Sansone's Gifts for Families

Visit our Amazon Associate store. Same prices as Amazon, but you can help us in the process.

Visit Sansone's Gifts for Families

The Lost Tomb of Jesus - Does a physical resurrection really matter? A response to Steve H.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Part of me hesitates to even discuss this topic further since the media firestorm preceeding the documentary has quieted due to the extremely speculative nature of the production.

One commentator wrote:

Do you remember when Geraldo Rivera did a live broadcast in the 80s at the site of Al Capone's vault and when the wrecking balls broke through, there was nothing inside the vault? Well, 'The Lost Tomb Of Jesus' was sort of like that, only less credible.

In my recent post on The Lost Tomb of Jesus in which I discuss some of the factual and logical difficulties with this over-hyped "documentary" by James Cameron, I received a comment from a visitor named Steve that I think is worth addressing in a regular post rather than just in the comments section.

Since it is sometimes difficult with the new blogger to be able to read the comments of others, I will reprint his comments in this post as I address the issue that he has raised. So here are his comments and then some of my comments to his comments.

One of my favorite verses of scripture is the "we see as through glass darkly". If we consider that verse to contain wisdom, then cant we consider the factual narrative of Jesus in the bible to be the best we could put into language given that dark glass barrier prevents a more thorough understanding?

Im not suggesting that the story of Jesus doesnt represent the divine message from God. Im actually suggesting that maybe the divine reality is too far over our heads to attempt to understand with mere human language and ability to conceptualise.

Theres a saying that the best things cant be told. And the second best are too often misunderstood. So its the third best things that we talk about.

If we somehow found empirical evidence that Jesus in fact did not rise from the grave, i dont believe it would make the story any less important as far as revealing transcended divinity to those of us still on this side of the glass.


I appreciate Steve stopping by and asking his question. I think it is a good question, yet I also think that there is an underlying premise in this question that needs to be addressed.

Steve starts his post by referring to a verse that speaks of seeing through a glass darkly. The verse which he is referencing is 1 Corinthians 13:12, which reads, "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

I understand and agree with the first part of Steve’s point - namely, that there are a number of things about which are understanding is limited, especially a number of things in the spiritual realm. I also rejoice in the truth in the last part of that verse, that there will come a time when I shall "know even as also I am known."

So, while I agree with this truth, I will have to disagree with the conclusion that Steve seems to draw from this point:

If we somehow found empirical evidence that Jesus in fact did not rise from the grave, i dont believe it would make the story any less important as far as revealing transcended divinity to those of us still on this side of the glass

For while it is true that there are many things that we cannot understand, there is a difference between not being able to understand the details of something and being misled about the thing itself. While there may be some things about the details of the resurrection of which we have limited understanding and can only see darkly, the fact of the resurrection is not one of those things. The Apostle Paul tells us that this truth is a critical truth.

Paul tells us plainly in 1 Corinthians 15, that "if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain" (v. 14). He goes on to say that this would make the Apostles and other who claim to have witnessed the resurrection would then be false witness and that "if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain: ye are yet in your sins."

In Luke 24, after Jesus rose from the grave, He told His disciples to touch Him so that they would understand that He had risen bodily. Lu 24:39 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 have.40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

At the start of the Fundamentalist - Modernist Controversy near the beginning of the 20th Century, many times the liberal theologians (called "modernists" in those days) would state that they were attempting to "rescue" Jesus from the Scripture. In their attempts to do so, they would deny the clear truth of God’s Word and come up with alternate explanations. In reality they were not "rescuing" Christ, they were denying Christ. It is through the Scripture that we know Christ - not apart from the Scripture. Therefore, the reliability of the Bible is essential to our faith - and this is especially evident in a case such as the resurrection. If Christ be not raised from the dead, then we are left with a dead Savior, a dishonest book inconsistent with a God of truth, and no hope for a future resurrection. To me, this is important.

Now, thankfully, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most well-attested to events in ancient history. Books upon books have been written on this topic over the years. The disciples went from scared and scattered to bold and courageous. There were multitudes of eyewitness - including over 400 at one time. Paul’s life was transformed when he saw the resurrected Jesus. The enemies of Christ had their mouths stopped by truth of the resurrection.

I do not have the time to get into all of the details, but suffice it to say, it should take much more than a flashy Hollywood documentary to shake the faith of any Christian who understands what the Bible teaches about this central doctrine.

Some further resources on the Resurrection are listed below.

Just my thoughts,


A couple of articles that can be accessed via the internet:

Is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ true?

Why should I believe in Christ’s resurrection?


RKK said...

On the history of sensationalism related to ossuaries and some notes on the "chevron and circle" symbol as a Jewish "symbol," see:

Frank Sansone said...

Dr. Kilpatrick,

Thank you for stopping by and visiting A Thinking Man's Thoughts.

The site you linked to has some good information on it regarding "The Lost Tomb of Jesus." Thanks for providing the link.

In Christ,

Pastor Frank Sansone