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Ernie R Heavin

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The Resurrection of Christ: history or hoax?
By Ernie R Heavin
Posted: Monday, June 08, 2015
Last edited: Monday, June 08, 2015
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
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To this day, the body of Jesus of Nazareth has never been found.


By Ernie Heavin


There Is No Doubt Jesus Existed. It’s A Historical Fact.

The first words in the book, Killing Jesus, a history by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, are as follows:

To say that Jesus of Nazareth was the most influential man who ever lived is almost trite. Nearly two thousand years after he was brutally executed by Roman soldiers, more than 2.2 billion human beings attempt to follow his teachings and believe he is God.

The very last words we read in this historical account of Jesus are,

To this day, the body of Jesus of Nazareth has never been found.

Elton Trueblood, a 20th century author and theologian wrote,

After nearly two thousand years, Jesus is still the Great Disturber. To this day it is difficult to read his words and still be satisfied with one’s own life. It is perhaps for this reason that Jesus of Nazareth, not Julius Caesar nor anyone else, has been recognized as the dividing point in history. All our dating, whether B.C. (before Christ) or A.D., (in the year of our Lord) is a tacit (implicit) acknowledgment that a significant fact about any other event in history is whether it happened before or after his coming.

There Is Doubt, Though Regarding The Gospel Of John Being Truth And Whether The Resurrection Of Jesus Is History Or A Hoax

Jury Duty:

The Gospel of John was written after the death and questionable resurrection of Jesus. Prove the resurrection of Jesus a hoax and the Gospel of John along with the other sacred writings isn’t worth the paper on which it was printed. Provide sufficient evidence that a resurrection occurred and then suddenly John’s testimony has validity, because the One who was raised from the dead instructed the apostle to write down the accounts concerning himself, Jesus. Source (the resurrected Christ) dictates credibility (Gospel of John).

With Roman soldiers guarding the tomb and the Jewish Leaders with everything to lose if a resurrection story spreads like wild fire, why couldn’t anyone locate the body? So here is the challenge. Consider yourself one of a jury of twelve listening to the defense of the resurrection of Jesus. Thumbs up, there is sufficient evidence the resurrection of Jesus is a historical event. Thumbs down, it was a hoax. If this Resurrection Hoax was to be put to rest, then the opponents should have been able to silence the message easily and immediately. The disciples were hiding out in fear because their leader (Jesus) had just be executed. Rugged and tough Roman soldiers were guarding the tomb so that no one could possibly roll away the stone and steal the body, proclaiming that Jesus had been raised from the dead. All the Jewish leaders had to say if anyone wondered about a resurrection occurring on the third day was, “His tomb is over there. His body is inside. Case closed.”

Luke/Acts----Two Historical Documents Written To A Roman Official.(There are several footnotes at the bottom regarding the historical accuracy of Luke/Acts. There is much more evidence to this fact, however, I decided to just mention a few for time and space sake.)

Whether you wish to acknowledge the miraculous stories and claims in the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts (or Luke II), an educated Gentile (a doctor) named Luke investigated very thoroughly the stories about Jesus and actually sent his findings to an official of Rome, Theophilus,

Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed (Luke 1:1-4)

In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’(Acts 1:1-5)

What we want to do is examine these two letters or documents to determine whether there is sufficient evidence that leads to a possible resurrection or if this was one of the greatest deceptions of all time.

Luke 2:34-35

There is certainly nothing in this passage that mentions Jesus going to the cross or predicting his resurrection, but there is a hint that something profound would happen because of Jesus and to Jesus, to the extent that, a sword would pierce Mary’s soul. Now, consider the following:
• In Mark 3:20-35, Jesus’ very own family thinks he’s crazy. In John 7:1-9 we see Jesus’ very own brothers didn’t believe in him and even tried to get Jesus to go out in the open, something that would put his life in danger.
• And yet we learn that after Jesus’ crucifixion, his mother joined this group of 120 (Acts 1:14).
• His brother, James eventually became one of the main leaders of the church (Acts 15:13). This James isn’t one of the twelve because he was beheaded years before by Herod (Acts 12:1-3).
• His brother is the author of the epistle, James.

What event could have occurred to explain this change of heart from Jesus's very own family? The Resurrection of Jesus!

Luke 9:21-22

Jesus had just asked the question, “Who do the people say that I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah sent from God.” Note how Jesus responded to Peter’s confession. The cross and resurrection was not an afterthought or accident. The cross and resurrection was a must happen event.

