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Matthew 21:10-11 Who Is This? – a Question still posed today #1

“10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”” (Mt 21:10-11 NIV)

When Jesus had come into Jerusalem, not only at the gates there were welcoming people praising him as a king. From several writings we know that all the city was stirred up, saying,

“Who is this?”

Lots of people where there in Jerusalem for the Pesach or Passover festival (14-22 Nisan). From all corners the came, but also where they came from they had heard about that mysterious prophet who did a lot of miracles. The crowds had heard where he came from and how he had spoken about the Most High Elohim. For them there could be no doubt and they said,

“This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”” (Mt 21:10-11 NHEB)

Today lots of people question that being or man from Nazareth. Even the majority of those who call themselves Christian do not seem to know who Jesus really is. They do not see in him a prophet or a man of God, but have made him into their god.

We shall see later that Jesus was going to put the question who he is to his disciples. It is important to know the difference what is said about a person and what he really is. Therefore to know clearly what they would think, he first asked them what the people were saying about him. When going around with Jesus they had already heard more than once that there were people who called Jesus a prophet. Some even wondered if it could be possible that he would be a prophet of ancient days who would have come back to earth. So we can say that they were unsure of exactly which prophet Jesus might have been.

When we ask this question about Jesus

“Who is this?” or “Who is Jesus?”

we still might receive a lot of different answers.

Because some people had been saying that Jesus was Elijah who was to return to earth, and others said that he was a new  prophet, whilst the Pharisees said that he was possessed by a demon and wanted others also to believe Jesus was a satan or adversary of God, a blasphemous person. The apostles also knew about people’s divided opinions of their master. Today, if you go around asking, some will say that Jesus was a good man who gave sound moral guidance. Some will say that he did not exist or that he was an impostor, others that he was a prophet. Again, some will say that he was a god or a god son, others will argue that he was nothing but a deluded man. Yet others will say that he is the “Son of God“.

From the many writings assembled in the Book of books, the Bible, we can get an accurate picture of who that person might have been. Also from civic writings we can read about that special man from Nazareth. In many canonical but also civic writings we can read about his special deeds. In many of those writings we read how he was there for others, to comfort them and to encourage them. Jesus was some one to whom many came for wise counsel.

The most strange thing about that Nazarene was how he went around healing sick people, paralysed people, blind people and others who had seemingly incurable diseases (John 5: 1-8 for example). He even raised some people from the dead (Lazarus). Those incredible act were the reason he was looked on as somebody with exceptional powers, possibly from outer demons.

What also disturbed a lot of people was that after he had done such miraculous things he said it was not him doing that, but his heavenly Father, who he rightly called greater than him (but they and today many do not seem to hear or understand).
Throughout the gospels, Jesus is seen in a ministry of addressing human need and condemning those who were considered religious exemplars, and were thought of as superior to ordinary people, and certainly to exemplary sinners.
Yet Jesus message was not fundamentally different from the faith of the Old Testament, for which holiness, obedience, and sacrifice for sin were central. He also believed in the same God as his parents and the ancient prophets whose writings he knew very well. That God is a god no man can see. He also very well knew his position, him being lower than angels and certainly much much lower than God. (Later he would be made higher than angels by God, Who always shall be the Most High Almighty God.) Most of the time he told the people around him, when he did a miracle, that he could not do such things out of himself. He always gave full honour for what happened to his heavenly Father, the Only One host of hosts and True God of Israel.

“17  Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” 18 For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no-one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father, who sent him.
24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. 25 I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

31  “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. 32 There is another who testifies in my favour, and I know that his testimony about me is valid. 33 “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. 35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. 36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.” (Joh 5:17-36 NIV)

“Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.” (Joh 8:42 NIV)

“27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

28  “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave.” (Joh 14:27-31 NIV)

Him telling he got advice from God, the Most High Elohim commanding him, looked as a blasphemous saying for the Pharisees. Him also getting so much attention from the public often also giving criticism about their teachings and work, was a good reason to find a way for getting rid of him (i.e. killing him).

For the Pharisees Jesus calling the Elohim his Father seemed a very good reason to speak against him.

