Summary: Easter Messages focusing on the fact that christ was crucified and He did rise from the dead.
Easter 2007: Where Are His Bones?
Last month there was a TV special that appeared on the Discover channel that caused a lot of excitement. In this “documentary” the tomb of Jesus was supposed to have been discovered. In this tomb were the “supposed” bones of Jesus, Mary His mother, Mary Magdalene and one of His brothers. Based on this “new” discovery, the possibility of Jesus not rising from the dead as is believed by Christians gain new momentum. The controversy around this issue is as old as the New Testament as we will discuss later, but this documentary did cause a stir in the media and in individuals who do not fully understand what happened with the resurrection. This morning I will answer some key questions based on our belief that the bible is accurate.
Did Jesus really die on the cross or did He survive the cross, went into hiding until His wombs were healed and then lived a quiet like with Mary Magdalene? Some have proposed that He really did not die on the cross and that the tomb was empty because he escaped. If this is what happened then there would be a tomb with His bones and the bones of other family members including His wife. But think about what this would mean if it were true. If Jesus did not die on the cross and was not raised from the dead, we have no rights to call on God as our Father. Our relationship with God is based on our acceptance of Christ as our Savior based on the sacrifice that He made for us. If He did not rise from the dead, then He is no better than any of the other prophets that lived before or after Him as it pertains to our salvation. So, how can we know for sure? Is there a way to look beyond the media to find the truth according to God’s word? The first step again is to decide whether or not you believe the Bible as written, if you do, then you will be able to follow the logic of what I am about to share. You can know with certainty that Christ died on the cross, was placed in a tomb and rose from the dead to live forever as our Savior. Let follow the trail as given to us in Scripture.
I. Proof That Christ Truly Rose From The Dead
First: The Roman Executioners Were Good At Killing. The first fact that we know with certainty is that the roman soldiers charged with executing criminals were very good at their jobs. We can know for certain that Jesus died on the cross. Not only were the Roman executioners good at their job, but they pleasure in their skills at killing. The beating that Jesus received caused Him to lose so much blood that He could have died before He ever reached the cross. He was so weak that He was unable to carry His cross demonstrating the fact that His body was in extreme pain and His blood loss was extensive. When He was placed on the cross, His death did not take long. He was already dehydrated and we know that individuals crucified actually dies from suffocation as the hanging on the cross causes the lungs to fill with fluid drowning the person. Consider this Scripture recorded in John 19:31-34, “The Jews therefore, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came, and broke the legs of the first man, and of the other man who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs; but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.) To hasten death the guards would break the legs of the person being crucified in order to prevent them from using their legs to push up and catch their breath. By not being able to use their legs, death came more quickly. In the case of Jesus they did not have to break His legs because He had already died. To further verify that He was dead, one of the guards stuck a spear into His side to ensure it. There is literally no way the guards would have let Him come down off the cross without ensuring that He was definitely dead. By the way, one of the prophecies concerning Jesus as recorded in Psalm 34 was that none of His bones would be broken. This is what was referenced in verse 36 of this chapter.