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Summary: Become Crime Scene Investigators and study the evidences of the resurrection of Christ. Today, lets look at some of the preliminary facts theories concerning Jesus’ death and resurrection.

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CSI: Easter 1 of 5 in series

Examining the Evidence

INTRODUCTION

The importance of Crime Scene Investigators has been shown recently on the hit television series CSI and CSI:Miami. CSI’s are the experts called to gather and study the evidence found at a crime scene. The CSI’s then make conclusions based upon the evidence and the perpetrators are brought to justice.

Over the next five Sundays we will become Crime Scene Investigators and study the evidences of the resurrection of Christ. Today, lets look at some of the preliminary facts theories concerning Jesus’ death and resurrection.

MAIN BODY

I. THE CRUCIFIXION

A. OPTIONS TO CONSIDER…

1. Jesus died on the cross.

2. Jesus "swooned" on the cross.

B. THE EVIDENCE...

1. The soldiers’ observation that Jesus was dead - John 19:31-33

2. Blood and water coming from Jesus’ pierced side - John 19:34 Medical authorities have commented on this phenomenon as evidence that it proves Jesus died on the cross (not sometime later)

3. "There remains, therefore, no supposition possible to explain the recorded phenomenon except the combination of the crucifixion and rupture of the heart." - Samuel Houghton, M.D. (physiologist, University of Dublin)

4. John’s testimony - John 19:35

5. The testimony of Tacitus, a 1st Century Roman historian, "Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius."

C. CONCLUSION

1. Based upon:

(1) Biblical Observation

(2) Medical Expertise

(3) Historical Observation

2. Jesus did indeed die on the cross that infamous Friday.

II. THE EMPTY TOMB

A. THE EVIDENCE...

1. The stone removed - Jn 20:1

(1) First observed by Mary Magdalene, on early Sunday morning

(2) A stone that had been sealed and guarded by Roman soldiers. Mt 27:62-66

2. The body gone - Jn 20:2

(1) The tomb is empty!

(2) Mary supposes that the body has been removed, and runs to tell Peter

3. The grave clothes - Jn 20:3-9

(1) Peter and John see the head covering (napkin) lying neatly folded by itself

(2) Indicating there had been no hurry to get away, or to steal the body (Hailey)

B. THE ALTERNATIVES...

1. The Stolen Body Theory

(1) The theory explained

(a) The disciples stole the body.

(b) This was the "official" theory offered from the very beginning - Mt 28:11-15

(2) The difficulties described

(a) The explanation defies logic

(i) If the soldiers were asleep...

(ii) How did they know it was the disciples who took the body?

(b) How could the large stone guarding the entrance be rolled away without awakening the soldiers?

(3) The soldiers guarding the tomb were Romans - Mt 27:62-66

(a) They were professional soldiers

(b) Charged to guard the tomb with their lives

(c) The punishment for falling asleep on duty was death

(4) This would make those who testified they saw Jesus liars and frauds

(a) For they claimed to be witnesses - Ac 10:39-41

(b) Suppose just a few disciples stole the body, unknown by others...

(i) Such as Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, or the women

(ii) Others still say they saw Jesus, ate and drank with Him

(5) You have to explain why they were willing to lie and die knowing it was a lie

2. The Swoon Hypothesis

(1) The theory explained

(a) Jesus did not actually die on the cross, He only swooned

(b) Suffering from shock, pain, and loss of blood, He fainted (swooned) from exhaustion

(c) Thinking that He was dead, the Roman soldiers took Him down and He was buried in the tomb

(d) In the coolness of the tomb, Jesus revived

(i) Somehow He left the tomb

(ii) Appeared to His disciples, then lived in obscurity to die years later

(2) The difficulties described

(a) Jesus would have had to revive sufficiently enough to:

(i) Break through the burial garments that bound Him,

(ii) including a hundred pounds of spices used in preparing His body for burial - Jn 19:38-40

(iii) Roll away the large stone that sealed the tomb

(iv) Fight off the Roman guards protecting the tomb

(v) Walk the seven miles to Emmaus where He was seen by the two disciples

(vi) Walk back to Jerusalem where He was seen by the apostles All within the same day!

(3) Every effort was made to prove He was dead

(a) The Roman soldiers at the cross pierced His side

(b) Pilate made sure He was dead - Mk 15:43-45

(4) Not only would this make the apostles liars and frauds, but Jesus also for allowing a lie to spread for years!

3. The Vision Hypothesis

(1) The theory explained

(a) All of Christ’s post-resurrection appearances were only supposed appearances

(b) Those who claimed to see Jesus had hallucinations

(2) The difficulties described

(a) The appearances were not just to individuals, one at a time

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