“For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” (Joh 5:18 NIV)

Never had Jesus made himself equal to God.

“Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”” (Joh 20:17 NIV)

Their Nazarene master was an Essene or a very devout Jew and as such his disciples knew Who Jesus worshipped. For them it was clear that Jesus was that man spoken of in the Hebrew Scriptures who would bring salvation and who would become king of the promised land. When they later went around teaching they also taught people to remember how the Leader of Jesus was God.

“Now I want you to realise that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” (1Co 11:3 NIV)

“Who, being in very nature {Or in the form of } God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,” (Php 2:6 NIV)

For those who had followed Jesus for some time, it was very clear that he had never claimed to have equal status with God. They were very conscious of the humbleness of their master, who didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of the status of being a god and certainly not of being the God.

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Preceding

Israel, Fitting the Plan when people allow it

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 19 Concerning the saved ones and those able to enter the Kingdom

Matthew 21:1-3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Ahead for a Donkey

Matthew 21:4-5 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Your King Is Coming upon a Donkey

Matthew 21:6-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blessed the One Coming in God’s Name!

God’s Face shining on His servant

Multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David

10 Nisan An entrance for a king

Vox populi anything but Vox Dei

Matthew 21:10-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Is This?

Demanding signs or denying yourself

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Additional reading

  1. Truth, doubt or blindness
  2. Torah hanging on two commandments and focussing on a Mashiach
  3. The true light in recorded words
  4. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #5 Temptation, assault and curse
  5. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #7 Promise and solution
  6. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #8 Looking for the 2nd Adam
  7. Which man is mentioned most often in the Bible? Jesus, Moses, Abraham or David?
  8. A rebellious movement founded on a fake?
  9. Fog, brass and light for the eyes
  10. Blindness in the Christian world
  11. Who do you say Jesus is
  12. The sent one from God
  13. Jesus, A way given to find the right way to God
  14. The stone of essential truth
  15. Knowledge of Christ and fear for God
  16. A birthday passed nearly unnoticed
  17. In a few days time it will be 2020 years ago that the Messiah was born
  18. 2020 years ago, the road was opened
  19. 2020 years since
  20. To turn the world into a “vessel” receptive of God
  21. The saviour Jesus his human side
  22. Sayings of Jesus, what to believe and being or not of the devil
  23. The Right One to follow and to worship
  24. For those who believe Jesus is God
  25. The habitual misreading of John 1 and the ‘Word being God’ #1
  26. The habitual misreading of John 1 and the ‘Word being God’ #2
  27. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  28. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #2 War on God’s Plan, Name and title
  29. That everyone may honour the Son and sent one from God
  30. Thought for Wednesday Believe in the one God has sent
  31. Jesus Messiah
  32. Jesus begotten Son of God #10 Coming down spirit or flesh seed of Eve
  33. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  34. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  35. Concerning Christ #1 A god or the God, a son of man and son of God
  36. Concerning Christ #2 Divine source, connection and divine human being
  37. Infinite payment of sin by the son of God
  38. Believing what Jesus says
  39. The Call of Christ
  40. Following a Person or a Belief
  41. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  42. Purification and perfection
  43. From nothingness to a growing group of followers of Jeshua 5 What’s in a name
  44. Not being saved by faith in Christ alone
  45. Memorizing wonderfully 42 Equality with God & doing nothing of himself
  46. Memorizing wonderfully 44 Showing the works from his Father
  47. Memorizing wonderfully 46 Believe in the sent one from God, who is the Way to God
  48. Memorizing wonderfully 49 John 17:1-11 The sent one from God and eternal life
  49. Memorizing wonderfully 52 Acts 7:56: the Son of man standing on the right hand of God
  50. Memorizing wonderfully 70: Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God
  51. Background of Faith
  52. Trinitarians making their proof for existence of God look ridiculous #7

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Related

  1. Jesus Existed 
  2. Cult Leader Jesus
  3. Prophet Jesus pbuh : The slave of God
  4. How the doctrine of the Trinity developed in the Christian Church
  5. Christian, what are you going to say to G-d of Israel when your god Jesus doesn’t return?

