Have Archeologists Really Found the Lost Tomb and the Body of Jesus?
According to the Discovery Channel, archeologists have found the lost tomb of Jesus. On March 28, 1980, a construction crew working in the Talpiot region of Jerusalem uncovered an ancient tomb thought to date back to the first century. The site was surveyed and excavated by the Israeli Antiquities Authority.
Ten ossuaries (limestone bone boxes) were recovered from the tomb. It was a common practice in those days to put a body in a tomb for about a year. When the decomposing process was complete, the bones would then be placed in a much smaller box and buried permanently in a family tomb.
According to the Discovery Channel report – “New scientific evidence, including DNA analysis conducted at one of the world’s foremost molecular genetics laboratories, as well as studies by leading scholars, suggest 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.”
If that were true, then the resurrection of Jesus Christ would be proved false. Christ Himself would be a nothing more than a liar and deceiver because He claimed – “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” Gospel of John 11:25
So what is the truth of this matter? If the “scholars” have it right, Christianity will cease.
We should remember that the names “Jesus” and “Mary” were very common names during that time. To this day, the name Jesus is given to many children. Visit Mexico sometime and you will be amazed how many children have that name. The fact that a tomb bore the remains of a Jesus and Mary doesn’t prove anything.
We should also take into account that there were many enemies of the teachings of Jesus’ resurrection. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the tomb was so labeled as that of Jesus and Mary in order to create great confusion to later generations.
The most reliable investigation will have to examine the evidence from ancient history and the eyewitness accounts found in the Biblical account:
We would expect the followers of Jesus to give positive testimony of His resurrection. After all, they cannot really be considered objective witnesses.
Probably the most reliable witness would be from either an impartial party or even one that was a critic of the teaching of the Resurrected Christ. That witness and his written testimony appear in the person of a Jewish Pharisee named Saul of Tarsus. Saul was a zealous persecutor of the early church. He was present when a believer by the name of Stephen was stoned in Jerusalem as we read in Acts chapter 8 – “And they cast him (Stephen) out of the city, and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.” A few verses later, we discover – “And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad, throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria . . . “ Acts 8:1
Rabbi Saul continued to lead in the persecution of the early Christians and we read in the 9th chapter of Acts – And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.” Acts 9:1-2
It was while on the journey to arrest believers in Damascus that Saul had a remarkable experience. He saw a bright light that blinded him for three days. He also heard a voice from heaven as he fell to the ground. He saw the resurrected and glorified Christ and was immediately converted to faith in the Who claimed to be the Son of God. “And immediately he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said: Is not this he that destroyed them who called on this name in Jerusalem, and came here for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?”
Saul of Tarsus, the one time enemy of Christ and His followers, became the most vocal witness of the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. His testimony was given to the believers in Corinth as they grappled with the truth of the resurrection:
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures, And that He was seen of Cephas (Peter), then of the twelve. After that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain unto this present time, but some are fallen asleep. After that, He was seen of James; then, of all the apostles. And last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-9
Saul of Tarsus was truly one of the most dynamic witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection. The one who fervently opposed the teaching was miraculously transformed when he personally encountered Jesus Christ in His resurrected and glorified state.
Scientists can make all the claims they want to about the bones found in a Jerusalem tomb, but their speculations will never hold the weight of first century witnesses that saw Christ physically resurrected.
The findings of a box of bones in a Jerusalem tomb, does bring up an interesting possibility however.
Imagine, with modern technological advances, that the DNA found became the means of cloning a re-incarnation of whoever the bones were. Media hype could cause millions to regard this cloned person as THE real Jesus . . . a modern version of the old. Some claim that Jesus’ resurrection was just a “spiritual resurrection” and that the finding of His body would not impact the truth of the resurrection. I would disagree with that claim. There is ample evidence that Jesus Christ was physically resurrected and ascended back to heaven. Bible believing Christians look for His physical return to earth one day, perhaps soon. And His return to earth will not be the product of modern science. Jesus Himself even warned us of coming days of great deception – “Then, if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:23-24
I believe, as Jesus warned His disciples, that there will one day be such compelling miracles and “evidence” that Christ is here on earth, that millions of people will be deceived and great confusion will follow. I will chose the Biblical account of Jesus’ resurrection and return instead of anything that is fabricated in the hearts of evil men.
THE LOST TOMB OF JESUS? Whatever modern archeologists have found in a different tomb, it is NOT the bones of the Lord Jesus Christ. His crucified body has been miraculously resurrected and He is alive and well in glory. Someday, perhaps sooner than we think, He will personally return to this earth and “ . . . every knee will bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God, the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11
Each and every person will one day meet Jesus Christ, either as Savior and Lord, or as Judge. I would encourage you to seriously consider the claims of Christ Who said – “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” John 11:25
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but shall have everlasting life.” John 3:16
©2006 Discovery News / Biblical Archeology / Noah's Ark / Chariot Wheels in the Red Sea / Dinosaurs / Ooparts or Out of Place Artifacts / Biblical Prophecy / Creation Science / Fossils / Geology / Native American Rock Art / All of these discoveries confirm the accuracy of the Bible.