Luke 9:28-36

This is known as the story of the Transfiguration, both Moses and Elijah appeared before Jesus. Again, note the conversation that took place: They were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was to take place in Jerusalem. In other words, the conversation was centered on the upcoming crucifixion to occur in Jerusalem.

Luke 9:43-45

After an embarrassing moment for the disciples not to be able to rid a child of demon possession, Jesus took control of the situation. While the crowds were marveling at the power of God’s display, what does Jesus remind them of once more? “Listen to me and remember what I say. The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of many.” Again, we see that the cross was not an accident, it was predetermined by God.

2 Peter 1:12-18

If the resurrection was a hoax, how does one explain the transition from Peter being a coward and afraid to die to his willingness to being martyred for the Lord?
• Eleven of the twelve will devote the rest of their lives to proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus and eventually ten of the eleven will die for this belief.
• It’s one thing to give your life for what you consider the truth, but quite another to die for what you know is a lie.
What event could have possibly occurred for these men to embrace the cross, even to the point of losing their very own lives? The Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Luke 22:1-23

This is huge! This event will become the hallmark teaching of the church. What is known as the Lord’s Supper became the focal point of Christians meeting together for celebration and praise.
• Commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ was to be held in such high esteem that those who partook of it in an unworthy manner were told it would be better for them if they didn’t show up at all.
• Satan had already entered Judas, one of the twelve, in agreement to betray Jesus.
• During the Supper, as Jesus explained his upcoming death, the disciples argued over who was the greatest. Afterwards, all of his friends would desert him.

What event could have possibly occurred that transformed a day of embarrassing defeat and sorrow into a trademark doctrine and joyous celebration? The Resurrection of Christ!

Luke 22:39-46

Three times Jesus pleaded with his Father to find another way other than the cross. It was not something Jesus wanted to do. According to the author of Hebrews, Jesus spent many days offering prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to spare him from going to the cross. And though the Father heard Jesus’s pleas, the cross had to be endured.

Luke chapters 23-24

The tomb was guarded by Roman soldiers. If you’re going to concoct a good story or lie, you choose your words and timing carefully.
• We have an identifiable tomb guarded by soldiers who can’t explain where Jesus’ body is.
• This enormous stone has been rolled away.
• The disciples are hiding in fear.
• The individuals chosen to spread this hoax or lie are the very ones most likely not to be believed, the women (a woman’s testimony was not considered reliable in Jesus’ day).
• Peter and John go to the tomb and all they find is Jesus’s linen.
• Some say Jesus didn’t actually die, but passed out on the cross and woke up in the tomb.
• So if the resurrection was a hoax here is what one would have to believe: after being flogged within an inch of his life, had nails driven into his wrists and feet, along with a spear thrown into his side; he woke up in the tomb, neatly folded his clothing, rolled an enormous stone away, and walked out of the tomb naked.
• And rather than appearing as a resurrected Lord he showed up as a walking piece of mutilated flesh.
• And these eleven men who were hiding (along with the female witnesses), interpreted this as Jesus being resurrected or they all shared the same hallucination. Hallucinations are single, not group incidents.

What event could possibly explain what had happened, the disappearance of Jesus’ body, the eyewitnesses, the made up story by the Roman soldiers? The Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

The Manifestation, the Message and the Man

Acts 1:1-26 The Manifestation

People are claiming that Jesus showed up for the next forty days. Did 120 people decide to go along with the hoax as well? And why would they try to begin this far-fetched story in Jerusalem of all places and on a Jewish Holidays, of all days? And why could this movement not be stopped?

What event could have possibly occurred to explain the numerous manifestations and the gathering of 120 people if it was all just a big hoax? The Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Acts 2:1-47 The Message

Now instead of just 120 in on the hoax, several thousand devoted lifelong Jews who had traveled great distances decided to forgo their belief system on a whim and to go along with the resurrection myth.
• And what is the message and main theme: The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
• And what symbolic gesture will this new movement participate in: baptism---symbolic of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

What event could have possibly occurred to explain the numerous devoted Jews to accept a message of the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ? The Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Acts 9:1-31 The Man

A former blasphemer, persecutor and extremely violent man against Christianity now fully embraces the movement.
• Now, rather than trying to destroy the faith, the Apostle Paul is devoted to spreading and defending the faith, even to the point of giving his life for the Christian belief.
• Paul becoming an apostle or defender of Christianity is the equivalency of Bin Laden becoming a U.S. citizen and then preaching democracy throughout the Muslim world.

What event could have possibly triggered such a response from a zealous practicing and violent man? The Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Deliberation: Is there sufficient evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus?