A fact of History or just a fancy Story

A man killed for an other

The previous weeks we looked at the suffering of Jesus and how he came to an end. When he was killed, our story did not end. We got to read that he in a strange way disappeared from the grave in which he was put in.

Christian views on Hell

Certain Christian views on Hell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three days after the crucifixion, the tomb of Jesus was found empty by his closest friends, who did not know what could have happened. normally his body would be part of the world of the dead, going to become victim of decay. But to the unbelief and surprise Jesus appeared to his followers, who where very much afraid for what went on and for the reprisals of the Romans and locals.

They all had witnessed how Jesus died and knew he was buried. Today there are people who take Jesus to be God, but than they forget that God can not die. Jesus really did. He had given his body, of flesh and blood to his Holy Father, the Only One God, Jehovah. In common with all other men his life came to an end, but unlike other men he returned from Hades (Sheol = hell) were he had stayed for three days. He was not tortured over there, because the hell is just the burial place or grave, where people are place in when they die. there would also not be one reason to put Jesus into a torture place for the sins he might  have done, because Jesus was the only man who could stay without any sin.

Jesus offered himself to his Father who resurrected him out of the dead and made him higher than angels, to which he was lower before. God is and always has been the most High, but now He allowed Jesus to come sit next to Him, to be a mediator between Him (God) and men.

A great miracle and reason for Christianity

For Christians this taking out of death is one of the greatest of all miracles since the creation itself, and could have been accomplished only if Jesus got the full blessing of his Father,  God, the Creator of the universe. The death and resurrection of Jesus marks the central point of God’s master plan for the world.

The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of the promises made by God and the reason of existence of Christianity. Everything else that was said or done by Christ and the apostles is secondary in importance to the resurrection. If the resurrection did not take place then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then we got the proof of the Old Testament sayings and have proof of the Messiah ship of the Nazarene Jew Jeshua, Jesus Christ, the son of man and son of God.

In case Jesus would have been God, than God just faked a death and presented a show of His body going out of a grave. As an eternal spirit God has always existed and shall always exist, but is also everywhere at once, and not bounded to any place. But Jesus Christ was bounded to the environment where he preached. He also was tempted, while God can not be tempted. After he died, Jesus was taken out of the boundary where his body was put in the clothes. The guards in front of his grave could take care his body was not been stolen, nor that a living person would be able to roll away the very heave stone on his own.

Charlatan or madman

If all of this is somehow a delusion and if Jesus of Nazareth did not really rise from the dead, then he is either a god who fooled everybody, and let the people suffer for many years before intervening, or he was no different from other great men who are also dead. He is worse than they, in fact, because he is thereby branded as either a charlatan or a madman, since he staked all his claims to be the son of God and being the Way to his Father, and who would come back to the earth after his death.

On the other hand, if the resurrection is really a demonstrable fact of history, then not only are his claims vindicated, but so are God His promises and the promises of Jesus. In case Jesus really died and was taken out of death, we have the proof of the love of God, who is willing to bring an end to the curse brought forward by the first men. In Jesus we can find then the new Adam, or the first one of  the New Creation, the 2° Adam. With Christ Jesus we than can find a new beginning of which all followers of Christ may be part of.

Then we may believe that death is not, after all, the great victor, but is a defeated foe.

“3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5 KJ21)

Provider of a New Covenant

Jesus had brought his followers hope to life using the true Word, showing them how they could follow in his footsteps and go through the small gate to enter the Kingdom of God. By the work Jesus had done, his death made them free. By his offering they became partakers of the New Covenant with God  by which they received new life which is not like their old life. Also for us, who want to follow Christ Jesus and believe in his resurrection we are not bounded any more to our old birth coming from mortal sperm. In case we face the reality of the Nazarene man having died and being resurrected by the Force of God, we can receive that new birth which comes from God’s living Word, which lives and stays for ever. (James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23) We can get a new and better life, because Jesus was willing to give himself as a ransom for us all.

