I watched portions of the documentary on The Discovery Channel last night… but I kept getting so frustrated I had to change the channel several times. The part that frustrated me the most was the discussion Ted Koppel moderated between several parties. I won’t address all they said, just one thought I had below. Also, if you haven’t read the Bible Study I presented on this topic, you can read it (with links) by clicking here.
I’m sure I probably missed one of the Christians making this point, but if I didn’t, I just had to make it here for those who stop by to check in.
The idea of a “spiritual” resurrection is not new. This is an old argument from centuries ago. But for me the account of Thomas touching Jesus’ hands and side makes it clear that he rose bodily from the dead. He didn’t just “seem” to have been resurrected.
Another thought I had that ends the argument that Jesus was “spiritually” resurrected comes from Acts. You will remember that Luke wrote that Jesus gave “many convincing proofs” that he was alive (Acts 1:3).
But then you find in Acts 1:6-11 these words.
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” NIV
Jesus’ actual body ascended to heaven! That means there is no way his bones could have been found in a tomb in 1980. And then Jesus will return in the same manner (Bodily) that he ascended to heaven. He will not come back “spiritually,” but literally!
Don’t let the documentary and the foolishness of men rattle your faith. We believe what we do regarding Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection because it is true. It is NOT true BECAUSE we belive it. There is a difference!!
Paul was so serious about the Gospel (Jesus’ resurrection, etc) that he wrote some very strong words that I’d like to end this post with. They are found in Galatians 1:6-9,
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
I would put what is being suggested about Jesus’ bones being found in the category of what Paul addresses in Galatians 1:6-9.
Grace and peace to you all!