As Bro. Steve Tippen, pastor of North Acres General Baptist Church, said in his message on March 4, here we go again! One of the headlines on Page 3 of the Standard Democrat on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007, read, "Scholars, clergy criticize new documentary on possible tomb of Jesus found in Jerusalem." I am not criticizing our local paper, they print the news as it is given, but sometimes new is nothing more than sensationalism.
It's almost Easter, and one of the most holy seasons of the year for Christians, a time when we celebrate the resurrection of our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ. So it's time for those directed by the powers of Satan to come crawling out from under their rocks to try to denounce what the world has known for 2,000 years: that we have a risen Saviour and his name is Jesus, the Christ (anointed one) sent by God to save the world from their sins and to provide us with eternal life (John 3:16)! There is a condition to that promise though; it's only for those who believe.
How can I state that as fact? The birth, death and resurrection of Jesus was an event that changed the very way time was recorded. Time went from B.C. (before Christ) to A.D. (anno Domini) the year of the Lord.
In the question raised regarding the possible tomb of Jesus being found, there is probably no doubt there was a tomb found in Jerusalem which contained the remains of a family named Jesus, Mary and their son Judah. As these were very common names in the time that Jesus walked the earth, it would not be unusual to find such a tomb. Consider though, that if Jesus had not been buried in a borrowed tomb after his death on the cross (Matthew 27:57-60) and His resurrection had not occurred; if he had lived out a normal life span, at his death the body would have been returned to his hometown of Nazareth (Matthew 2:23) for burial, as was the custom of that day.
Common sense would also tell us that if Jesus had not been resurrected after his death all those who were against Christianity (and there were many then, as there are now) would very eagerly have hunted Jesus down and exposed him as the fraud they wanted him to be, Saul, before he became the Apostle Paul, being one of them. (Read Acts 8:1, 9:1-2, 13:9). They did not hunt Jesus down though because they could not, he wasn't there! There were those who went to the borrowed tomb where they had laid Jesus early in the morning (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20) to minister to the body. Guess what? The tomb was empty, Jesus had risen from the dead never to be buried again.
There were many eyewitnesses to the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:2-3, 13:31). I for one believe their testimony more than I could ever believe some so-called documentary that claims to have found the possible tomb of Jesus. They, the ones who put the documentary together, aren't even sure of the fact themselves, (i.e. possible tomb), it's just speculation. These documentaries and finds that always seem to occur around Christian religious holidays (holy days) usually have a hidden agenda, the first being money, the second to try to put doubt in the heart of the believer. Even worse, they put doubt in the hearts of those who haven't heard the good news of Jesus Christ as contained in God's word, the Holy Bible. The simple message of a Saviour sent by God to die for our sins that we might be saved and enjoy eternal life with Him in heaven.
All I can say to these unbelievers who feel it is their duty to try to corrupt the name of Jesus and Christianity, is, God have mercy on them when they stand before Him, a holy and just God (and they will stand before Him, Philippians 2:8-12). I believe the first question God will ask at the judgment seat of Christ is what have you done with my son, Jesus Christ. We all need to think about this and what our answer will be. Have we loved Him and served Him, or have we mocked and ridiculed Him?
God Bless all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that we will all stand strong in the face of opposition that is ever present before us and seems to be getting worse with each passing day, and with the help of the Holy Spirit we can.
Yours in Christ, Dianna Barnett