The Best Free Book About God Answers Many Questions About God

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Best Free Book About God "Dead and Gone?" Part 1 Chapter 3



The Lie: Jesus was never raised from the dead.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus Christ performed many great miracles in the presence of numerous eyewitnesses. On some occasions, people who had been physically disabled from birth were completely healed by Jesus and, because of this fact; even the enemies of Christ were unable to deny that He was achieving the miraculous. However, some of the Jewish religious leaders accused Jesus of working miracles by the power of Satan because they were unable to disprove or explain away supernatural events.      
        The contemporaries of Christ were convinced of His supernatural power, but modern skeptics deny His miracles because of their preconceived ideas about supernatural events.  The historical accuracy of the Bible is often disregarded whenever supernatural phenomenon is recorded because most people have never experienced such phenomenon in their own lives and therefore assume that supernatural occurrences are impossible.  The critic usually demands empirical proof for the miracles of Jesus, yet he never questions other historical events which have far less substantiating evidence.

Show Us a Sign!

There is one event recorded in the Bible upon which all the other miracles of Christ will either stand or fall.  If this particular event could somehow be substantially proven, then the miraculous ministry of Jesus would have to be accepted in its entirety. Jesus Himself revealed the importance of this one particular miracle on several different occasions during His ministry.   
        On one of these occasions He was approached by some, of the Jewish religious leaders who asked Him to show them a “sign.”  These men had more than likely witnessed, or at least seen the results of His miracles of physical healing.  But, they may have wanted additional evidence of His authority by having Him perform a miracle similar to those which were accomplished through Moses or Elijah in the Old Testament. Or, they may have wanted to see one of the signs from heaven that were associated with the coming of the conquering Messiah.      
        Their attitudes were probably somewhat sarcastic when they made this request for a “sign” because Jesus replied to them:  “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:39, 40).  In other words, just as the prophet Jonah was swallowed up by a great fish and then was spewed out alive after three nights, Jesus was saying that He would be buried in the earth and would come forth from His grave after three days and three nights.
        The Apostle John wrote about another occasion in which Jesus was asked to show a sign. John gives this account of the incident:  “The Jews then said to Him, "What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews then said, "It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" But He was speaking of the temple of his body.” (John 2:18-21).      
        Jesus performed many miracles that attested to Him being the Messiah, but the one miracle that He offered as final proof to all of the skeptics was the miracle of His own bodily resurrection from the dead.

Resurrection or Fraud ?

The resurrection of Jesus Christ was either the greatest and most important miracle that the world has ever experienced or else it was the most deceitful and cruel hoax that has ever been foisted upon mankind.  If Jesus Christ wasn’t raised from the dead, then the entire Christian faith has no validity whatsoever.  True Christianity can only exist if Jesus was physically resurrected from the dead because the entire Christian faith is centered around, and depends totally upon, a personal relationship with the living Christ who conquered sin and death when He physically arose from the dead.        
        The founders of other major religions are dead and their bodies still remain entombed.  These religions are composed of philosophical teachings and ethical values that will allegedly assist a person in paving his or her road to Heaven.  However, Jesus made it perfectly clear that people are incapable of attaining Heaven by their own merits and good works.  He placed the whole basis of salvation upon His own unique life; His death; and His bodily resurrection.   
        The entire Christian Gospel depends upon having faith in a living Lord and Savior and not upon adhering to a particular system of religion.  In his first letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote; “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain and your faith also is vain.” (I Corinthians 15:12-14).  
        Throughout the years, many prominent scholars have tried to accumulate enough evidence to disprove the resurrection because they realized how vital it was to Christianity.  However, in several cases, those who set out to destroy Christianity became devout believers in Jesus because they discovered a wealth of evidence in favor of the resurrection rather than opposed to it.
        To site one example; a famous Harvard law professor by the name of Simon Greenleaf, was challenged to put the gospel accounts of the New Testament on trial, so to speak, by judging their validity according to the same procedures and criterion that a courtroom would use when evaluating legal evidence.        
        Dr. Greenleaf, after studying the gospels, realized that their entire credibility depended upon the bodily resurrection of Jesus.  He therefore focused his attention upon the resurrection itself and began to examine the evidence.  After many long hours of research, Simon Greenleaf committed his life to Jesus Christ because he came to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus is one of the most well-established facts of history.1     
        There have been other great men who earnestly tried to refute the resurrection and then later became dedicated Christians in the process. Some of these men (including Simon Greenleaf) went on to write books pertaining to the validity of the resurrection. These scholars reversed their antagonistic opinions of Jesus and Christianity because they were intellectually honest men who were willing to recognize the facts, even if those facts contradicted their own presupposed ideas.        
        However, other skeptics of Christianity have not been so intellectually honest. This fact becomes evident upon examination of some of the ludicrous theories that have been devised by intelligent people, apparently out of desperation, in order to refute the resurrection of Jesus.      
        As a matter of fact, one of the best ways to demonstrate the reality of Christ’s resurrection is to closely analyze the various theories which have been contrived to explain it away.  A close scrutiny of these alternative theories will reveal that their proponents are completely oblivious to the facts.