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind; be sober and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13 KJ21)

“By Him ye believe in God, who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.” (1 Peter 1:21 KJ21)

Seeing the son, lower than the Father

In case you have doubts about the death and resurrection of Christ, think what reasons the whole parade would have been useful for. If Jesus is God, why did God wait such a long time before taking steps to save the world. And why did He not say directly who He really was when He would have been here on earth as Jesus. Plus how could all those people see and touch Jesus when he would have been God, because God Himself told the world that they could not see Him and live.

“And He said, “Thou canst not see My face, for there shall no man see Me and live.”” (Exodus 33:20 KJ21)

When we take Jesus to be God, we minimise his suffering, his death and his resurrection. Though as followers of Christ, being Christian, we should follow the teachings of our master and believe his words.  He never claimed to be God and always told others to recognise the Hand of his father in the works he did. Jesus also was fully aware that his Father, God was mightier than him.

“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, “Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:19 KJ21)

“Ye have heard how I said unto you, ‘I go away and come again unto you.’ If ye loved Me, ye would rejoice because I said, ‘I go unto the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28 KJ21)

Worshipping the Right One

Jesus often spoke to his Father, whom he worshipped and told us also to pray to Him like he prayed to his Father, who is the Master or Head of Christ.

“But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3 KJ21)

“And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son Himself also be subject unto Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:28 KJ21)

As Christians we should believe the words of Christ and be believers because we trust the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead.

Smoke and mirrors

We have to face it — if Jesus did not really died and there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything the apostles told us is smoke and mirrors, and everything we have staked our life on is smoke and mirrors.

But we also have to be aware that there is an even bigger problem and a very bad sign we do give to those who do not believe in God or who do believe in other gods than our only One God, Jehovah. We would namely give the impression that all the sayings of the Old Testament make no sense at all and that God bends His words. We would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits the apostles passed on to us verifying that God raised up Christ — sheer fabrications, if there’s no resurrection.

If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. If Christ is God he could not die and was not dead, so could not have been standing up from death, but if he would have fallen asleep, He just would have woken up and walk out the grave, no matter if it was sealed or closed by one or more heavy stones, because He can go through everything.

And if Christ wasn’t raised, then all we are doing is making wise vesicles, fooling ourselves and wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves and there would be nothing any more.  It all shall be finished and without any prospects. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration, like we can enjoy the quotes from special humans or other religious figures, for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot.

File:Brooklyn Museum - The Women at the Sepulchre (The Angel at the Tomb of Christ) - Benjamin West - overall.jpg

The Women at the Sepulchre (The Angel at the Tomb of Christ) – 1805, Benjamin West (1738–1820)

“12  Now if Christ is preached, that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 and if Christ be not risen, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up, if so it be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is Christ not raised; 17 and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20  But now Christ is risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of those who slept. 21 For since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive; 23 but every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-23 KJ21)

With the ignominious death of their master, his disciples were utterly confused and afraid for their own lives. There is no possibility that they could have continued as teachers of the Nazarene’s doctrines, and even less that others could have been persuaded to follow them, in those circumstances. The people who had seen and hear about Jesus and his miracles would have joked about him and his followers which would have been fooled all the way long.

A physical body, not a ghost, returned to life

When Jesus appeared to his closest friends he proofed to them that he was not a ghost, while his Father is Ghost. They could see the marks of his wounds.

“5 And as they were afraid and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke unto you when He was yet in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”” (Luke 24:5-7 KJ21)

File:Köln - An Groß St Martin - Groß St Martin in 34 ies.jpg

Stigmata, visual signs of his torture. – Groß St. Martin, An Groß St. Martin in Cologne – Photo Frank Vincentz

“19 And He said unto them, “What things?” And they said unto Him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death and have crucified him. 21 But we trusted that it had been he who should have redeemed Israel. And beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea, and certain women also of our company, who were early at the sepulcher, made us astonished. 23 And when they found not his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the sepulcher and found it even so as the women had said, but him they saw not.” 25 Then He said unto them, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:19-27 KJ21)

