anointed twice in different places. Also, Mark and Matthew say Jesus was anointed with oil poured over his head, but Luke and John say his feet. Which was it and please don't tell me it was both and these men are like four people seeing an accident!

Question. Pastor...Why do Mark, Matthew and Luke not knowwho the woman was, but John 12:3 says it was Mary? And the reactions! Mark says that some got angry at the unnamed woman who anoints Jesus and Matthew 26:8 says it was the disciples who get angry at the woman. Luke 7:3-9 says some Pharisee get's upset because the woman is a sinner, like they weren't. John 12:4-5 is the only one who says it is Judas who gets angry, and then imputes his motive as being the thieving treasurer of the group. I know, all of the above right? It's Judas we remember the most I guess.

A few questions about the Last Supper Question.

Pastor...In Mark 14:17-21, Matthew 26:20-25 and John 13:21-30 Jesus predicts for the disciples that he will be betrayed before they actually take communion. But in Luke 22:21-23 Jesus predicts this after communion. Can't both be right, right?

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Question. Pastor...Mark 14:30 tells us that Peter would deny Jesus before the co*k crowed twice. Why then does Matthew 26:34, Luke 22:34 and John 13:38 tell us that Peter would deny Jesus before the co*k crowed at all? Since Jesus is the one doing the prediction, just what did he predict? When it finally happened, Mark 14:72 says the co*k crowed twice. Matthew 26:74 said it was once, and both Luke and John don't mention any co*k crowing. What happened?

Question. Pastor...I have a few questions about this notorious Judas whose name has become a synonym for betrayal in our culture. If Jesus had to die to be our Savior, why do we care who and how Jesus was betrayed to be crucified? It had to be so wasn't Judas just helping things along?

Question. Pastor...Why does Matthew 19:28 say that all Twelve Disciples would sit on Thrones in the Kingdom of God and Judas was surely among this number. I mean by the time Matthew wrote the book, he would know about how Judas messed up and didn't make it wouldn't he?

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Dennis Diehl is a former pastor of 26 years,  who outgrew the Literalism of Fundamentalism.  He writes about Pastoral and Church abuse and is available to speak on such topics or be helpful to any church suffering under abusive (more...)
 

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