An Unconscious Tale

The first theory for consideration is known as the “Swoon Theory.”  This theory was first made popular a couple of centuries ago by a man named Karl Venturini.  Since that time, it has undergone some slight revisions by various people and one of the most recent modifications of this theory was made by Hugh Schonfield in his book entitled “The Passover Plot.”  (However, in this case, the “swoon” was planned ahead of time but Christ actually dies instead.)       
        According to the original swoon theory, Christ didn’t actually die upon the cross.  He was indeed crucified and endured great pain and suffering, but he “swooned” before he was actually dead.  And, since medical knowledge was not very advanced during the time of Christ, He was taken down from the cross because He was believed to be dead; He was then laid in a sepulcher, and the cold dampness of the tomb revived Him from this death-like state. After He regained consciousness, Jesus then managed to escape from the tomb and reveal Himself to His disciples, who then proclaimed Him to be the Resurrected Lord and Savior.
        Obviously the entire swoon theory is more elaborate than what has just been put forth, but the basic conclusions are the same - Jesus didn’t die so therefore He wasn’t resurrected. The swoon theory may sound feasible until a close examination is made of the circumstances which surrounded the crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ.  It is important to consider many details before evaluating the swoon theory or any other theories that will be mentioned in this chapter.      
        The first set of circumstances to consider are those which are related to Christ’s execution:  According to historical record, Jesus did not sleep during the night preceding His crucifixion.  His disciples kept falling asleep but Jesus Himself had been earnestly praying until the time of His arrest.  Jesus then underwent two mock trials where His accusers spit upon Him, humiliated Him and beat Him with their fists and with sticks. In addition to His two separate beatings, Jesus also received a Roman scourging with a “cat-o’-nine tails.”  One single lash from this whip-like instrument tore out pieces of flesh in nine different places.  Jewish law placed a limit of forty lashes upon scourging but Jesus was punished under Roman law which had no such limit.2
        When Jesus was finally led away to be crucified, He was so weak that He was unable to carry His own cross.  Normally a sentenced criminal was required to carry his own cross bar for a distance; but, another man was required to carry the cross of Jesus because of His physically weakened condition.  Once He arrived at a place called Golgotha, the Roman soldiers then attached Jesus to the cross by driving large spikes through His wrists and ankles.     
        For many years, historical scholars claimed that people were never nailed to a cross.  They insisted that victims were always bound to a cross with ropes because there was no extra-Biblical evidence that proved otherwise.  However, in 1968 an archaeological discovery, dating back to the first century, was made in East Jerusalem that proved that victims were sometimes nailed to a cross.
        An archaeologist by the name of V. Tzaferis discovered some chests which contained the bones of people who had been removed from their original burial site and were placed in a different location.  One chest contained the bones of a man who had obviously been crucified. Furthermore, one of the actual spikes was found in the chest and it apparently had struck a knot when it was driven into the wood because the tip was curled backwards and still had splinters of olive wood clinging to it.3  Therefore, it is safe to assume that Jesus was nailed to the cross, just as the record states.  
        As Jesus hung upon the cross, His tendons and ligaments were stretched and torn; His bones were pulled out of joint by His body weight and He endured the most excruciating pain and thirst imaginable.  In order to breathe, He had to use whatever strength was left in His legs to raise Himself enough for the weakened and stretched-out muscles of His chest to operate His lungs.       
        After hours of torture, if a victim was not yet dead, the Roman soldiers would sometimes break his legs because this would cause immediate suffocation.  Therefore, after hanging on the cross for more than three hours, the Jewish religious leaders asked the Roman soldiers to break the legs of those who were being crucified because it was their day of preparation before the Sabbath and they didn’t want bodies to remain upon the cross during the Sabbath.  (Usually, crucified bodies were left to hang upon a cross to be devoured by birds and animals, but since Jewish law required burial, they agreed to break with tradition in Jesus’ case.)       
        The soldiers broke the legs of those who were crucified with Jesus but when they came to Christ, they saw that He was already dead so they did not break His legs. (When they refrained from breaking His legs, another Messianic prophecy was fulfilled because the twentieth verse of the thirty-fourth Psalm states:  “He keeps all His bones; Not one of them is broken.”)  However, just to be absolutely sure that Jesus was dead; a Roman Soldier thrust his spear upward into Jesus’ side causing blood and water to come forth in a separated state.  (The significance of the fact that blood and water came out separated was noted in the last chapter as being evidence that Christ was truly dead).   
        In spite of the fact that the New Testament is the most historically accurate piece of ancient literature, many skeptics will totally disregard any recorded facts that may interfere with their own particular theory about Christ’s death.  Those who ignore the recorded facts about Christ’s previous weakened condition and the spear being thrust into His side, are still faced with some insurmountable problems because crucifixion was such a heinous, horrible punishment, that chances for surviving it would have been almost impossible for even the healthiest of men.    
