Referring to Luke (what do you expect from a former Methodist-educated bloke like me), after the crucifixion the women close to Jesus carried spices to the sepulchre before dawn.
The Good Book also said prior to their arrival an angel frightened the guards at the sepulchre away by demonstrating frightening light display (neon or strobe lights?), and then rolled away the stone that sealed the tomb, and waited for Jesus’ womenfolk to arrive.
I wonder, while waiting for the girls, he/she (angels were supposed to be androgynous) crossed his/her legs and rested his/her elbows on the knees while cupping the chin in his/her hands a la Rodin's Thinker?
There is a book called “Who moved the stone?” or words to that effect. It was written by a lawyer who ‘saw the light’ (not the angel’s but in a religious sense). I was informed he wrote that book to argue the case for the Resurrection along legal lines.
A young Chinese preacher offered me that book when he was trying (initially most enthusiastically) to convert me. We had a chit-chat about the Bible. Let’s just say by the end of that day, he was pissed off with me and gave up on my salvation.
When one of his flock asked him about my views (that person was present when I was debating with the dear Reverend, and later related to me what the pastor said) the preacher replied: “the Devil speaks through him”, the ‘him’ being me – kid you not!
Anyway, Mary Magdalene, Mary mum of Jesus, and Salome (Jesus sis – I read a book by an historian-archaeologist who said Mary had three hubbies and several children) approached the sepulchre and saw, goodness, the stone was rolled back. BTW, 'twas Mark who said this, because the ladies that good old Luke wrote as going to the tomb numbered 12, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Susanna.
OK, without getting bogged down by apostolic differences the ladies saw the angel at the sepulchre, who waved grandly towards the empty tomb and flamboyantly proclaimed to them the obvious, the Resurrection.
He/she told them to go forth and … no, not multiply but ... spread the good word to Peter - the one who thrice denied Christ 'ere the cock crowed – yea and all that stuff, including a promise that they would see Jesus again in Galilee.
OK, there were also other incidents that convinced the disciples that Jesus had arisen. In those days, angels weren’t so shy and appeared a number of times to the disciples.
The Man himself appeared to Peter so the latter couldn’t possibly deny the Resurrection. In fact Jesus was said to appear to all the apostles with the sole exception of KTe … er … I mean … doubting Thomas. In fact Jesus even ate a fish and some honeycomb in their company.
I remember this because my school principal ‘helped’ me (ouch, yes sir) not to forget Luke 24:36-43.
But the above belief is now threatened by a recent claim that in a 2000-year old cave (burial chamber) found 26 years ago in Jerusalem's Talpiyot neighbourhood, there were 10 stone coffins containing the remains (bones) of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and their son Judah.
one of the coffinsThat Jesus and Mary Magdalene were an item has been debated regularly and openly for the last several decades in countless documentaries and non-fiction books (eg. Holy Blood & Holy Grail), with the best known book being, unfortunately, a work of fiction (I won’t name it ‘cause if you don’t know what I am referring to, you must have been sleeping for the last twenty years).
Of the 10 ossuaries, six have inscriptions which carry the names ‘Jesus son of Joseph’,’Mara’ (Maria Magdalene) and ‘Judah son of Jesus’. Of course, these are translations.
OK, here’s where the mystery deepens. One of the ossuaries went missing. The human remains inside were destroyed before any DNA testing could be carried out.
This is not the first time such a naughty thing had happened. The historian-archaeologist that I mentioned earlier also related another incident where bones that could have reveal interesting stuff disappeared inexplicably.
Most people who follow this sort of incidents suspect Israeli officials had intervened to prevent any incriminating evidence from coming out that would threaten Christian beliefs.
Now, you may think it strange that rightwing Israelis and Jews who dislike (even hate) the Christians immensely would bother to protect Christian beliefs, a religion founded on the teachings of what followers of Judaism consider to be an apostate heretic.
It’s all about politics, where the survival and viability of Israel depend on the support of the American Christian Right. And the beliefs of the American Christian Right, which motivate them to support the ‘Land where Hebrews walk again for the Second Coming’ of Christ, must be protected.
Perhaps that’s why it took years before the discovered ancient scrolls were released to international scholars. The Israelis and Catholic Church had first stab at the research and translation, working together in secrecy prior to the release, who knows, maybe to ‘vet’ those scrolls.
The new discovery of the Jesus' bones is being made into a document called The Burial Cave of Jesus by James Cameron, the director of Titanic, while a book on its discovery is about to be published. Look out for The Jesus Tomb by Simcha Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino in Singapore or Haadyai because our wonderful government would probably ‘protect’ us from it.