Summary: 5th in 5 part Series using the popular TV show, CSI, to investigate the death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ.
THE EXONERATION: Jesus Overcomes All
CSI: Murder of God - Week 6
INTRODUCTION: (Intro mpeg to CSI:31)
That song “Who are you” really came into play in an episode of CSI just a week or so ago called “Spellbound.” Gil Grissom and Greg Sanders are investigating what seems to be a supernatural case of a psychic who during a “reading” sees murder and then becomes the murder victim. Two girls, Lori and Ann Leah, who received the victim’s reading are the ones that actually find the Psychic murdered. It’s puzzling that these girls would call in the crime because they had been involved in another murder case years ago. But the case is not as simple as just two girls becoming violent because they didn’t like their reading. Fingerprints are found that lead the team to a vegetarian restaurant deliverer by the name of Reese Billingham. Could he have murdered the victim because of an unpaid dinner bill? Then, a retired cop inserts himself in the case and tells CSI that one Gordon Wallace is involved because he also saw the pyshic and this officer believes Wallace not only killed the psychic but also his wife 15 years ago. As you can tell, the case is extremely complicated with a lot of plot twists and multiple suspects. Of course the CSI Team solves the crime in about 30 minutes, counting 10 to arrest the murderer and 20 minutes for commercials.
Well, as we come to the conclusion of our real life case of the murder of Jesus Christ, we too have multiple suspects and a number of complexities. Murder? Oh yes, the Roman crucifixion is just the tool to culminate a complex conspiracy that kills an innocent man. But this crime not only has multiple suspects, it ends with some wild twists. Those that killed Jesus Christ were convinced that His death had sealed their scheme. The plot, hatched by the Religious leaders, helped by Judas, promoted by Caiaphas and finally agreed to by Pilate, had been thought successfully completed when a stone was rolled over the entrance to the tomb that held the body of Jesus Christ. But on the third day after His burial the tomb is found empty! So, today, as we close this case not only do we find some surprises but we also discover the most significant event in all of history! Let’s dig in.
I. CLOSING THE CASE:
First, let’s see how those we believe to be guilty of this crime reacted to the death of the one they hated so badly. It’s very interesting to watch the demeanor of our suspects. Because the opposition to Jesus remained as strong after His death as it did before. The religious leaders were well acquainted with Jesus’ teaching. Ironically, they may have understood some of the things Jesus said better then Jesus’ own disciples. They knew that Jesus has said that He would rise the third day, they just refused to believe it!
Knowing what Jesus taught about his resurrection they go to Pilate and say in Matt. 27:63- "Sir, we remember that while that liar was still alive he said, ‘I will be raised to life three days later." They had it exactly right. Now, the chief priests and Pharisees don’t believe that Jesus will actually rise again, they think the disciples are going to steal the corpse and say that He rose. So, they placed, what they thought, were three safeguards against that happening. They placed a stone across the entrance of the tomb, they placed a seal across the stone and put a guard of soldiers to make triple sure that no one could steal the body. You know, God is so smart. I mean how ironic, the very things they do are the very things that help validate the resurrection! Now, as investigators of this crime we might very well see this continued animosity as just more evidence that these men certainly hated Jesus enough to make sure he not only was killed but that he stayed dead! In fact, I think we might be just about ready to obtain a warrant for their arrest as the main perpetrators of the murder of Jesus Christ. But then, before we can do that, just 3 days after Jesus’ death, comes a huge legal setback that makes it difficult to think of arresting anyone! We find out that Jesus’ body is gone. The Bible says the discovery happened like this: “The day after the Sabbath day was the first day of the week. At dawn on the first day, Mary Magdalene and another woman named Mary went to look at the tomb. 2Suddenly there was a violent earthquake. An angel of the Lord came down from heaven, went to the tomb, and rolled the stone away from the entrance. Then he sat on the stone. 3He was shining as bright as lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The soldiers guarding the tomb shook with fear because of the angel, and fell into a dead faint. 5The angel said to the women, ‘Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was nailed to the cross. 6He is not here. He has risen from the dead just as he said he would.’” (Mt. 28:1-6) Now, how are investigators supposed to make an arrest without a corpse? You see, any investigator or criminal lawyer will know the term “corpus delicti. It literally means “body of the offense” but in a homicide case it often refers to the body, the dead body. It’s not impossible, but it’s extremely difficult to make a case of murder without the corpse. And in this case it’s not just a missing body but there are people saying that they’ve seen Jesus alive.