        There is only one account in ancient history in which a man was known to have survived an actual crucifixion.  In this particular case, three men were crucified together and an influential person managed to persuade the governor to reverse his sentence and remove them all from their crosses.  The men had only been hanging one or two hours and yet two of them still died! 4        
        Another factor which has to be considered is the fact that four professional Roman executioners signed Christ’s death warrant.  These men were very familiar with death and they would not have risked their lives upon even the slightest possibility of Jesus being alive.  A Roman soldier took his work seriously because they were often put to death for making even the slightest errors.  Therefore, it is safe to assume that Jesus actually died upon the cross to which He was nailed.  
        After Jesus was removed from the cross, His body was wrapped in a linen cloth and then it was taken away by a rich man named Joseph of Arimethea to be prepared for burial.  The nineteenth chapter of John’s Gospel states that the body of Jesus was wrapped in linen cloths and was prepared with spices in a manner according to the burial customs of the Jews.  
        The Jews used to take rolls of linen bandages and individually wrap the legs, arms, and body of a deceased person.  However, the head was not wrapped in bandages because of superstition; instead, a napkin-like cloth was placed around the head. Therefore, after a body had been prepared, it looked much like a human cocoon.   
        John’s Gospel also states that a man named Nicodemus brought one hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes (spices) which were used to prepare the body.  These spices would have been mixed into a gummy consistency and then applied to the bandages in layers as the body was being wrapped.  This mixture of spices would have then dried to form a hard shell around the body.        
        These spices were extremely expensive and many people have scoffed at the idea of one hundred pounds being used to prepare Christ’s body.  And, although it is true that normally this amount of spices would not have been used to bury the average person, Jesus had some wealthy secret admirers who finally stepped forth and buried Him with honor.  Such extravagance was not uncommon among the wealthy because history records other instances where men were buried with great amounts of spices.  For example, eighty pounds of spices were used to prepare the body of Gamaliel and hundreds of pounds were used for King Herod’s burial.5   
        After Jesus’ body was prepared, it was laid in a rock hewn tomb in a garden near the place where He was crucified.  This tomb belonged to a rich man named Joseph of Arimethea and apparently it had never been used before.  When Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb, a huge stone was then rolled against the entrance to seal it.     
        A second century manuscript of the Gospel of Mark has a marginal note regarding the size of this stone.  The transcriber’s marginal note says that the stone was so large that twenty men couldn’t have moved it.6  The average rock hewn tomb had a rectangular entrance of about 3 ½ X 4½ feet; therefore, the average stone slab which was used to seal a tomb of this type has been calculated, by engineers, to weigh anywhere from 3000 to 4000 pounds.7   
        Before a tomb was  sealed off, the stone slab was usually placed near the entrance, and adjacent to, the rock face of the mountain or cliff in which the tomb had been carved out.  The stone was situated slightly uphill from the tomb entrance in a hollowed out groove, or track that ran from the slab itself to the opening of the tomb. And, directly below the opening, an indentation was cut out so that when the stone was rolled along its track, it would drop into place directly in front of the entrance.    
        With the assistance of a lever and the force of gravity, a single person would have been able to set the stone into place.  However, it would have required several people to move the stone once the entrance had been sealed off.      
        After Christ’s death, the Jewish religious leaders remembered His claims about being resurrected from the grave.  They wanted to make absolutely sure that none of Christ’s disciples would sneak into the tomb and steal His body; so they went before the governor and asked him to place a Roman guard unit at the tomb’s entrance.  An account of this incident is found in the twenty seventh chapter of Matthew, who wrote:    
        “Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, and said, ‘Sir, we remember that when he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again; Therefore give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.’ “ (Matthew 27:62-64)     
        Both the Romans and the Jewish leaders had political reasons for making sure that the influence of Christ was finally put to an end because Jesus had attracted many followers who were becoming alienated against their religious and social structure.  On many occasions, Jesus personally offended the Jewish religious leaders by publicly exposing their true character and motives. So, as long as Jesus was alive, the Jewish power structure was threatened.     
        Roman oppression of the Jewish people had already been causing a great deal of unrest within the Jewish community.  Because of this, the Roman governors and the Jewish leaders had enough trouble as it was, trying to suppress internal rebellions, without having further unrest caused by Jesus.  They knew that the slightest rumor about Jesus Christ being raised from the dead would only create more unwanted problems; that is why the religious leaders went to Pilate requesting a guard for the grave.

