Christ Arose -- By: Paul Humber
BSP 2:1 (Winter 1989) p. 21
*Paul G. Humber, A.B., M.S., M.Div., is schoolmaster at a college preparatory school in the Philadelphia area.
In a temple near Beijing, China, several years ago, five boxes, nestled one inside the other and containing golden bowls, revealed the compressed bone fragments of what are believed to be partial remains of a world religious leader. Inscriptions on the boxes pointed to Gautama Buddha (Jane MaCarthey, “Ancient Ash Found In China is said to be Buddha Relic,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/29/87, p. 3-A. Also, “Officials Say Buddha’s Bones Found in Temple,” Reading Eagle, 4/28/87, p. 16.)
If Christianity is superior to Buddhism, having more than five times the number of adherents, and if the death of Jesus was significantly more recent (500 years later than Buddha’s death), why, one might ponder, cannot Christianity do at least as well and produce the bones of Jesus? Christians themselves would recognize the absurdity of such a question, but unbelievers and skeptics might well wonder.
An article in a local newspaper not long ago gave limited credence to the notion that even some “Christians in 1968 wanted desperately to believe that the skeleton found in Jerusalem belonged to Christ” (Tom Tiede, “Anthropologists Look at Crucifixion,” Pottstown Mercuny, 4/14/87). The reference was to the remains of a man named John (Yehohanan) who had been crucified during Biblical times. (See Bible and Spade Winter 1972:13–14 and “A Death in Jerusalem,” Time, 1/18/71: 64f.)
He was obviously not Christ. His leg-bones had apparently been broken contrary to the explicit testimony of Scripture - John 19:31–36. And the name inscribed on the ossuary (bone storage box) was “John” - not Jesus. But the find did supply graphic evidence for the grisly form of execution - a 7 inch rusty nail still being imbedded in the man’s heel bones. The remarkable thing, however, is the speculation that even Christians might want the skeleton to be that of Christ! How confused the world seems to be in evaluating Christian responses and in understanding central doctrines of the Christian faith! The Apostle Paul said long ago that if Christ be not raised from the dead, then the Christian faith is futile and worthless (1 Corinthians 15:17).
Is it unrealistic to conjecture (scientifically speaking), however, that somewhere on this earth the bones of Jesus are available to be found? True, the discovery cited above is not Jesus, but what about some archaeological dig in the future? Could not the bones of Jesus yet be found? Many scorners of Christianity wo...
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