So what is your verdict, history or hoax? It would be more difficult to explain the hoax of Jesus Christ rather than the Resurrection. Even those who opposed Jesus (his brother James and the Apostle Paul) became followers of Jesus Christ. And how can it be explained that over 500 other people claimed to see the Resurrected Jesus as well? If the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is historically accurate, then what does that say of scripture, in this case, the gospel of John? Source dictates credibility: In this case, the source (the Resurrected Jesus) will dictate credibility to the truth (the gospel of John).

To this day, the body of Jesus of Nazareth has never been found.

Notes regarding the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts as historical documents:

1) The Author of the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts was Luke the Physician: The earliest traditions identify the author with the expression of Colossians 4:14, “Luke, the beloved physician” and this epistle probably aligns with Paul’s Roman imprisonment which Luke would have been present during according to the “We” sections (see also Philemon 24; 2 Timothy 4:11). The author clearly distinguishes between the things he experienced first-hand, and the things he researched from sources.

2) One of the major concerns that the composite work of Luke and Acts addresses is whether Christians can be good citizens of the Roman Empire. After all, their founder was executed as a political criminal, and they were being associated with the destruction of Jerusalem, and some people would have thought of them as incendiaries, as revolutionaries. And Luke in his portrait wants to show that Jesus himself taught an ethic that was entirely compatible with good citizenship of the empire.

3) William Ramsay was one of the greatest archaeologists ever. Josh McDowell records in 'The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict' (page 62) how Ramsay studied in the German liberal school of theology. As a result, he came to his archaeological research assuming that Luke-Acts was written in the middle of the second century AD, and was completely unreliable historically. Yet as he went on with his researches, he was forced by the evidence to admit that Luke was historically accurate. Ramsay said: Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy... this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians... Luke's history is unsurpassed in respect of its trustworthiness.

Probably one of the most significant archaeological discoveries supporting the historical reliability of Acts was unearthed by the architect, J.T. Wood. Inspired by the story of the silversmiths of the Ephesian goddess Artemis in Acts 19:23-41, Wood began a work of excavation in May 1863 which eventually led to the discovery of the Temple of Artemis. All indications are that he is a credible historian/theologian

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Reviewed by S Zachary
Excellent proof, Ernie!



"I think it takes more faith to call the resurrection a hoax or myth rather than history." -- That parallels one of my favorite propositions. As I thought in one of my stories...



"…on this planet, centrifugally traveling around our star at 67,000 miles an hour…in this solar system, circuitously lapping its estranged black hole at the center of our galaxy every 240 million years…leaving the source of the infinitesimal ultimate explosion at a mind–bending 900 thousand miles an hour…the explosion that resulted in this universe. The universe. My heart suddenly filled with joyous accolades for God as I stood there and began to realize that He foresaw this very moment—this peculiar instant in time—thirteen odd billion years ago when all material substance in the universe instantly exploded into being from nothing. From nothing. From nothing? Sure."



Believing that without believing in a creator requires ENORMOUS faith in random probabilities or complete disregard for probabilities. And, let's not dismiss this extraordinarily complex multi-processing computer that "Mother Nature" plopped on our shoulders! As a systems analyst who has created some of the world's most extremely complex logical algorithms for 35 years, I feel as though my programming is childish in comparison to the dynamically renewable systems in your body that support the brilliantly designed computer, which enabled you to learn how to write such a sophisticated proof.



I choose to believe in God. And out of the available choices that describe God, my Savior Jesus Christ is by far the most probable truth. Praise the Lord!



Reviewed by Ernie Heavin
Actually the people at that time were very literate as archaeological finds have proven. The points I made are not myths, nor have they been addressed by the unbeliever. And the body has never been found and yet the Roman soldiers, the Jews and the disciples knew where Jesus was buried. And of all people, the one who was trying to destroy the Christian faith winds up willing to die for the Christian faith. And why would the disciples be willing to give up their lives for what they knew was a myth or lie? I think it takes more faith to call the resurrection a hoax or myth rather than history.
Reviewed by Ronald Hull
Your proof comes from eyewitness accounts. As we all know how accurate eyewitness accounts are from recent overturned convictions. These books, epistles, and other narratives, were pieced together by believers to reinforce their belief and create a single source (most people did not read or write) to be used to interpret the stories to the masses. Over time and repetition myth becomes fact and uneducated minds.

Most of the major religions seem to have some ideal individual that is the model for the religious practice. For Christians, it is Jesus. His behavior, if it is true, was sterling and very few Christians have ever lived like he did. Christians rely on one thing… Forgiveness. Forgive this seems to solve all their problems and the promise of resurrection and the eternal life is very alluring for people who lead miserable lives.

Ron

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