When the Jewish leaders asked Pilate for a guard unit, the Governor replied; “You have a guard; go make it as secure as you know how.” Many people have incorrectly interpreted this verse to mean that Pilate refused to give them a Roman guard because they had their own temple guards.  This is not true because other verses in the New Testament indicate that a Roman guard was definitely assigned to protect the tomb of Christ. When the Governor said, “You have a guard; go make it as secure as you know how . . .,” it was as if he said “Your request is granted, now take care of the matter.”

Of course, even if the Jews had used their own temple guards, the tomb of Jesus would have still been well-protected because the temple guards were skilled soldiers and very well-disciplined.  If a Jewish temple guard was found sleeping on duty, his clothes were set on fire; and if he lived through that ordeal he was also beaten.8 However, as tough and as disciplined as the temple guard was, it still was not as efficient as a Roman guard.
        According to ancient and modern historians, a Roman guard was composed of at least four Roman soldiers and many times it consisted of as many as sixteen men.9 Soldiers in a Roman guard unit were the most highly trained dedicated and efficient fighters in the entire world.  In fact, our modern military still employs certain principles of discipline and training which have been acquired from ancient Roman methods.  A Roman Soldier received five years of intensive basic training before he was considered to be a fully qualified legionnaire.10  Once trained, he sometimes carried as many as four weapons and proficiently used them to defend just eight square feet of ground from any and all would be attackers.11  Roman legionnaires were sometimes outnumbered ten to one in battle, yet they would still emerge victorious because of their killing efficiency.12 Jesus’ tomb would have been guarded by at least four of these Roman legionnaires, but, there were probably more than this number assigned because of the political circumstances.  In any event, it can be stated with confidence that the tomb of Jesus was indeed made “secure.”
        When the Jewish leaders and the Roman guard first arrived at the tomb, they inspected the grave and then placed a “seal” on the entrance.  A Roman seal could only be placed in the presence of a Roman guard.  (This is another reason for knowing that the soldiers at Christ’s tomb were Roman soldiers).  To seal the tomb, a small string or thread would have been stretched between the edge of the stone and the edge of the opening.  Two small lumps of clay would have been used to support the thread and the insignia of Caesar would have been imprinted upon the clay.  The seal represented all the power and authority of the Roman government; 13 therefore, a soldier would defend the seal with his life and, if anyone tampered with the seal after it was affixed, the Roman government would not rest until that person was captured and put to death.14  
        After considering some of these facts, the “swoon theory” can now be evaluated and it’s correlation with history determined.  If the swoon theory is correct, then after being beaten, crucified, punctured with a spear, pronounced dead by four Roman executioners, and wrapped up in one hundred pounds of gummy spices and cloth bandages; Jesus was still not yet dead!  And, when He was sealed up in a tomb, the cold dampness somehow revived Him instead of killing him.  After He awoke, Jesus somehow managed to free Himself from the wrappings and spices in a totally dark atmosphere and then mustered up enough strength to move a 4000 pound stone from the tomb’s entrance.  He must have then managed to overpower or sneak by the Roman guard so that He could go to His disciples and proclaim to be the resurrected Lord of life.  
        Based upon the evidence of history, if the swoon theory is correct, then the tomb of Jesus must have still been the site of a great miracle on Easter morning. The skeptics often accuse Christians of having a “blind faith” yet it takes more faith to believe the swoon theory than most Christians ever dreamed of having.