“36  And as they thus spoke, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them and said unto them, “Peace be unto you.” 37 But they were terrified and afraid, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said unto them, “Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me to have.” 40 And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, “Have ye here any meat?” 42 And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and of a honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate before them. 44 And He said unto them, “These are the words which I spoke unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, 46 and said unto them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.”” (Luke 24:36-49 KJ21)

John his doubts and fears immediately gave way to an amazed faith when he had entered the empty tomb. The collapsed grave clothes yielded no possible interpretation except that the physical body of the crucified Christ had returned to life, in such a remarkable form that it could simply pass through the linen wrappings and enter henceforth into the power of an endless life, like Jesus had foretold should happen! Spirit does not die and therefore cannot be “resurrected”, but they had met and spend many hours with the man from Nazareth.

Pilate was given assurance that Jesus died by the centurion (Mark 15:43-45). The savage spear thrust into his side by the soldier (John 19:34) made certain of his death, “and forthwith came there out blood and water,” evidencing complete collapse of the heart cavity.

Body not taken away

The disciples were hiding in fear of their lives and nothing could have been further from their thoughts than them trying to take away the body of Christ. Furthermore, the tomb had been sealed, a great stone rolled in front of it, and a watch of Roman soldiers set to guard it (Matthew 27:62-66). What is interesting about the witness of the disciples is that it is never presented as conclusive, or even as important. The reason for this is that there was no need for a human witness to the empty tomb at the time at which the gospels were written, because the witness of the whole population of Jerusalem – not to mention pilgrims from all over the known world – was that the tomb was empty. The inhabitants form Jerusalem could witness themselves what happened to the place where Jesus was been buried. In case the grave was not empty and it was not enough clear that the apostles had hidden the body they could not have made so many converts.

Several looked for Jesus, who was crucified, but could not find him in the grave. The angels had told the wives that he was risen and that they had  to go quickly and tell his disciples that Jesus was risen from the dead. They told them that they would see him. When they and the apostles were going, some of the guard came into the city and reported unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders and had taken counsel, they gave a large amount of money to the soldiers to say that his disciples came by night and stole him away while they slept.  So they took the money and did as they were taught.

This story was current among Jews from the earliest times, and we have independent evidence of this. For example, Justin quotes a debate in which his opponent refers to Jesus as:

“One Galilean deceiver, whom we crucified, but his disciples stole him by night from the tomb… and now deceive them by asserting that he has risen from the dead and ascended into heaven” (Justin Martyr: Dialogue Against Trypho,108 [c.AD150]).

The story does, in fact, persist to the present day.

Judea in 30 AD was a province subject to revolt and terrorism. It was no place for soldiers to sleep in the open: any soldiers who were not alert were likely to be killed by Zealots. It is thus unlikely that my guard would go to sleep, and inconceivable that they would sleep so soundly that a group of men large enough to carry away a dead body could roll aside the stone over the grave mouth (this itself would be a noisy operation) without at least one of the guard waking up.

More significant still is the condition of the disciples. Before the resurrection they were broken men, afraid and in hiding. Afterwards they were bold preachers of the gospel, who were prepared to turn the world upside down in order to preach the risen Christ. Not only that, but they were almost all put to death for their faith (probably John was the only disciple to die a natural death, and even he was exiled). None of them ever denied their faith in the risen Christ. It would take a group of several men to remove a body from a grave; if the body of Jesus had been stolen all of the men in the group would have known that the resurrection never took place, and at least one of them would have been expected to break down and confess in the face of certain and unpleasant death. If one of the disciples had confessed to stealing the body, we would certainly have known it, because the Roman and Jewish authorities would have ensured that it was reported. That it was not reported shows that it never happened, and that the disciples did not steal the body.

The important point about this explanation is that it would be unnecessary if the body of Jesus was still safely in the tomb. There is only one conclusion that can be drawn: The tomb was empty.

