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What happened to Jesus' body?

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Introduction

Salma Aftab What happened to Jesus' body? The explanations to what happened to Jesus body are numerous. In this essay I intend to examine some of those theories and their credibility. In addition I will try to anayalse how Luke presents these theories. For this we may turn to Corinthians again and consider what Paul writes of resurrection body, "So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body." With these thoughts in mind we can therefore consider some of the more dramatic events surrounding the resurrection of Jesus. From the Gospels it is of course quite clear that the body of Jesus had undergone a quite remarkable change. Consider the closing verses of Luke's Gospel, the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus. Jesus came and walked with them but they didn't recognise him. And at verse 31 we read, "then their eyes were opened and they recognised him and he disappeared from their sight." And later at verse 36, "while they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." They were startled and frightened thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them," Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! ...read more.

Middle

The hallucination theory also fails to explain one other fact, which is the empty tomb. It has been claimed that Jesus did not actually die on the cross at all. However scholars such as 5Morris and 6Drane have largely disputed this. Firstly, Jesus was almost dead when He was put on the cross. The beating He had received was one that could kill a man, and He was so damaged by it He was unable to carry the cross all the way. It was impossible to survive the crucifixion, and Jesus was already nearly dead before He was put on the cross. Secondly, the Romans were professional executioners. They could clearly identify a dead body. Furthermore, a soldier would be killed for failing to kill someone as ordered - it was not something that they took chances with. Thirdly, this was a high profile political execution. The supposed criminal was a popular leader and had been tried in front of both the Roman and Jewish authorities. The Jews and the Roman authorities would have been sure that this political threat would surely meet his end. Fourthly, the evidence is that He was really dead. When the spear was pushed into His side, out came blood and water - plasma. This happens after death, when the blood has ceased to circulate, and the red cells have separated from the blood plasma. Most significantly it has been argued that, the body was bound in grave cloth wrapped tight - and left sealed into a cold and damp tomb. ...read more.

Conclusion

However his theory is very much dependant on faith than on physical facts. Finally, the resurrection of Christ is central to the Christian faith. Without it, there is no Christianity. Paul says, "if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain" In conclusion it is important to consider Luke's understanding of the event. According to Scott Knight Luke and Acts is a transitional piece. The text focuses on the distinction between reality and doubt. The evidence is always met with doubt. Luke appears to be pointing out that no amount of evidence will be convincing until your heart is opened and you have faith. According to Conzleman Luke uses he key term remember to link the past, present with future. This is device for the reader's faith to awaken. Luke presents his information in a historical way. He names key witness and places. This emphasises the reality of the resurrection. Luke constantly tries to show the reader the divine intervention that is taking place during the passion narrative. It is impossible to recognise Jesus until he approaches you. 24:10. "They were blind...then they could see". Finally although no one theory has been able to provide sufficient detail in order to cover all aspects it appears that Luke is most certainly trying to portray that Jesus has risen from the dead. The gospel is written as a theological account therefore to a large extent the answer to what happened to Jesus' body is dependant on faith. 1 Campbell 2 Drane 3 Wilson 4 Guy 5 Morris 6 Drane 1999 7 Drane 8 Campbell 9 Campbell ...read more.

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