Summary: Celebrating Who God is and What He has done is the heart of group worship.
Worship Our Triumphant God
1. This was a monumental week when it comes to modern attacks upon Christianity with the release that a new documentary on the “Jesus Family Tomb” was soon to be presented on the Discovery Channel.
2. What is the Jesus Family Tomb? Has the lost tomb of Jesus Christ been discovered?
Answer: In 1980, in Talpiot (a suburb of Jerusalem), Israel, a construction crew unearthed an ancient tomb. Inside the tomb was discovered ten ossuaries (burial bone boxes). Inscribed on these bone boxes were names. The discovery of the ossuaries was not unusual, as thousands of ancient ossuaries have been discovered in ancient tombs in and around Jerusalem. What was somewhat unusual was the names that were inscribed on the ossuaries: Jesus son of Joseph, Maria, Mariamene, Matthew, Judas son of Jesus, and Jose (likely an abbreviation of Joseph). T
First, before we examine the question biblically, it is important to understand that no influential archaeologist has come forward in agreement with the Jesus Family Tomb project. The curator for anthropology and archeology at the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem from 1972 to 1997, Joe Zias, states that the project “makes a mockery of the archaeological profession.”
Second, the ossuaries cannot conclusively be dated to the 1st century A.D., although they can likely be dated to that approximate time period. Third, there is evidence that the tomb had been disturbed and vandalized.
Some cultural historians estimate that as many as 25% of 1st century Jewish women were named Mary (Miriam). The New Testament confirms this by mentioning six different women named Mary, including three who were prominent in Jesus’ life (Jesus’ mother, Mary Magdalene, and Mary of Bethany). It would not be uncommon for a 1st century Jewish family to have the names Jesus (Yeshua), Mary (Miriam), Joseph, and Judas – as all were very popular Jewish names (due to their background in the Hebrew Scriptures).
Biblically speaking, there are numerous reasons to reject the idea of the Jesus Family Tomb. First, the New Testament consistently states that Jesus’ family was from Nazareth (Matthew 2:13; Luke 2:4,39,51; John 1:45-46). If Jesus’ family had a tomb, it would have very likely been in Nazareth.
Second, the Bible describes Jesus and his adopted father Joseph as carpenters (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3), likely making them financially poor and of a lower social status. The tomb discovered in Talpiot is the tomb of a wealthy family.
Third, the New Testament states that Jesus’ body was buried in a tomb that belonged to Joseph of Arimathea, and that there were witnesses as to where Jesus was buried (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:43-47; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:38-42). Without even considering the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, the New Testament account paints an entirely different account of Jesus, His family, and His burial. Even secular historians and archaeologists view the New Testament gospels as the best existing historical record of the life of Jesus of Nazareth.
Now, let’s get to the crux of the matter. The true motivation of the Jesus Family Tomb project is to deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ. foundation of the Christian faith (see 1 Corinthians chapter 15).
None of the suppositions of the Jesus Family Tomb project can be proven. In fact, the archaeological community is nearly unanimous in condemning the Jesus Family Tomb as a hoax, with no basis in history or archaeology. There is every reason to doubt the claims of the Jesus Family Tomb – archaeologically, historically, and biblically. The Christian faith has nothing to fear from honest and scientific archaeology.
3. Christians serve and worship a living Savior, and time will make this more clear to those who quickly accept anything that might make Christianity seem untrue while refusing to concede discoveries that evidence the truth of God’s Word.
4. And, as Christians gather in Jesus’ name, their intensity is greater when they are being attacked. We are more prone to grow and worship God when we realize that we really are a chosen minority.
5. But, in good times and bad, the church gathers for edification, which simply means being built up in our faith; this occurs in a variety of ways. The idea of teaching and preaching is often associating with edification. So is prayer. Indeed, we can say that edification also includes what we might call “worship.”
6. There are many means to worship God, and today, as we focus in on the Children of Israel and their deliverance across the Red Sea, one of the first things they did was to take time to worship God.
7. They did so through singing, music, and dance. As a matter of fact, Exodus 15 is the first recorded song in Scripture.
MAIN IDEA: Celebrating Who God is and What He has done is the heart of group worship.