Insights through Illusion for Daily Living

Is the Resurrection a Delusion Part 2

If missed yesterday’s post about the Resurrection, then check it out here Is the Resurrection a Delusion Part 1

Feeling Delusional yet?

I didn’t think so

Jesus was not an escape artist as some would have us believe.  He didn’t create a clever Houdiniesque method of fooling everyone into believing a very long con.  Jesus had an authority that He validated in the resurrection.  Skeptics have tried to shoot holes through that for ages. We are going to weigh the evidence and let truth shine on its own.

I want to start with the resurrection and empty tomb because even the most skeptical biblical scholars agree on very specific things.  These facts give us some foundation of common ground with the skeptic.  The facts agreed on by most scholars are that Jesus…

  • Lived
  • Had followers
  • Was a miracle worker
  • Was Crucified under Pilate
  • Left an Empty Tomb
  • And that His disciples believed Him to be risen from the dead.  Even to there own deaths.

Hoax Hallucination or History?

There are several theories out there that claim to answer the question of what happened after Jesus was crucified.  All of these theories boil down around one simple fact.  The body of Jesus is not in the tomb.

Think about that for a minute. The ramifications of that are pretty huge.  Jesus claimed He would rise from the dead, and His tomb is now empty.  There is a vacuum that needs to be filled, but too many times people have ruled out the supernatural and created outlandish ideas to explain away the empty tomb of Jesus.

Empty Tomb

The glaring thing though that many people just pass over is that even the most skeptical believe that the tomb of Jesus is empty.

Where does that leave us to start from?

Here is why it’s so ridiculously important that the tomb is empty.  The rise of Christianity is unexplainable any other way.  Here is what I mean by that. If on the day of Pentecost Peter had gotten up to start preaching, and Jesus’ body was still in the tomb, then Christianity could have been shut down in 15 minutes.  From the place Peter was preaching to the burial site of Jesus was a 15 minute walk.  Out of all of the people standing there, notice that none of them said, “Come on let’s take a walk and shut him up.”  They couldn’t.

The same thing for the Sanhedrin.  They could have easily produced the body of Jesus to shut down these Christians on the spot, but they couldn’t.  This leaves us with the fact that Jesus’ tomb is empty.  The next question, and albeit a much bigger one is…

What did Happen?

Over the next few blogs, I’m going to rule out some of these theories, from the crazy to the almost plausible ones.

Starting with the…

The Wrong Tomb.

Some say that while stricken with grief, the women who discovered Jesus’ tomb to be empty, merely went to the wrong tomb.

On the surface you could say…that’s plausible, but let’s dig for a minute.

Just a few days earlier, these same women had helped embalm the body of Jesus.  They knew where His tomb was.  Even if they didn’t, and were somehow mistaken, the tomb’s owner, Joseph of Arimathea, would have known his own tomb.

Let’s just say that even he might have gotten confused….(really grasping now) This was his own private tomb that was brand new, not just a massive grave area of hundreds of tombs.

Joseph himself lends credibility to this story as being historical anyway.  If the 1st century Jews who wrote the New Testament, were going to make up a legend about Jesus, they would never have included a member of the same council that crucified Jesus as a good guy.

All of these objections fail to have the power to explain how the women could have gone to the wrong tomb.

What did happen to Jesus body?

He rose from the dead.

He is alive.

What theories have you heard about the resurrection?

How did you respond to these?

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