In one version of the resurrection story, it is written that, on the Sunday following the crucifixion of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna and Salome went to the tomb at dawn to anoint the body of Jesus. How they expected to do this is a mystery because the tomb had been sealed and was guarded.
But as the women approached the tomb, an earthquake shook the area and an Angel, dressed in white, came down from Heaven and rolled back the stone that sealed the tomb. The Angel spoke to the women and told them Jesus has risen from the dead and was no longer inside the tomb. Take a look inside and see for yourselves said the angel and the women saw the tomb was empty.
When the guards realized what had happened, they ran to the Temple and informed the Chief Priest that Jesus was no longer in the tomb. The guards had no idea how this could have happened because the tomb was sealed and Jesus had somehow left the tomb with the stone still in place. Each guard was then given a sum of money and told to lie about what they had seen and tell people that the disciples of Jesus had opened the tomb during the night and taken away the body of Jesus.
Back at the tomb, the Angel told the women to go and inform the disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead. The women hurried away from the tomb to obey the Angel’s command when suddenly, Jesus appeared before them and they dropped to their knees to worship him. Jesus spoke to them and said “do not be afraid, go and find my brothers and tell them to go to Galilee where I shall meet them.”
After speaking to the women, the next thing Jesus should have done is go to the Temple and use his power to calm and placate Chief Priest Caiaphas so he could apologize to him.
Why should Jesus apologize to Caiaphas? Because Jesus used the Temple as the means to fulfil his destiny.
Jesus knew he would be arrested after is his rampage in the Temple grounds. He also knew what the consequences of claiming to be the son of God would be. Also, following his arrest, Jesus made no real effort to defend himself when he was charged and sentenced to death. So, it is reasonable to state that Jesus gave Caiaphas (and Pilate) no other choice but to condemn and crucify him. It appears this is what Jesus wanted to happen?
Therefore, it is also reasonable to state that Jesus owed Caiaphas an apology and should have asked for his forgiveness. Had he done so, Jesus could then have used his power to restore the Temple’s Inner Sanctuary curtain to its original condition and repair any other damage to the Temple caused by the earthquake. Jesus could then fill the Temple’s coffers until they overflowed with coins to make up for the loss of revenue his actions had caused.
This would have proved Jesus’ claim to be the son of God and also validate his resurrection from the dead.
Why didn’t Jesus do this? Surely, it would have been right and proper for Jesus to do this for the Temple (his Father’s House) and for the Jewish people.
Once he had made amends for his actions, Jesus could then have gone to meet the disciples in Galilee.
It is written that Jesus wanted to meet his disciples in Galilee because it was not safe for them to meet as a group in Jerusalem and Galilee is where his ministry began.
This means the disciples walked from Jerusalem to Galilee, a distance of about 75 miles. A long and tiring journey on foot which would have taken several days to complete. The disciples would have needed to carry enough food and water for each leg of their journey and maybe carry a bedroll for overnight rests.
Why didn’t Jesus accompany the disciples on their journey to Galilee? How did Jesus travel to Galilee?
Once Jesus arrived in Galilee, he took the opportunity to perform a miracle involving the disciples who had been fishing but had no luck. Jesus asked his disciples to cast their net on the other side of the boat. When they did so, the net was immediately filled with fish. Jesus also asked the disciples to gather 500 people together to witness his presence in Galilee.
By doing these two things, Jesus removed any doubt about who he was and proved he had risen from the dead to all those present.
Jesus then asked his disciples to return to Jerusalem and go to the Mount of Olives and wait there for him until he arrived.
The disciples then began their long walk back to Jerusalem. Whichever way one looks at this, traveling from Jerusalem to Galilee and then back to Jerusalem, a round trip of about 150 miles, was an arduous task for the disciples to undertake. Was this really necessary? After all, Jesus was going to meet his disciples on the mount of Olives just outside Jerusalem when they returned from Galilee.
Surely, Jesus did not ask his disciples to walk all the way to Galilee just so he could validate his resurrection miles away from Jerusalem? Why didn’t he validate his resurrection in Jerusalem? As stated above, the Temple would have been the most appropriate place to do this.
How did Jesus return to Jerusalem from Galilee?
When Jesus arrived on the Mount of Olives to meet with his disciples, he prayed. He then asked the disciples to wait on the mount until the Holy Spirit came upon them and then go forth and spread the Gospel to the ends of the Earth.
Then on the fortieth day of his resurrection, Jesus ascended into Heaven.
There’s that forty-day period again! What is it with the Bible and forty-day periods? What Biblical significance (if any) is there attached to this period of time?
It is written that the disciples watched as Jesus entered a cloud that was at ground level and then disappear from sight. The disciples then watched as the cloud ascended into the sky above. Suddenly, Two Angels, dressed in white, stood beside the disciples and asked why they were looking up into the sky. The Angels then said “Jesus has been taken from you and into heaven and will return to you in the same way.”
What the Angels said to the disciples indicates that Jesus may not have been in the cloud as it ascended into the air. I think this this is a reasonable statement to make because the disciples did not see any sign of Jesus as the cloud rose upwards into the air. So, where was Jesus, where did he go?
Is it possible that the cloud was actually a temporary portal to another dimension? So, when Jesus walked into the cloud, he entered into this other dimension and the cloud then drifted up into the sky without him? Could this be the dimension that spiritualists, psychics and mediums refer to as ‘the other side’ or the ‘spirit world.’ Does such a dimension actually exist?
Spiritualists, psychics and mediums believe such a dimension to the spirit world does exist and is used (some people believe successfully) to contact the spirits of those who have ‘passed over.’
Have preachers who claim that Jesus appears to them in ‘visions’ and provides them with spiritual guidance, validated the existence of this portal into the spirit world?
Have members of Church congregations who testify that Jesus healed their ailments and infirmities validated the existence of this portal into the spirit world?
I am sure these spiritual encounters are very real to the people who have experienced them and this is why I do not scoff at these claims.
Also, ghost stories have been around almost as long as human beings have. How many of us know someone who claims to have seen a ghost or experienced some sort of paranormal activity?
Will we ever really know the truth about spirituality, ghostly apparitions or paranormal events?
Today, there are Christian groups who believe the time for the second coming of Jesus is upon us and exhort all sinners to seek salvation before it is too late. These Christian groups promise sinners who repent and accept Jesus into their lives will receive the ‘Holy Spirit’ and be born-again Christians.
This will ensure, when they die, they shall enjoy eternal life in Heaven instead of facing eternal damnation in the fires of Hell. All the Church asks for in return is they pay the Church a Tithe, usually 10% of their gross income. So, it appears that salvation comes with a price.
The question I ask is this; are redeemed sinners paying for their salvation or are they funding the extravagant lifestyles of some of their preachers?
Does Heaven really exist? Does eternal damnation in the fires of Hell really await the souls of those who, like me, do not believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the light and only through him shall we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven?
What I try to do is keep an ‘open mind’ on all things spiritual and do not adhere to any one religious dogma or point of view. Nor do I disparage others for whatever their belief or faith is based upon.
But, looking at this subject objectively, the only thing we can really be certain of is the ‘moment of truth’ we all face when we take our final breath.
What happens to us after that, has been a mystery from the very beginning and perhaps it will, or should, always remain so.