My question on Friday was “can he rise from the grave?”
The Resurrection is Everything. It is the proof of Friday. On the cross, Jesus says “it is finished”, gives up his spirit and dies. I would argue that at that point it looks like a loss. Why else would the disciples be so downcast?
The Pharisees thought they had won. As he hung on the cross, they had mocked him. They also knew he had said he would rise from the dead after three days, so they took plenty of earthly precautions. Even going so far as to enlist the Romans to supply the troops to protect the gravesite against tampering. The Pharisees were confident in their work, they had openly mocked a dying man and then kept his dead lifeless body under guard to prevent tampering that made it “look” like he had risen from the dead. This means only the real deal will do.
Two followers of Jesus had prepared his body, wrapping it with spices. Over a hundred pounds. These spices stick to the cloth and the body. As I understand it, the spices almost burn themselves into the flesh of the body.
It’s all a lot like a magician asking for help securing the chains before he escapes from the cage of death, or some such thing. Except this is the full meal deal. Jesus is dead. His body is a bloodied and gory pulp. His heart is ruptured inside body, the blood and water mix that poured out after his side was stabbed proves that. He is beyond even the current ages medical technology to save.
And yet he walks out of the tomb. He is seen by 500 witnesses. These witnesses testify to what they’ve seen. Then Saul of Tarsus starts hunting them down to be killed. And Jesus appears to him. And we are blessed by Paul, the revised Saul.
The Resurrection makes all of this possible. The mechanics of atonement and the right theology of kenosis are interesting intellectual debates. Do you think those first believers had as complex a theology as we do? They went and did as they were commanded. And they Loved Jesus and one another. Please spare me the overblown rhetoric about the cross. Let’s follow the Risen Lord!
Monthly Archives: March 2013
My question on Friday was “can he rise from the grave?”
It sounds all like a far fetched hollywood movie:
A man, who has has fed the hungry, healed the sick, and loved the unloveable is persecuted by the religious authorities. They convince the civil authorities he is a threat to their power. He is beaten and bloodied, then forced to carry his own cross to be crucified on it.
While suffering on the cross, this man forgives his tormentors, “forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing.” He turns to a close friend and tells him to take care of his mom and says to his mother that his friend is to be like her son. After he appears to expire the centurion jams a spear up and into his side to make sure he is dead. And who would know how to kill a man more effectively than a roman soldier? They were assured be killed themselves for not carrying out their orders. Their orders here were: crucify these men, i.e. carry out death sentence imposed by Rome. This assures us he was indeed dead.
Now, in a Hollywood flick there would be protestations against the government and public denunciations of the religious authorities.
But what happens next is the linchpin of history. Can Jesus rise from the dead? He had said he would.
Lots of people are ok with Jesus as a “gentle teacher.” He was “nice” to most people and seems to poke the religious leaders in the eye on a regular basis. What’s not to like? But, come back to life? Without aliens? No transdimensional being with a special screwdriver? No matrix?
Now, some will say that Jesus is a myth. If he is then no history is knowable. His life, death and resurrection is among the most well documented events of the ancient world. More extant copies exist of the gospel narratives close to the point if the events than any other documented event of the ancient world. If you doubt the veracity of these documents then Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Homer, and all the rest should be doubted too. Good luck with that.
So, back to The Question.
Can He rise from the grave?
Amen and amen
Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you. Just obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you. (Deuteronomy 4:2)
Relate: I went to a Bible college my freshmen year that had rules upon rules. We weren’t allowed to play cards because of the occultic symbolism they contained. We were, however allowed to play Uno. The four colors equaled the four suits. Skip, reverse, and draw two were the jack, queen, and king. Many a game of hearts, spades, and rummy were played in this way. The men were allowed to have a mustache but not a beard of goatee. This would have been bad enough if multiple professors did not have beards or goatees. They were flaunting their follicles in our faces. We had a uniform that was about as ugly and uncomfortable as you could…
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This Holy Week, let’s remember the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
In Acts 19 Paul runs into some trouble with men who make items for sale involving worship at the Temple of Artemis. They were losing money because people were following Christ instead. Being a Christ follower requires no jewelry or trinkets or knickknacks. Be free of them. And I would encourage you to ditch the Easter bunny thing. Santa Claus has the advantage of having strong Christian roots. The bunny and eggs? What does that have to do with Holy Week?!