Poster Archive : APRIL 2007

Message: Another sign Jesus rose from the dead.

Bible Verse: 1 Thessalonians 4:14 "We believe that Jesus died and rose again"

Reflect: On Sunday March 4th, Discovery Channel in America broadcast "The Lost Tomb of Jesus". Directed by James Cameron, who made Kate Winslet famous in "Titanic", the 'documentary' argues that a stone box or ossuary once contained the bones of Christ.

From suburban churches to Hollywood cafes, the claim has caused a firestorm of debate. So, let's take a calm look at the facts:

1. In 1980 researchers found a tomb in a part of Jerusalem called Talpiot. Burial boxes with the inscriptions: "Jesus son of Joseph", "Joseph", "Matthew", "Judas, son of Jesus" and two different boxes with the name "Mary" were found.

2. But these names were common for the time: Mary: 1 in 5 women, Joseph: 1 in 10 men and Jesus: 1 in 25 boys. So the odds that this is the Bible's Jesus and Mary are remote.

3. Jesus followers never call him "son of Joseph".

4. The Fourth Century historian, Eusebius, indicates Jesus' brother James was buried elsewhere making it unlikely this was Jesus' family tomb. In addition, Joseph would have been buried in either Nazareth or Bethlehem.

5. The Jewish scholar in charge of the find, Professor Amos Kloner, believes there is almost no chance that it's the family tomb of Jesus of Nazareth.

6. It is all speculation. We have no DNA, the dating is inconclusive and the writing of Jesus' time flatly contradicts the theory.

"The Lost Tomb of Jesus" makes a sensational theory. But when you expose it to facts, it's dead and buried. But then Christian beliefs should also be exposed to scrutiny. The Bible doesn't depend on special effects to demonstrate the resurrection, but, instead, on documented accounts that deserve close reading. They're called Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Jesus didn't stick around in the flesh to keep proving his resurrection. And he didn't leave it to Hollywood directors. Interestingly, he left it to churches to explain. So, in a way, it's your local church that's really 'Another sign Jesus rose from the dead'. And no more so than when it's sharing the documents that Hollywood loves to ignore: the New Testament. Be confident! They've stood up to critics like James Cameron for 2,000 years.

Prayer: Lord, help me to trust the record of history and believe that Jesus died and rose again for me. AMEN

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