The speculation goes on
The tomb is empty, let the speculating begin!!!! Well, for some this
is perfectly understandable. For the Scribes and the Pharisees who worked
tirelessly for His death and for the Roman soldiers guarding it.
The Scribes and Pharisees concern is obvious, they may just have crucified
the Messiah, the Son of God as He claimed. Oops! For the Roman soldiers,
the concern was for another reason, and would go a long way in supporting
what occurred. It was necessary for the Sanhedrin to claim that Christ's
followers had robbed the grave, taking and hiding the body and claiming He
rose. One thing they didn't count on though, was Roman law and the Roman
soldier. The Romans used geese as early warning devices. They would feed
the geese so they would be used to them. On guard duty, the geese would be
let free to wander nearby. Any one coming near would cause the geese to
begin honking, alerting the remainder of the guard. So, there is no way that
anyone 'snuck in' and stole Christ's body. Nor is there any chance that
frightened, unarmed, unskilled fishermen and others were about to take on a
cohort of Roman Legionnaires. (There's a reason why the Romans had the most
successful Army of all time)
The story goes, that the guards fell asleep and the Apostles came and
took the body. Well, there's the geese problem. But what if there were no
geese? (Possible though improbable) If a soldier falls asleep on guard
today, he gets a reprimand. In the Roman Legion, he was executed. Great
incentive to stay awake.
So, here we have the Sanhedrin saying that they were asleep, while all of
Judea knew that was very unlikely. So, the rumor went out and was
unstoppable, that Christ rose form the dead and was seen by many.
Now, why do I tell you this? Because we're still speculating, but in
newer, more 'enlightened' ways.
First, we see many trying to speculate who Jesus was? I recall hearing one
person asking, "Where did Jesus get all His learning?" (One would think that
being the Son of God would answer that) No, they feel He 'must' have gone to
India to learn Buddhism AND/OR to England to learn Druidism. Hence
explaining why some Buddhist philosophy and Druid practices seem to mirror
Christianity, because Christ learned them and made them part of His
philosophy. This explains, to them, why nothing is written about His early
life. He was off globe trotting with His Uncle Joseph of Arimathea. (Pretty
good trick for a poor carpenter's son from Nazareth) [Ruhani Satsang -
Leader: Kirpal Singh. "Jesus Christ was essentially a man of the East, and
his teachings are imbued with oriental mysticism. It is even speculated that
he spent many of his early years in India and learned from the Yogins and
Buddhist monks" (The Crown of Life, Kirpal Singh).]
They need this because to acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God is
unthinkable. All the other 'religious' founders had glorious legends about
them. Sidhartha (Buddha) was born to a royal family and immediately walked.
And lotus blossoms grew where he walked. No such 'legend' about Christ
(unless you accept the gnostic gospels, but there we see a mean little child.
Killing a bird to raise to life again, and killing another child for simply
bumping into him) No, Christ grew up in obscurity, as per the prophecy.
"Who would believe what we have heard? To whom has the arm of the LORD been
revealed? He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the
parched earth; There was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him,
nor appearance that would attract us to him" (Isaiah 53:1-2).
Is it so hard to believe that God loves us so much that He would send His
only begotten Son, so that we may be saved? For them yes, since to do so
would mean a change of heart. A redirecting of their priorities.
Another innovative speculation is that Jesus didn't die on the cross! This
has two approaches. One is that someone did die on the cross but it wasn't
Jesus, but His twin brother James. (This comes from the notion that James
was a biological brother of Jesus, whereas it is more likely he was a cousin)
Again, one has to search the gnostic gospels to find this one or some other
'New Age' writings. Again though, if this were true, all they had to do was
produce a body. (Going back again to the difficulty of the Apostles stealing
the body in the tomb to complete the 'supposed' charade.)
The other approach is that it was Jesus on the cross, but He didn't die,
but merely passed out. A group of doctors got together and, reviewing
Scriptures, gave a report on the death of Christ. Their findings were that
it was a miracle He survived to make it to the cross. Also, assuming that He
was able to, Scripture gives clear evidence that He was dead.
"But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not
break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and
immediately blood and water flowed out" (John 19:33-34).
Romans were pretty good at knowing when someone was dead or not. But the
key for us is the blood and water. At death, the blood immediately begins to
separate itself between plasma and the red blood cells; hence, what they
would see as blood and water.
Another is that Jesus was on the cross, and that He did die, but only His
'essence' rose, not Him physically. (There's the problem of the body again
though) This one is keen on those who think of Jesus as having two distinct
natures, not even remotely connected. That is, that Jesus' 'human' nature
died, but not His Divine 'spirit'. (Anthroposophical Society - Leader:
Rudolf Steiner. "According to Steiner, Jesus of Nazareth was just an
ordinary man until, at the age of thirty, he received the Christ-Essence
during his baptism at the Jordan." (Spiritual Counterfeits Project in
Berkeley, CA : Letter, Feb, 1977) Steiner was an occult medium who
interpreted the Bible through clairvoyance)
Why bring this up? Because these notions have invaded many parts of the
Church. Here are some others with notions you may recognize.
" The awakening of individuals to the realization of their own
Christ-nature is what will liberate man and transform society" (Darshan The
vision of Light, Roy E. Davis). "Jesus was a man who reached
Christ-consciousness and was on earth to share the truth of this
consciousness." (Center for Spiritual Awareness - Leader: Roy Eugene Davis.
Also called Christian Spiritual Alliance.) Many in the Church tell us and
our children to seek the god/dess within.
"Jesus was a reincarnated man, the highest luminary possible. The Christ
spirit in Him was a manifestation of the cosmic Christ"( Rosicrucianism).
It is interesting that it was Fr. Matthew Fox who led many out of the Church,
with the notion of the Cosmic Christ.
"In order to become true members of the Church of Christ, a person must know
not who Jesus was, but what Christ is. Christ, Ishvara, is the very personal
force pervading the universe that guides and illuminates every aspirant ...
It is not an embodied person, but rather a force in which all individual
beings are divine sparks."
The list goes on and on. The Sanhedrin tried to explain away the
resurrection, the soldiers tried to explain how they didn't allow anyone to
steal the body. And it goes on and on. If they acknowledge Christ, it would
demand they act on it. They would have to do what St. Thomas found himself
having to do:
"Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring
your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.'
Thomas answered and said to him, 'My Lord and my
God!'" (John 20:27-28).
Not a spirit, not an 'essence' nor a 'consciousness', but the Son of the
"Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed" (John 20:29).