Christianity stands or falls on the truth or otherwise of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Resurrection has been well termed the Gibraltar of the gospel. The Apostles of Christ recognized the importance of this truth. Paul went so far as to tell the Corinthians that if Christ did not actually rise again from the dead the whole Christian faith was vain, empty, worthless. Furthermore, he said that if Christ did not rise from the dead, the Apostles would have been liars and false prophets, for they testified that they had actually seen, touched and spoken with him and had received His teaching in the interval between His Resurrection and His Ascension.
Not only the Apostles recognized the central importance of the Resurrection of Christ to Christianity. So did the Jews. And so did the devil. Thus, ever since, there has been an unremitting campaign to discredit the truth of the Resurrection. Rationalists have attacked it as mythical, for, say they, dead people just don't rise from the dead. We all know that, but that does not for a moment give any logical reason to disbelieve that God, who sent His Son into the world to die for sinners, could raise Him from the dead as a proof of His divine person and mission.
The tomb that Jesus occupied lies outside Jerusalem. After three days occupancy, He left it as He rose again from the dead. However, every now and again someone claims to have found the tomb of the Lord Jesus. Allegedly, it has been found as far away from the Holy Land as the Himalayas! Of course, it is all imaginary. Last year the Discovery Channel aired a documentary about a tomb unearthed by archeologists in 1980 that its discoverer claims to be the tomb of Jesus. The report by a Jewish "investigative reporter" stated that the in tomb a crypt was found containing what were said to be the ossuaries of Joseph, Mary, Jesus, the son of Joseph, Mariamne and Judah, son of Jesus. To make the report a little spicier, the film makers speculated that "Mariamne" could have been Mary Magdalene and that Jesus could have been married to her.
Not surprisingly, Christians and academics slammed the film. However, recently Time magazine reported that Princeton Theological Seminary Professor James Charlesworth, organized a conference in Jerusalem, bringing together over 50 archeologists, statisticians and experts in DNA, ceramics and ancient languages, to give evidence as to whether or not the crypt of Christ had been found. The vast majority of these "experts" canned the idea that they were dealing with Jesus' coffin. I know that DNA is a marvelous investigative tool but its use here to "prove" that a certain coffin or bunch of bones belonged to Jesus of Nazareth is a crazy attempt to lend a pseudo-scientific appearance to prejudice or opinion.
Charlesworth, a Methodist minister, thinks that if this is the tomb of Jesus and his wife and son, Christians should rejoice at evidence that He really existed! Now there's liberalism run absolutely mad. The truth is that all the names used were extremely common names in Judea at the time of Jesus. Some think it statistically improbable that all the names should be found together. Actually, there are just three names on the ossuaries that coincide with the Gospels' accounts-Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. Mariamne and Judah the son of Jesus do not appear in the story of our Saviour. The appearance of three common names in one family is a poor basis for attacking the truth of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. This time the Discovery Channel discovered nothing more than the enduring prejudice of Jews against the Lord Jesus and of liberal apostates against the supernatural elements of the gospel. Some discovery!