The Great Grave Robbery

The oldest argument against the resurrection of Jesus is found in the Bible itself.  This argument was devised by the Jewish religious leaders of Christ’s day and has been believed by many people all through history.  The Gospel of Matthew contains the following account of how this argument originated:      
        “Now while they were on their way, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened.  And when they had assembled with the elders and counseled together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, and said ‘You are to say; ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep; And if this should come to the governor’s ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble.’  And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; And this story was widely spread among the Jews and is to this day.” (Matthew 28:11-15)
        The critics may not agree entirely with Matthew’s account but there are some important facts established with which most of them do agree.  One important thing that is learned from this account is that it was truly a multiple man unit that was assigned to guard Christ’s tomb because Matthew states that; “Some of the guard came into the city.” It is also made obvious that this multiple man unit was a Roman guard.  
        The guard came to the Jewish religious leaders because they had some clout with the Roman Governor.  The soldiers knew that failure to perform their designated duty would result in execution. That is probably why only “some of the guard” came into the city because the rest of the guard had probably feared for their lives.  The Jews could possibly speak on their behalf to Pilate, the governor, and keep them from death. If the guard had not been Roman, why would the religious leaders have been quoted as saying, “and if this should come to the governor’s ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble.”  Protecting the tomb of Christ had become a Roman matter.  
        The most important fact that is established in Matthew’s account is that the tomb of Jesus Christ was definitely empty!  There would have been no need to fabricate any explanation whatsoever if the body of Jesus had not actually been absent from the tomb.  The stolen body theory, the swoon theory, and others have all been devised to explain why the tomb of Jesus Christ was empty on Easter morning.  It would be foolish for any skeptic to deny that Christ’s tomb was empty because to do so would require an absolute disregard for some of the most well-established facts of history.    
        The New Testament records some interesting details that were relevant to the empty tomb of Christ and the position of the stone that was used to seal the entrance is one of these details.  The English versions of the Greek New Testament all indicate that the stone had been moved away from the entrance after Christ’s resurrection. However, the Greek language is much more explicit and expressive than the English language; so, scholars who have studied the Greek manuscripts have been able to learn something about the actual location of the stone after it had been moved away from the entrance. By examining each author’s unique statement regarding the position of the stone; its location is determined to be uphill, and at a distance from, not only the entrance, but, from the entire sepulcher.  In fact, John’s description infers that the stone must have looked as though it had been picked up and carried away.15   
        Another interesting detail about the empty tomb of Christ is that it wasn’t completely empty.  Jesus’ body was gone from the tomb but his grave clothes were still in the same place where He had been laid. The Apostle John notes that the linen cloth which had covered the head of Jesus had been rolled up and was lying separate from the rest of the grave clothes.  Apparently John saw that the wrappings which had covered Christ’s body were still intact and undisturbed.  They must have resembled an empty cocoon because it was only until John saw the grave clothes that he finally believed that Jesus had been resurrected.   
        Christ’s resurrected body had passed into a new dimension without ever disturbing the linen wrappings and spices which had covered His body.  The piece which had covered His head had been removed to show the world that His body was no longer contained in the wrappings.  In fact, the stone wasn’t moved away from the entrance of the tomb to let Christ out of it, but rather to show the world that the tomb was no longer occupied. The grave clothes, the position of the stone, and the unoccupied tomb were all available for public inspection.  If anybody doubted the rumor, all they would have had to do is take a stroll to the grave site and see for themselves if it was true or not.    
        The enemies of Jesus never denied the fact that the tomb was empty.  There has never been any ancient historical literature or archaeological discovery of any kind which refutes the empty tomb.  The Jewish religious leaders persecuted, tortured and even killed people in order to stop the proclamation that Jesus was alive.  If the tomb had not been empty, all they would have had to do is put the body of Christ on public display and the Christian movement would have been immediately destroyed!     
