Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News
Feb. 25, 2007 — New scientific evidence, including DNA analysis conducted at one of the world's foremost molecular genetics laboratories, as well as studies by leading scholars, suggests a 2,000-year-old Jerusalem tomb could have once held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth and his family. The findings also suggest that Jesus and Mary Magdalene might have produced a son named Judah. The DNA findings, alongside statistical conclusions made about the artifacts — originally excavated in 1980 — open a potentially significant chapter in Biblical archaeological history.
Potentially significant? Yes, I would say "yes, that would be potentially significant."
Let's see what St. Paul says about this stuff: "If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, your faith." (that's the potentially significant part) "...For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins." (1 Corinthians 13-17)
I don't know about you, but I don't want to be still in my sins. I don't like my sins. I don't think you want to be stuck in your sins with no power to escape either.
Back to this news bit about "Jesus' Tomb"
A documentary presenting the evidence, "The Lost Tomb of Jesus," will premiere on the Discovery Channel on March 4 at 9 p.m. EST. On their website, they post some murky "theological considerations" that try to wiggle through this pretty controversial piece:
From the Discovery Channel - Resurrection: It is a matter of Christian faith that Jesus of Nazareth was resurrected from the dead three days after his crucifixion circa 30 C.E. This is a central tenet of Christian theology, repeated in all four Gospels. The Lost Tomb of Jesus does not challenge this belief.
(ok, how's that work)
In the Gospel of Matthew (28:12) it states that a rumor was circulating in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. This story holds that Jesus' body was moved by his disciples from the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, where he was temporarily buried. Ostensibly, his remains were taken to a permanent family tomb. Though Matthew calls this rumor a lie circulated by the high priests, it appears in his Gospel as one of the stories surrounding Jesus’ disappearance from the initial tomb where he was buried. Even if Jesus' body was moved from one tomb to another, however, that does not mean that he could not have been resurrected from the second tomb. Belief in the resurrection is based not on which tomb he was buried in, but on alleged sightings of Jesus that occurred after his burial and documented in the Gospels.
(OK, there's loads of twisted speculation there)
Ascension: It is also a matter of Christian faith that after his resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven. Some Christians believe that this was a spiritual ascension, i.e., his mortal remains were left behind.
(Who? Wha'? What Christians are these?)
Other Christians believe that he ascended with his body to heaven. If Jesus’ mortal remains have been found, this would contradict the idea of a physical ascension but not the idea of a spiritual ascension. The latter is consistent with Christian theology."
(Uh... no, that would NOT be consistent with Christian theology even a little bit.)
This is fun. We're talking about Jesus in the media again! I haven't had so much fun defending Crucified Love since the DaVinci Code! Remember that one?
Tomorrow's post we will unpack why it is so KEY that Jesus REALLY physically rose from the dead, and how that rising in His BODY is what saves us, remakes us, redeems, and resurrects us. It's all about the BODY, America. It's all about the BODY! I'll share my favorite John Updike poem too. Who's excited out there? I'm excited! This is what it's all about! I wish we had cable so we could watch the Discovery Channel. No I don't.
"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried."
- G. K. Chesterton