“5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, “Fear ye not, for I know that ye seek Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and behold, He goeth before you into Galilee. There shall ye see Him. Lo, I have told you.” 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “All hail.” And they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, “Be not afraid. Go tell My brethren to go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me.” 11  Now when they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city and reported unto the chief priests all the things that were done. 12 And when they were assembled with the elders and had taken counsel, they gave a large sum of money unto the soldiers, 13 saying, “Say ye, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we slept.’ 14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him and secure you.” 15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught; and this account is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.” (Matthew 28:5-15 KJ21)

Anyone who wished to find out for themselves could go down to see it; to do so would take only a very short time. Yet Jerusalem was the cradle of the infant church; thousands of people were converted there very soon after the crucifixion.

Believe in Christ Jesus

We may not forget that even in the family of Jesus there where who doubted about Jesus his task. The gospels tell us that James nor any of Jesus’ younger brothers believed in him during his lifetime. It would be very strange that the early church would generate fictitious stories concerning the unbelief of Jesus’ family and they would not have reacted against those stories. We must imagine the grieve the children of Joseph and Mary had with their parents and how they would react if uncertain events happened or unjust stories were told. Though with everything that happened James and his brothers did become active Christian believers following Jesus’ death. James was considered an apostle and eventually rose to the position of leadership of the Jerusalem church. According to the first century Jewish historian Josephus, James was martyred for his faith in Christ in the late 60s CE.

We only can conclude that the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.  There is a nice symmetry in this: Death initially came by a man, and resurrection from death came by a man. Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ.  But we have to wait our turn: Christ is first, then those with him at his Coming,” (1 Corinthians 15:12-23 )

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Please do read more about this matter in: The Resurrection of Jesus: A fact of History!

Preceding articles:

After the Sabbath after Passover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ

Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2

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Please do find additional literature:

  1. The Seed Of The Woman Bruised
  2. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  3. The wrong hero
  4. A god between many gods
  5. History of the acceptance of a three-in-one God
  6. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  7. Altered to fit a Trinity
  8. Attributes to God
  9. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  10. A Jewish Theocracy
  11. Promise of Comforter
  12. Promises, God’s
  13. God does not change
  14. God’s salvation
  15. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #3 A voice to be taken Seriously
  16. A promise given in the Garden of Eden
  17. Written to recognise the Promised One
  18. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  19. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  20. About a man who changed history of humankind
  21. Who was Jesus?
  22. No Other Name (But Jesus)
  23. Yahushua, Yehoshua, Yeshua, Jehoshua of Jeshua > Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua + Jezus, Yeshua, Yahushua
  24. The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
  25. Jesus begotten Son of God #4 Promised Prophet and Saviour
  26. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  27. Jesus begotten Son of God #10 Coming down spirit or flesh seed of Eve
  28. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  29. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  30. Jesus begotten Son of God #16 Prophet to be heard
  31. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  32. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  33. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  34. Jesus begotten Son of God #20 Before and After
  35. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  36. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  37. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  38. On the Nature of Christ
  39. Jesus spitting image of his father
  40. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  41. A man with an outstanding personality
  42. On the Nature of Christ
  43. Mission son of God perceived as failure
  44. 2 Corinthians 5:19 – God in Christ
  45. How do trinitarians equate divine nature
  46. Self inflicted misery #3 A man given to suffer for us
  47. The meek one riding on an ass
  48. Jesus and His God
  49. Was Jesus Religious
  50. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  51. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  52. Slave for people and God
  53. Apple of Gods eye
  54. Servant of his Father
  55. What did Jesus sing?
  56. What Jesus sang
  57. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  58. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  59. A Messiah to die
  60. Dying or not
  61. Swedish theologian finds historical proof Jesus did not die on a cross
  62. Impaled until death overtook him
  63. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  64. Crucifixion for suffering
  65. Why 20 Nations Are Defending the Crucifix in Europe
  66. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  67. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  68. Decomposition, decay – vergaan, afsterven, ontbinding
  69. Self inflicted misery #6 Paying by death
  70. Jesus three days in hell
  71. Jesus and the fallen angels in hell
  72. Ressurection of Jesus Christ
  73. Jesus is risen
  74. Risen With Him
  75. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  76. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  77. One Mediator between God and man
  78. Christ having glory
  79. Christ’s coming
  80. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  81. God demonstrates his own love
  82. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  83. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  84. Secret or public return of Jesus
  85. Certainty in a troubled world
  86. Concerning gospelfaith
  87. Breathing to teach
  88. Why believing the Bible
  89. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything

