Christ versus Religion, by Witness Lee

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The angels then told the women, "Go quickly, and tell his disciples, he is risen from the dead; and lo, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him" (28:7). At that time all the disciples were at Jerusalem. Apparently, it would be more convenient for them to meet the Lord right there. Why would the Lord go before His disciples into Galilee? Physically and logically we can find no reason. But I do believe the Lord Jesus did this deliberately and intention ally to impress His disciples that this was a new start, that this new age has nothing to do with the old religion. The Lord Jesus was saying in effect to His disciples, "You must get out of that whole realm." Eventually we will see how the poor disciples brought things back to Jerusalem and to the temple (Acts 21:20-26). Undoubtedly the Lord intended to impress His disciples that everything related to Him is separate from the old religion. He, the resurrected Christ, had nothing to do with that religion and neither should they, His disciples.

We must remember that the New Testament began from Galilee. Jesus was conceived by His mother Mary, not in Jerusalem, but in Galilee (Luke 1:26-38). It began in Galilee, and it must be continued in Galilee. The angels told the women, "He goeth before you into Galilee." Then as they ran from the tomb with fear and great joy, Jesus Himself met with them and said, "Go tell my brethren that they depart into Galilee, and there shall they see me" (v. 10).

Later in the chapter (v. 16) we see that it was not a synagogue to which they were directed in Galilee, but to a mountain in the open air. It was absolutely contradictory to the religious concept. At that time all the religious people either gathered in the temple at Jerusalem or in the synagogues in the various other cities. But now Jesus instructed His disciples to depart from Jerusalem and thus from the temple. Then, when they went to Galilee, He did not lead them into a synagogue or even into a house, but to a mountain. Don’t imagine that He did these things without a purpose. We must believe that this is full of significance. He did it to impress His disciples that henceforth in the new age with the resurrected Christ and His Body, the church, everything must be different from religion. If religion goes to the north, then the church must go to the south. If religion meets in the daytime, then the church must meet at night. Christ and the church are always versus religion. At the present time we meet together on Sunday simply because people are free from their jobs on that day. If they could be free at some other time, I would say that it would be much better to meet on Friday or any other week day and forget about meeting on Sunday. This matter of Sunday worship is too much of religion. When religious people meet on Sundays, if possible, we would go to work. When they work, we would stop working and meet. I tell you, this was the principle adopted by the Lord Jesus. He said in effect, "You priests, you religious people, all go up to Jerusalem. You meet there, but I tell my disciples to go away to Galilee. You meet in the synagogue, but I tell my disciples to meet on the mountain top." Oh, Christ is really versus religion!

(Christ versus Religion, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)