Logical, uncomplicated proof
I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this?” –John 11:25-26
If Jesus did not rise from the dead, that’s it! for me. If the bones of Jesus were found tomorrow, and it were to be proved conclusively that those are the bones of Christ, I would walk away from Christianity. For me, faith in a dead Jesus would have no base or worth at all. I like proof, the kind that makes a human mouth open like the two ‘Os’ in the word proof, the kind that would make my eyes as big as I say, “Oo, now I understand, and because I understand, I believe.”
Where Jesus’ resurrection is concerned, I have proof, the kind that would hold in a Court, and though a lot of it may be classified “circumstantial evidence”, I leave you to decide whether or not it is more convincing than any of the “circumstantial evidence” convictions that have taken place in India, including and especially the Arushi Talwar case. Her parents Dr. Rajesh Talwar, and Dr. Nupur Talwar have been sentenced for life for committing and secreting as also deracinating the evidence of commission of the murder of their own adolescent daughter, all on the basis of ‘circumstantial evidence’ which has baffled the nation.
Here’s proof of The Resurrection:
# 1. The Women at the Tomb:
When Jewish women went to the tomb to embalm the body of Jesus, they found the tomb empty. Was it a conspiracy? Had the disciples of Jesus quietly stolen the body, and conspired to tell the world that Jesus had risen from the dead? Well, if that was the idea, I believe the last thing in the world they would have done would have been to make women the first to go to the tomb. Who (apart from Jesus) listened to or believed in what women said at that time? If today’s woman feels she is treated like a ‘second class citizen,’ the women of yore could be rated fourth or fifth class citizens, after beggars, and outcasts.
# 2.The Roman Guard:
Disgusted by the problems Jesus had caused him, and on the request of some officials, after Jesus was buried, Pontius Pilate ordered a Roman guard to be placed around the tomb. FYI, a roman guard consisted of 16 men. Four of these were placed in front of the tomb, with the other 12 sleeping in a semicircle in front of them. The guards changed shifts ever quarter of the day and they included the most highly trained fighting force in the world. No one could have got past these guards to steal the body.
# 3. Speak up, silent stone!
I would say the biggest proof is the one silent and infallible witness to the whole episode – the tomb stone. It was a huge, huge, block – very like our Cuddapah /Kadapa blocks; it weighed over two tons and required at least four or five men to roll it and move it into place. So do what you deem fit with theories that say Jesus had not died but only been in coma due to excessive beating; once in the tomb, he recovered consciousness, pushed the stone, and walked out. After having lost most of his blood during the scourging, would he have had the strength enough to push the stone, and if yes, would he then have been able to walk past the Roman guard?
# 4.The Stealing Theories all punctured:
- “The Romans stole the body.” For what joy? To the Romans, Jesus was just another dead Jew.
- “The Jews stole the body, so people would not blame them for the death of Christ.” Fine, so when the disciples started claiming that Jesus had risen from the dead, all the hostile Jews would have needed to do was to roll out the body and shout, “Liars!”
- “The disciples stole the body.” Please don’t make me laugh. Cowards that they were, once Jesus was arrested, most of them fled for their lives, even John Mark, an ardent fan and (at a future date) Gospel writer. He was dressed in his night cloth, a thin linen robe, when watching the proceedings from afar in the garden of Gethsemane. When one of the soldiers went to grab him, he let the grasping fingers catch hold of his linen robe, and ran away naked from the place. Peter who had vowed to follow Jesus “even unto death”, when confronted once the trouble started, denied even knowing Jesus. Jesus’ much-loved cousin John was around until the end, but did not say a word in defense. Can you see any of these guys risking creeping past the Roman guards to try and steal the body of Jesus? I can’t.
# 5. The absence of the body:
No one can hide a dead body for long. A few years ago, midwife-cum-aspiring politician Bhanwari Devi disappeared in Rajasthan. Leading politicians were being linked to the case, but day after day, no headway was made in the case. Eventually, nearly four months after her disappearance, the remains of her body were found in a faraway place; in a pit where her corpse had been set on fire, and some remains were thrown in a canal nearby. Divers recovered burnt bones, a broken locket, a toe-ring, as well as a tooth. More search, and the CBI also found the bat that was used to smash her skull. You cannot keep a dead body, even a murdered and burnt one, hidden for long. Certainly not an important body of a Jew who inadvertently caused an uprising, and was loved by all but was rejected by his own people.
# 6. Cowards become champions:
Did I call the apostles of Jesus cowards? I am not sorry I did – that’s exactly what they turned out to be during the final hours of Jesus’ suffering. Then shortly after his reported resurrection, you find these transformed human beings who were ready to give up their lives to hold on to their faith in him. Those who could not even hang around during his arrest and torture, suddenly reappeared as persons who were ready to face anything in all creation just to introduce Jesus to everyone they came across. One was crucified upside down, another (brother of Jesus) was killed, yet another was boiled in hot oil, they were stoned, beaten but refused to give up their faith. Something obvious happened between the phases of cowardice and courage: The Resurrection.
I rest my case.
by Ingrid Albuquerque
Ingrid Albuquerque-Solomon is an author, mainstream media writer, and theologian. She currently serves as Content Provider for Haggai Institute International, Consultant for Berean Bay Media House, facilitates weekly Bible studies for The Association For Theological Education through Extension (TAFTEE), and writes Christian devotionals tailored to meet the everyday needs of different Christian organizations