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  • William Lane Craig’s case for the resurrection of Jesus (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    Dr. Craig’s famous minimal facts case for the resurrection has been posted at the Christian Apologetics Alliance. He presents 4 facts admitted by the majority of New Testament historians, and then he supplies multiple pieces of evidence for each fact.
  • The Jesus of Faith a myth? (proudfootz.wordpress.com) +
    the term ‘historical Jesus’ as Ehrman will be using it is in contrast to the ‘Jesus of Faith’, that is that when Ehrman is describing an ‘historical Jesus’ he does not mean a Jesus as accepted by most christians: the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ, capable of performing miracles, uttering true prophecies, or raising others or himself from the dead, or really appearing as a spirit or some such thing to real humans after a resurrection. The sort of Jesus Ehrman is proposing to establish the real existence of is a mortal man like any other who is born, lives his life, and eventually dies and stays dead.
    +
    most or (unlikely) all of them think Jesus was merely a mortal man like any other.
    +
    it may well be that virtually all the experts believe Jesus really existed, but that doesn’t mean they believe in an ‘historical Jesus’ as Ehrman defines it. This is I think a major difficulty for Ehrman’s thesis because on the one hand he wants to stack the deck in favor of the historical existence of Jesus by citing the united front of ‘all New testament scholars’, but to do so he has to include the many, many people – scholars and laymen alike – who are convinced on the evidence that Jesus was a real miracle-worker who could raise the dead, raise himself from the dead, and was if not a god in his own right the son of a god. For most people Jesus was not a failed prophet, a street-corner rabble-rouser, or a social reformer: Jesus was Lord and Savior, the long-promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, Son of God reigning even now in Heaven, coming soon to judge the living and the dead.
    +
    It’s safe to say that a great number of teachers in theological seminaries and divinity schools (and I think many in ‘secular’ colleges and universities) believe that Jesus not only existed, but worked miracles, rose from the dead, and was the son of a god, and communes with believers from his seat in Heaven. Up until now Ehrman has downplayed this fact.
  • Understanding the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (christianity.answers.com)
    The Bible teaches that the resurrection of Jesus was an actual historical event. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all record the resurrection as true. These same accounts also record many other miracles performed by Jesus during his life. Although many have offered alternative explanations for the resurrection, few are plausible and all contradict the earliest accounts of Jesus’ life.
    +
    Some have suggested that perhaps Jesus wasn’t really dead and was able to walk out of his tomb after a few days of rest. The greatest difficulty with this opinion is that it fails to account for the thorough nature of Roman crucifixion. Roman soldiers performed thousands of crucifixions every year. They were experts at using crucifixion to kill people. It is simply not plausible that a man could have lived through a Roman crucifixion and had the energy and ability to break out of a sealed tomb a few days later.
  • Jesus Freaks (live-your-best-life.me)
    What about being called a Jesus Freak though? Would it embarrass you or make you feel politically incorrect? What actions would it take to make you a Jesus Freak? Would you be considered for one if you are just a nice person or maybe someone who doesn’t hang out with the partiers of the crowd? Do you have to go to church for someone to think you are a Jesus Freak? What if, are you ready for this, you read your Bible in public? Certainly that qualifies you for that title. Is this a label you would wear in secret or would you wear it proudly?
  • The Meaning and Purpose of Our Existence. (revivehope.wordpress.com)
    The New Testament is the fulfillment of the events, characters, laws, sacrificial system (the forgiveness of sin), and promises of the Old Testament. The New Testament also prophesies our future and warns us to be spiritually prepared, warning others, and spreading the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
    +
    God sent His sinless Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth to show His tremendous love for us, teaching us and demonstrating God’s power and might over all through various miracles, healings, and even raising people from the dead. He sent His only begotten (to cause) Son to die on our behalf (the penalty/consequence for sin is the shedding of blood) and rose from the dead to demonstrate His love for us and His power over sin and death.

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