Most everyone has heard by now about the controversial new documentary directed by Simcha Jacobovici and produced by James Cameron called ‘The Lost Tomb of Jesus’. It aired this past Sunday on the Discovery Channel.
I admit, I watched it. Including the Critical Look afterwards. I tuned in with absolutely no apprehension whatsoever that my faith would take a critical hit after observing the evidence.
My confidence was well justified.
I will not labor to explore the controversy of the documentary here, nor offer any refutations. Apologists much more competent and able than I are already on the job, standing firm for the faith delivered once for all to the saints. Here are a couple of links giving opposing views to the documentary.
I do want to say a few words on why it is vitally important to defend the biblical truth of Christ’s resurrection. Some might say the discovery of Christ’s remains shouldn’t affect the faith of believers. After all, Jesus was still a great teacher, giving mankind a moral compass to live by. This might be OK for all the liberal Christians out there who reject a literal interpretation of the scriptures, but it is not acceptable for those of us who believe the scriptures to be the inspired, infallible word of God. If Christ is not raised from the dead then he was either a liar or a lunatic, certainly not Lord of all. He proclaimed in his ministry the impending fulfillment of his resurrection from the dead. (Jn 2:19;10:18) If he was mislead by his reading of the scriptures or suffered from delusions of grandeur then he could not possibly be the only begotten Son of God. If he was not the spotless Lamb of God, his death on the cross did not efficaciously cleanse the sin of any sinner that has ever lived.
This is an issue of grave importance! (pun not intended) Paul summed up perfectly the centrality of Christ’s resurrection to our eternal hope of salvation, writing;
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1Co 15:14-19)
I couldn’t state it any plainer myself. Christianity stands or falls on the foundational doctrine of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. His rising from the dead verifies every claim he made about himself. It proves his Sonship, his divinity and his sinless perfection. His blood sacrifice covers the sins of all God intended to save. It cements with an ironclad guarantee his second coming with vengeance and wrath. Christ will bring with him the reward of an eternal kingdom that believers will share in forever.
I don’t want to get into the spiritual resurrection theory here. I’ll leave it at this. If Jesus only arose in a spiritual sense why was his tomb found empty on the third day? Why were his burial clothes laying in a pile on the floor?
The supposed bones of Jesus provide unbelievers with yet another barricade from which to hide themselves from the light of the world, Jesus Christ. They will fortify themselves behind all the facts and figures dictated to them by the filmmakers. They will launch flaming arrows of scorn and mockery at our supposed ‘blind’ faith. Of course, this is nothing new to Christians. It should all sound familiar to us. If you have spent any time witnessing to the lost, the Theory of Evolution is presented in much the same way. It is staunchly presented as scientific fact. It contradicts the scriptures. So Darwin and Jesus collide in combat.
Intellect vs. faith.
Logic vs. belief.
‘Fact’ vs. truth.
Darwin (and now Jacobovici) and his flawed system of logic somehow trumps Jesus and his claims of divinity. Therefore Christians must be idiots! There is indeed nothing new under the sun. Since the Enlightenment paradigm shift, man-manufactured systems of rationale and reason have usurped simple faith in God’s revelation of Himself in the scriptures. As if man’s narrow, limited view of the vast expanse of creation could lay any valid claim contradicting the creator and sustainer of every created thing. Absurd!
Jeremiah penned a great truth when he wrote,
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it. (Jer 17:9)
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. In order to avoid standing stark naked in the shining rays of God’s glory, the unbelieving heart cloaks itself with any fine-sounding excuse in order to appease its own guilty conscience. The heart will believe anything rather than to simply kneel before the Lord in broken humility. God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts. His ways higher than our ways. We must abandon our thoughts and our ways where they disagree with God. They are wrong. They are deadly to the soul. Fly from them and embrace God’s thoughts on the matters of the gospel of Jesus Christ and so be saved.
I know without even a tinge of doubt these ‘findings’ will not shake the foundation of faith for any single person who has been born-again by the Holy Spirit. We know the reality of Jesus Christ and his resurrection, not by outward archaeological evidence but by the inward work that he has wrought in us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We have received a new heart, generating an all new nature that loves God supremely above all other things. We have compassion and mercy upon our neighbors because of the revelation of man’s lost condition which we all share. We have gratitude because God bestowed mercy and grace freely upon us hopeless sinners. We know Christ is risen because of the unshakable hope we have for our own bodily resurrection and life eternal. This hope is not blind faith, it springs from the manifestation of God’s inner work of transformation. We believe because we are a living miracle of God’s grace. We think differently. We believe differently. We live differently. We love differently. The world and its lusts have passed away, replaced by an all encompassing vision of God’s glory. It is our singular obsession.
The Lost tomb of Jesus is just another buzzing mosquito of unbelief, trying to plant the virus of feverish delusions into our souls, while simultaneously sucking the faith right out of us. Like a mosquito, it is easily vanquished by the flick of a finger. Claims that this documentary will shake the world may indeed be accurate. The true church (the body of redeemed believers) however, is immunized against the Malaria of these type of false claims.
Jesus Christ lives! He rules from on high!
He reigns in us and over all the cosmos. He will soon return to rule the nations with an iron rod. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord.