The Reality of Easter (Passover)

In the Hebrew Bible, it was the Israelite priests that had themselves chosen by an ancient god of polytheism called Yahweh and set themselves up as his mouth piece leaving their final legacy in the editing of the Hebrew Bible known as “P“ for the Priestly School (This is confirmed by the fact that, with the passing of W.F. Albright (1891–1971) and the Albright School, the historicity of both the Patriarchs and Moses are now understood as pure religious myth.)

As a result of this edited legacy, the Israelite priests severed the Temple and whose control was nothing short of divine dynasty (After the reform of Josiah ended local shrines that posed competition for the Jerusalem Temple 2 Kings 22 - 23).

Here the grain, meat and drink offerings where served to the national god Yahweh only by this limited and tightly controlled priesthood. While whole offering sacrifices are discussed in the Hebrew text, the late and general procedure for offering a sacrifice, was (as in the case of meat) by taking only the best unblemished animals (“without blemish” is the requirement for sacrifice that runs throughout the entire book of Leviticus or a text constituting a major document of the Priestly school). Moreover, slaughtering it in the proper kosher method by bleeding it and then burning the fat, guts and bones to Yahweh while keeping the eatable portions for the priests themselves. What was not eaten by the priests was sold to the general Israelite population living in Jerusalem or the neighboring towns for money to maintain the Temple and spending money for these priests to support their families.

The Priestly Code is a complex religious document that demands sacrifice for sin offerings from everything from childbirth to a national Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) of an animal sacrifice by the High Priest to a yearly massive slaughter house event require of all Israelites called Passover. It is at such time as Passover that the strong stench of animal urine, dung and blood along with the bellowing cries of animals waiting for slaughter could be totally over powering when the streets around the Temple ran red with animal blood diluted with both urine and fecal matter. This, to such over lords as the Greeks (Seleucids such as Antiochus IV) and the Romans, Jewish sacrifice was totally repulsive.

Should this lunar event fall further into the heat of spring, the stench was multiplied along with pollution and disease. (We might note here that, just like a slaughtered Temple animal, the dying Jesus’ blood, as well as that of the other two criminals crucified on either side of him would have also been mixed with his own urine and fecal matter along with vomit which would most likely would have covered his chest due to a slow suffocating death.)

{In this respect, the Catholic crucifix (which depicts a loin cloth over the Jesus‘ private parts) is nothing but a pious depiction of the horrible reality of Roman crucifixion created not to offend its use in public churches above the altar. (The fact that medieval religious art depicts only Jesus nailed to the cross while the other two criminals are tied to their crosses is simply to help the pious religious mind think that ONLY Jesus alone shed his blood and clearly to teach a major Christian dogma in the doctrine of atonement and salvation.)}

With the Temple rededicated under the Hasmonaeans and the Jews now under Roman control, Judea was now given to Herod the Great to rule. To keep things civil, Herod's religious choices made sure the Temple affairs were run by secular priests or, what the New Testament calls Sadducees. (Josephus Antiques XV, XVI, XVII 1-8)

For the average religious Jew, secular life and religious law were meshed into one. Other than satisfying the tax burden of Rome, the life of a pious Jew as to satisfy the Torah requirements of their national religious life and heritage.

With no separation between religion and state, Temple corruption was rampart as noted by both Josephus and the Gospels. In short, what we find in the selling of animals in the Temple was none other than one of the first examples of a Capitalistic economy where profit is a motivating factor. Or better put, why travel to Jerusalem with an animal which one must feed and water on the journey and which may get blemished on the way; when one could simply take advantage of the “Buy Here; Sacrifice Here” convenient store Temple offerings. After all, money was a lot easier to carry up to Jerusalem for Passover than an animal.

Since the secular Sadducees control the Temple and the selling of sacrificial animals near the altar; for a price, one was guaranteed an animal without blemish would be guaranteed pass the test of the priest and leave everyone happy (whether it was in fact spotless could be certainly over looked for a good selling price).

The fact that Jesus is depicted in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 21: 12 - 14; Mark 11: 15 -18; Luke 19: 45 - 47) as objecting to the buying and selling in the Temple places his theology more in line with the Pharisees who were highly conservative in their theology, but who lack any control over the Temple.

This mixture of religion, state and Capitalism ended abruptly in 70 CE when the Romans burnt the last Temple ending both the secular sect of the Sadducees and over 2,000 years of sacrificial of offerings to Yahweh.