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The answer emerges when the message John’s Gospel sought to convey is understood.

Because the Book of John was the last of the four Gospels to be written, the author was trying to appeal to a Church that had quickly become predominantly gentile. The author of the fourth Gospel had the task of appealing to and thoroughly satisfying the pagan mind of the Greco-Roman world. This was accomplished by carefully integrating heathen practices with elements of the Jewish faith.

The notion that an animal was to be revered and sacrificed as a god was well known and widely practiced throughout the Roman Empire,7 in Mystery Religions such as Mithraism, which flourished during the time that the Book of John was written.

John was keenly aware of this rapid transformation, and seamlessly fused the Mithraic sacrifice of the redeeming bull with the Jewish sacrifice of the Paschal lamb.

For this reason, John the Baptist proclaims of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” (1:29, 36) only in John’s Gospel. Of the four Gospels, only John equates Jesus with the Passover lamb. If Matthew, Mark, and Luke agreed with the fourth Gospel that the Passover lamb represented Jesus, why in the synoptic Gospels’ Last Supper does Jesus raise the matzo saying, “This is my body”? Instead, according to Jewish tradition, he should have raised the Paschal lamb. At Communion, priests should be feeding their parishioners lamb chops rather than a wafer!

In addition, the story told in the Book of John of the Roman soldiers who pierced the side of Jesus rather than break his legs on the cross (John 19:31-37) is not mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament. This brief narrative is only consistent with the theological story line of the fourth Gospel. Only the author of the Book of John was eager not to have Jesus’ bones broken so as not to violate the Torah’s prohibition of breaking the bones of the Paschal lamb (Exodus 12:46).

Therefore, John places the crucifixion on the 14th day rather than the 15th, because the Torah commands Israel to slaughter the Paschal lamb on the eve of Passover or on the 14th day of Nissan (Exodus 12:6), John’s Jesus was also “slaughtered” (i.e. crucified) on the eve of Passover or the 14thday of Nissan.



Both of these Conflicting Resurrection Stories Could Not have Occurred
Matthew 28:1-10
After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2.And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
John 20:1-18
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to their homes. 11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” which means Teacher. 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.