        The only recourse for the Jewish religious authority, other than proclaiming Jesus as Lord, was to say that the body had been stolen because the stolen body theory is really the only possible alternative to the Resurrection.  However, most skeptics who claim that Christ’s body was stolen have never honestly considered all of the circumstantial evidence and logical reasoning which contradict such an assumption.  Consider the evidence:        
        When Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane, all of His disciples deserted Him.  Peter, who had been His most outspoken follower, publicly denied Jesus because he feared for his own life.  In one instance, Peter even denied knowing Jesus upon being questioned by a woman.      
        After Jesus was crucified, His disciples became depressed, disillusioned and afraid.  Therefore, it is not very reasonable to assume that this same fearful group of men would have plotted to steal the body of Jesus.  If such a plan had even been proposed, how possible would it have been to convince all eleven disciples to become a part of the scheme?  The plot would have been a violation of the very moral and ethical principles for which Christ had stood.     
        Let us suppose though, for the sake of argument, that all eleven disciples had indeed experienced a sudden change of character and decided to go along with the deception.  If so, when they arrived at the tomb, they would have discovered the Roman guard unit which had been assigned to protect it.  It would have been an extraordinary coincidence for the disciples to have found the guard asleep on duty because the Roman penalty for such an offense was death!16 The multiple man guard unit slept in alternating shifts so that at least one person would always be rested and alert.  And, if a soldier deserted his post, the death penalty was also invoked.17 The soldiers had several motivating factors which caused them to perform their duties correctly; the greatest of these factors would have been the motivation to stay alive.  
        Let us now suppose though, for the sake of argument, that all of the soldiers were indeed asleep at the precise time of the disciples’ arrival at the tomb.  Even sleeping legionnaires would have struck terror within the heart of any average person, especially if that person was plotting to steal something that the soldiers were protecting.  However, in spite of the circumstances, the disciples must have mustered up enough courage and stealth to sneak past the guard without awakening them. When they approached the entrance, they would have detected the Roman seal which had been placed on the doorway.  And, even though they realized that breaking the seal was punishable by death, they still remained true to their cause and commenced moving the stone away from the entrance.
        A four thousand pound stone would have caused a slight earth tremor; but, in spite of this, the guard still slept.  Now, at this point of their operation the disciples must have all experienced temporary insanity because instead of moving the stone just far enough to make entrance into the tomb, they rolled the stone uphill and completely away from the entire sepulcher.  Fortunately, the guard still remained asleep long enough for the disciples to somehow remove Christ’s body without disturbing the wrappings which encased it.              
        After the disciples hid the body of Christ, instead of keeping their secret to themselves, they decided to persuade some other people to join in their deception.  Not only did they convince other close friends of Christ to say that Jesus was still alive, they somehow managed to persuade more than five hundred people to make the same remarkable claim because Jesus allegedly appeared to more than five hundred witnesses after His resurrection.  In fact, the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthians in which he stated that most of these witnesses who actually saw Jesus were still alive!  (This was an open invitation for anyone to investigate the matter for themselves.)  Moreover, every single person who had been approached with the opportunity to become a part of this great deception must have eagerly complied because nobody in history ever divulged the conspiracy to anyone.  Now wouldn’t it seem logical that at least some of the more than five hundred witnesses would have gladly revealed the secret conspiracy to Christ’s enemies?       
        Nevertheless, after this perfect conspiracy was organized, the disciples marched right back into the streets of Jerusalem to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus instead of going to some far-off place where such a legend would have been much easier to propagate.  Apparently, insanity must have gripped the minds of these conspirators; because, after making their proclamations, the eleven disciples were continuously persecuted throughout their lives for their eyewitness testimony about Jesus Christ and His resurrection.  They were beaten, tortured and imprisoned on many occasions because they refused to renounce their claims.  Their persistent dedication to Jesus Christ finally resulted in the torturous execution of all but one of them.  And the one who was not executed had to be exiled to a small Island because of his refusal to deny Jesus. 

