Is the Resurrection a Delusion?
Although he was a man that cheated death nearly every day, Harry Houdini was afraid of it. He was afraid in particular of one illusion. Burying himself alive. At the time, this would have been the penultimate escape. He would place himself into a casket into the ground, only to escape before suffocating. He billed this as his next great escape, even so far as commissioning a poster of his illusion, which is still seen in pop culture today.
Looking at the poster though, you’d never know that Houdini, didn’t performed the escape. A dear friend and famous performer, Harry Kellar, told Houdini that it was too dangerous and he should not attempt it. Houdini listened to the wise council of Kellar, but the image still remains. The image is a reminder to those that know the story, that even Houdini couldn’t escape the grave, but most people don’t know the story. To the average lay person, if they saw the poster they would naturally assume that Houdini performed the illusion, without digging further.
The Real Escape from the Grave
Why start at the Resurrection?
Here’s the parallel. As Christians, we are followers of Jesus. Everything that is central to our faith in Jesus, hinges on His death and resurrection. Paul talks in 1 Corinthians 15 about how if there is no resurrection of the dead, then we are merely wasting our time. If His body is in the grave, then everything is a sham about Him, we have no hope.
But His body isn’t in the grave
Jesus’ resurrection is a game changer. We don’t believe the story to be an escape or illusion like something Houdini would do, but Jesus death and resurrection was His proof to everyone that He was God. However there are many claims about Jesus resurrection that try to explain away the supernatural. Under close inspection though, these claims don’t hold water.
The Game Changer
Jesus came on the scene with an unprecedented authority. He claimed that He was God, and that His proof would be the resurrection from the dead. Naturally this is a pretty big claim, but it’s something so significant that if true, changes everything.
If Jesus really rose from the dead, then He is alive today, and offers eternal life. If not, then Christians are misguided and foolish. To the world we are foolish for following Jesus, but they need to hear His message, His truth. We have to be able to answer people when they ask they tough questions about Jesus. The first main question is, “what happened to the body of Jesus?”
Body of Evidence
If Jesus’ body is still in the grave, then you and I are wasting our time and should just move on.
I don’t believe His body is still in the grave. I believe that He is alive, but that is based more on digging and looking at history and evidence than what the world deems as “blind faith.” Faith is not blind. Jesus doesn’t call us to have blind faith. Blind faith doesn’t convince people to change.
There are a lot of claims that people have made about the resurrection and about “what really happened.” Over the next few days we will look at some of these claims and deconstruct them piece by piece until you are left with the building blocks of each theory, and can decide for yourself who is really delusional.
Tomorrow we will look at the question about His body, and why it’s the biggest hurdle for skeptics to clear, and why they haven’t been able to clear it yet.