Chicken, Magpie, and Easter Greetings

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“Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” For centuries, Christians have used this greeting to celebrate Resurrection Day, better known as Easter.1 Ironically, there are two birds that can remind us of the historicity and importance of Christ’s rising from the dead, three days after His death and burial.

CHICKENS

Amazingly, the Lord Jesus once compared His own willingness and ability to care and protect humans to that of a chicken—specifically, a mother hen—who uses her own body to protectively care for her own hatchling baby chicks.2 How good it is to belong to the Lord Jesus Christ forever! When He offers to take us in and protect us, we should be eager and grateful to accept His care and security.

But we more closely associate a male chicken (rooster) with the arrest, trials, torture, and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

Readers might have already guessed that male chickens are associated with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection because of the rooster who crowed after Peter ignominiously denied the Lord Jesus, thrice, in fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy.3 In fact, this incident is so important that it is reported by all four gospel writers.3

For example, Mark reports this disappointing failure of Peter, involving the tattletale fowl, a sad chapter in the life of the usually bold apostle: Peter’s triple failure to stand up for Christ, as predicted by Christ Himself. This display of Peter’s imperfect courage and loyalty (even though his inward belief never failed) is linked to the twice-crowing of a rooster.

A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.4

What a sad note to end with! Except, as proven three days later, that wasn’t really the end.5

MAGPIES

Most people are unlikely to guess that magpies—such as the Australian magpie (Cracticus tibicen6)—can be associated with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. How so?

The most famous variety of this “butcherbird,” formerly called the “piping shrike” or “white-backed crow shrike,” is now called the white-backed magpie (Cracticus tibicen telonocua). But many call it the Australian magpie because it appears on the official state flag of South Australia.

Whatever you want to call it, it is famous for its flute-like call, entertaining with a complex repertoire of vocalizations. The black-and-white opportunist has habituated to human-dominated habitats, such as the agricultural fields of farms, gardens, and even wooded parklands.6

The Australian magpie is not timid. It will defend its territory against raptors trespassing therein, such as brown goshawks. The Australian magpie is not a picky eater. Its diet includes both plants and animals. Its preferred diet, however, is dominated by a variety of larval and adult invertebrates, such as insects (like ants, moths, beetles, bees, wasps, cockroaches) and arachnids (like spiders and stinger-wielding scorpions!), as well as earthworms and millipedes. The Australian magpie is also known to eat some small vertebrates, such as mice, skinks, frogs, and toads.6

Some compare the problem-solving resourcefulness and the brash cockiness of this bird to the national reputation displayed by many Aussie ex-patriots.

The Australian magpie is quite a clever problem-solver. It has been observed breaking off the stingers of bees and wasps before swallowing such dangerous bugs!7

By now you’ve likely guessed why this bird reminds us of Resurrection Day—the Australian magpie’s power to neutralize a dangerous stinger.

But insect or arachnid stingers are nothing compared to the powerful sting of death. Yet, Christ’s bodily resurrection on the third day defeated death’s “stinger.”

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.8

Hallelujah! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

References
1. Morris, H. M. 2006. Christ Is RisenDays of Praise. Posted on ICR.org April 16, 2006, accessed April 7, 2020.
2. Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34. Cansdale, G. S. 1976. All the Animals of the Bible Lands. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 163-165.
3. Matthew 26:34, 26:74-75; Mark 14:30, 14:68-72; Luke 22:34, 22:60-61; John 13:38, 18:27.
4. Mark 14:72.
5. Matthew 12:39-40; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4Romans 10:9Psalm 16:9-10.
6. Taxonomists have also labeled the Australian Magpie as the Australian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen (meaning “trumpeting bare-nose”). Regarding the physical and behavioral traits of the Australian Magpie, see Veltman, C. J., and R. E. Hickson. 1989. Predation by Australian Magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) on Pasture Invertebrates: Are Non-territorial Birds Less Successful? Australian Journal of Ecology. 14(3): 319-326; Cake, M., A. Black, L. Joseph. 2018. The Generic Taxonomy of the Australian Magpie and Australo-Papuan Butcherbirds Is Not All Black and White. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club. 138(4): 346-359; Brown, E. D., and C. J. Veltman. 1987. Ethnogram of the Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) in Comparison to Other Cracticidae and Corvus Species. Ethology (International Journal of Behavioural Biology). 76(4): 309-333. This author also appreciatively thanks Fiona Smith, M.C.Ed.—ICR SOBA graduate and Australian creation science educator/author—for her help with research and perspectives on Australian magpies.
7. Dr. Amy L. Adams notes: “Magpies will walk along the ground searching for food by overturning debris or probing their bills into the dirt. They eat insects, larvae and other invertebrates. Magpies are known to remove the stingers of wasps and bees before eating them.” Adams, A. 2016. Gymnorhina tibicen Australian MagpieMuseums Victoria Collections. Posted on collections.museumvictoria.com, accessed April 7, 2020.
8. 1 Corinthians 15:53-57, quoting Messianic prophecy in Hosea 13:14.

*Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.


James J. S. Johnson Articles Here

Article at I.C.R. https://www.icr.org/article/chicken-magpie-and-easter-greetings/

Lee’s Three Word Wednesday – 8/2/17

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Three Sparrows ©Tony Northrup

AFTER THREE DAYS

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“And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” (Mark 8:31 NKJV)

Three Sparrows ©Tony Northrup

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More Daily Devotionals

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Sunday Inspiration – Worthy

Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii) by Ian 1

Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii) by Ian

Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:9-11 NKJV)

There really aren’t any birds named Easter or Cross, so I decided to continue on through the Passerine Order. Actually, some of the birds in one of these families are the “Thornbills” and that is appropriate. Enjoy the Lord Creator’s avian Creations as you listen to the words and realize just how Worthy He is of our praise and honor. Happy Easter!

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. (Revelation 5:9-12 KJV)

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“Worthy” ~ Faith Baptist Choir and Orchestra

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Dasyornithidae – Bristlebirds
Pardalotidae – Pardalote
Acanthizidae – Australasian Warblers
Pomatostomidae – Australasian Babblers
Sunday Inspirations

Previous Easter Blogs:

Happy Easter
He is Risen! Happy Easter
The Creator and His Love

What A Wonderful Savior
Sunday Inspiration – Palm Birds
Happy Easter – He Is Risen

Gospel Message

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What A Wonderful Savior

He is Risen from an e-mail

Tomorrow is Easter and many will attend church for many reasons. Some will go to show off a new outfit, some will go because it is the one time a year they always go, and many of us will go because it is our normal Sunday habit. Whatever the reason, it is a celebration of the resurrection of Our Savior. Yesterday, Good Friday, His death on the cross was commemorated.

Many of us have the knowledge of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Knowledge is one thing, belief is another. Many can quote John 3:16, even those who do not believe in Christ as their Savior:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18 KJV)

I like Easter and like many, I used to attend church once a year, no matter where I went to church; Catholic, Luther, Methodist, Baptist. Then in 1959, my sister’s father-in-law, Dulin, accepted the Lord as his personal Savior. He accepted the Gift that is offered by Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. He then started telling my sister and her husband, Sharry and Joe, about the Lord and so in February 1960 they were saved, by accepting the Lord. You guessed it, they started telling me about how Christ died for me and that I could be saved by believing in the Lord and accepting His gift of salvation.

So on March 20, 1960, after being invited to church with them, I decided to break a record and go to church two times in one year. Not having been raised in a Christian home, I wasn’t perfect, neither was I bad, but as I listened to Pastor Charlie Kittrell preach, I realized that I WAS a SINNER and I need Christ as my Savior. It finally clicked. The knowledge finally got from my head down to my heart. Praise the Lord I was led to the Lord that morning. My life has forever been changed.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV)

So this Easter is my 53rd as a new creature in Christ. Praise the Lord, what a Wonder Savior He has been to me these many years. Am I prefect? No way, but I am forgiven and when I do mess up, I John 1:9 is always there to remind me to ask forgiveness. That is not to be saved again, but to return to fellowship with the Lord.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 KJV)

I was 16 then and this year I’ll turn 70. What a wonderful life the Lord has given me. He provided a super Christian husband that has put up with me all these years. We will be celebrating our 50th in July this year. Blessings and challenges, but Christ has always been there as we have tried to live for Him. We both had the privilege of graduating from Bob Jones University, though it took me 16 years to get through. (Speak of a slow learner :) ) We also have a fantastic church with a great Pastor and staff. Plus, He has given me an enjoyment of His creation, especially His birds. On and on I could go, but it all is from the Lord.

What about you? I trust you know Him also. If not, please consider what this weekend is all about. It is a celebration of God’s Son coming to earth and paying for our sins by His death on the cross. (short version) Best of all, it doesn’t end there. He is Risen! Death could not keep Him because  He was God in the Flesh. He loves you enough that He died for your sins. Won’t you accept His gift of salvation?

Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (Romans 5:18 KJV)

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23 KJV)

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15 KJV)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8 KJV)

Sharing The Gospel

Gospel Presentation is narrated by Pastor Nathan Osborne III and music is by Sean Fielder from Gospel Presentation

Formed By Him – “Stone” Birds

Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus) by Peter Ericsson

Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus) by Peter Ericsson

Happy Easter to All. He is Risen! He is Alive!

All week we have been posting articles about names of birds that are the same as items that are mentioned in the Scripture that lead up to the Crucifixion and then to today’s bodily Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Christians, these events and the meaning of them are very important. Without the event that is celebrated today, we might as well be any other religion, but Christ is not a religion. Christ was the Son of God, who came to earth, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life because He was sinless, offered Himself to be crucified for the sins of man. He could have called legions of angels to get Him of the cross, but He had come to die for us. He stayed and when He was ready, He died of His own choosing.

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:30 KJV)

There are four “religions” that had a “person” as their leader. Three of those bodies are still in the grave and their bones are deteriating, but Jesus’ body is not in the tomb. He is risen by His own power because He is God, the great I AM. The stone was rolled back, the disciples went inside, Mary looked in, and they were met will the greatest message of all time.

For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
(John 20:9-20 KJV)

I am letting Scripture speak for itself. It is God’s Word. It is men and women’s choice to believe, but as for Dan and I, we like what Joshua stated:

Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24:14-15 KJV)

They placed a stone in front of the tomb and placed a seal on it to make sure no one entered. I doubt they expected someone to exit. But exit He did! What a Savior!

Satan had tempted him and a stone is mentioned:

Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (Matthew 4:5-7 KJV)

It was a stone where the angel sat when:

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. (Matthew 28:1-6 KJV)

“Formed By Him” this week has been remembering the events that led up to the death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, on the cross. As we think of this time, maybe seeing birds with names of things that happened will help us not forget the events as we see those birds in the future. All the birds were formed through the Lord Jesus Christ omniscience and omnipotence.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3 KJV)

The “Stone” Birds – Birds with “stone” in their names:

The New World Quail  – Odontophoridae Family has the:

Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) ©WikiC

The Stone-curlews, Thick-knees – Burhinidae Family has five Stone-curlews:

Eurasian Stone-curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) by Ian
Indian Stone-curlew (Burhinus indicus) ©©
Bush Stone-curlew (Burhinus grallarius) with young by Ian
Great Stone-curlew (Esacus recurvirostris)
Beach Stone-curlew (Esacus magnirostris)

The Sandpipers, Snipes – Scolopacidae Family has two Turnstones:

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
Black Turnstone (Arenaria melanocephala)

The Pachycephalidae – Whistlers and Allies Family only has a:

Sandstone Shrikethrush (Colluricincla woodwardi)

The Phylloscopidae – Leaf warblers and allies Family has a:

Limestone Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus calciatilis)

Limestone Wren-Babbler (Napothera crispifrons) by Peter Ericsson

Limestone Wren-Babbler (Napothera crispifrons) by Peter Ericsson

The Pellorneidae – Fulvettas, Ground Babblers Family only has one bird:

Limestone Wren-Babbler (Napothera crispifrons) by Peter Ericsson

Whereas the Muscicapidae – Chats, Old World Flycatchers Family has eight Stonechats:

Canary Islands Stonechat (Saxicola dacotiae)
European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)
Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus) by Peter Ericsson
Stejneger’s Stonechat (Saxicola stejnegeri)
African Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus) (Common)
Madagascar Stonechat (Saxicola sibilla)
Reunion Stonechat (Saxicola tectes) female
White-tailed Stonechat (Saxicola leucurus) by Nikhil Devasar

And the Fringillidae – Finches Family has a:

Brimstone Canary (Crithagra sulphurata)

Think about the events that we celebrate as “Easter.” Is He your Savior?

Romans 3:10 KJV
(10)  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Romans 5:8-12 KJV
(8)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
(9)  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
(10)  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
(11)  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
(12)  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 10:9-13 KJV
(9)  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
(10)  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
(11)  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
(12)  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
(13)  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

May this be the best Easter you ever had.
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If you missed the “Easter Bird” mini-series, here are the links to the other articles.

“Palm” Birds
“Whip” Birds
“Thorn” and the
“Sword and Piercer” Birds
“Blood” Birds

See:

Gospel Message

Wordless Birds
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More Formed By Him Articles

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