If the disciples of Jesus had stolen His body, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that at least one of them would have renounced his faith in order to escape execution?  However, such is not the case because each disciple glorified Jesus until his final breath.       
        Of course, some skeptics have tried to downplay the execution of Christ’s disciples by reminding people that the world has had many martyrs who died for false causes.  However, what they fail to point out is that a martyr only dies for a cause that he or she sincerely believes to be true.  The disciples of Jesus were martyred because they believed He had been raised from the dead.  Their belief was based on the fact that Jesus actually appeared to them after He had been crucified.  He ate with them; He drank with them; He let them examine the marks from His wounds; and, He remained on earth for forty days after His resurrection.  If Jesus was not resurrected, then there is really no explanation for the harmonious and unwavering testimonies that were proclaimed by each disciple until his death.

A Wrong Number

A careful study of the theories that people have devised in order to explain away the resurrection of Christ will only demonstrate their willful ignorance of the truth.  Some “scholars” have even tried to say that the women who went to visit the body of Jesus must have gone to the wrong tomb.  This, they say, is the reason why the tomb was empty.  If this was true, then the disciples must have also gone to the wrong tomb; the religious leaders must have gone to the wrong tomb; and Joseph of Arimethea must have forgotten which tomb he owned.  The many other problems that this theory encounters are obvious and are not even worth mentioning.

A Helpful Enemy

        The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most well-established fact of ancient history.  This is because much of the evidence in favor of it was provided by Christ’s very enemies.  His enemies attested to His death; His enemies placed a guard at the tomb to prevent any foul play; and it was Christ’s enemies who provided absolute assurance that the tomb was empty on Easter morning. When Jesus conquered death He provided the ultimate proof that He was and still is who He claimed to be - the Eternal Lord of Life and Savior of mankind. (By Robert Linkey)

The Truth:


“Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die… (John 11 :25,26)


“For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You  allow Your  Holy One to  undergo decay.”  (Psalm 16:10 a Messianic prophecy written 1000 years before Christ)


“And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, "  Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. "He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you." And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.” (Matthew28:3-8)


“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

Proverb of the Week

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23 NASB)

Psalm of the Week

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come?My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever. (Psalm 121 NASB)

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Is the Bible Truth or Myth?       Is Jesus God, Man or Both?         Is Jesus Dead or Alive?
Is Jesus Coming Back Again?      Is God Cruel or Loving?             Is the Gospel even Real?
Is Heaven Attained by Works?   Many Pathways to Heaven?      Is the Bible Against Science?
Evolution Improves with Time?    Fossils Prove Evolution?           Missing Link Ape-Men?
Origin of Life by Chance?           Reference & Note Section     Bible Truth or Myth? Synopsis
Jesus God Man Both? Synopsis  Jesus Dead or Alive? Synopsis  Jesus Coming Again? Synopsis
Is God Cruel or Loving? Synopsis    Is the Gospel Real? Synopsis  Heaven by Works? Synopsis
Many Paths to Heaven? Synopsis Bible v Science? Synopsis Evolution Improves Life?Synopsis
Fossils Prove Evolution? Synopsis  Missing Link Ape-Men? Synopsis Life by Chance? Synopsis

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