SCEPTIC.INFO Free your mind - question!
SCEPTIC.INFO Free your mind - question!
Does Jesus' Resurrection give us hope or not?
The Church says with the gospellers that Jesus’ return from the dead was his main miracle and his credential that the Devil was not behind him. But the gospels fail to give any eyewitness proof that it was really Jesus who was crucified. We don’t know all about the circumstances so we cannot say that resurrection is even the best explanation of the data. Yet if you judge somebody the Church will say there are complications you know nothing about. Why then does it deny that there are none with the resurrection. Some resurrection when a know it – all arrogance is required to believe in it! Remember what Jesus said about good fruits!
Some point to the gospel of Mark which speaks of the good news of the coming kingdom of God and the need for repentance and this must be the good news referred to by the risen Jesus when he tells the eleven to go and preach the good news to all creation. It is significant that the gospel never says the resurrection is the good news or a big part of it. In fact the signs that will follow believers are listed as the gift of tongues, the power to handle snakes safely and be immune to poison and cure the sick but they are absent which must indicate that today's Christians are not true believers. If Jesus is the real deal it does not mean that Christianity is the real deal.
Like all Christians, you see from the Bible that if Jesus committed any moral or doctrinal error in his teaching, that his resurrection simply could not be from God. It happened because it was for backing up the teaching of Christ as being from God. Yet no religion attributes absurd doctrines to Jesus more than the Catholic Church and it blames Jesus for them. If the Catholics believe that these doctrines comprise pure Christianity then they should abandon the resurrection.
Christianity attempts to argue that the message of Jesus' resurrection gives us something to hope for. We can hope to be like him and enjoy an immortal body that has supernatural powers and that suffers frailty no more for all eternity. This is something Christians have invented to make the doctrine more appealing. None of that is clearly in the Bible.
The danger with making the doctrine so attractive is that it can lead to people thinking they believe in the resurrection for they are carried away by the wish that it is true. They get unduly biased. And the Church has succeeded in brainwashing its most vulnerable and committed members.
The Gospel of Mark say that Jesus gave some religious people the power to raise the dead. Then how do you know God raised Jesus? How do you know that these people who raised the dead were really given the power by Jesus? What if they had it anyway? What if they were fooled into thinking that Jesus gave them the power? What if one of them raised Jesus?
People are drawn to the idea of a saviour man who died and who was raised to perfect glory, health, happiness and immortality. The risk of wishful thinking is tremendous. The person who believes in a version of the resurrection that is less attractive - eg a Jesus who lives forever but has a body like ours and who has to be medically treated in Heaven to keep him alive - would be more believable if they presented the case for the resurrection.
The Bible says Jesus will never die again. This does not prove that Jesus is being said to be immortal. God could preserve a mortal body from death by keeping disease and other things away from it. It could be mortal in itself but the protection lavished on it keeps it from ageing and dying. And the assertion that Jesus will never die raises the question, "How do you know?" And the question, "Did he say that?" "Did he appear decades after to show that he was still alive?" And only one line says Jesus is immortal and that in passing! Why do we get more information in the gospels on things such as Jesus telling the Pharisees and scribes off for not stoning disobedient sons than on the resurrected body and why resurrection even matters?
There is no point in a man rising from the dead to show that death can be overcome forever when we don’t know if he lived for long after rising. The resurrection stories only speak about the return of Jesus and only speculate that he will never die again. What use is that? It is not rising from the dead that matters but being alive forever. The Christian preacher and evangelist is cruelly and craftily peddling false hope and lies.
The Isaiah prophecy, said to predict the resurrection of Jesus, says only he will have a long life if he suffers for sinners. Nobody in the prophet's day thought he meant long as in everlasting life!
The Bible says Jesus is glorious. This refers to his goodness rather than his beauty. When Jesus supposedly went to Emmaus with two men he looked ordinary.
The Bible reportedly says Jesus can get through walls. It does not say that. It just says he sometimes emerged and nobody knew where he came from. Jesus is said to have really eaten fish. Sounds very solid and material.
The Christians of a liberal bent tend to think of the resurrection body of Jesus as more of a spirit than a body. They may even call it the spiritual body. Some say that we are talking about the resurrection of persons not necessarily bodies. This group says its faith will be untouched should Jesus' bones turn up.
Yet they will argue that the resurrection doctrine refutes reincarnation. If the resurrection body is that spiritual then clearly somebody having billions of reincarnations and then rising from the dead in one spiritual body is not a problem. If it is the resurrection of the person that matters not the body, then they should stop contending against reincarnation.
Paul the apostle despite saying the gospel was nothing more than the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ talked as if the cross and death of Jesus was all that ultimately mattered. He saw the death as somehow being the sacrifice for the sins of others. He said he wanted to know nothing but Jesus crucified.
The Christians noticed that it is hard to see how the resurrection could be important if it was merely the miracle of a man coming back from the dead. It would be like the miracle happened and was reported just for propaganda purposes and without much concern for our spiritual development. Miracles are just vulgar shows of power unless they function as inspirational invitations help us open our hearts to the transforming power of the divine. Jesus did not rise again to tend dying babies and to bring clothes to lepers. Thus his resurrection can appeal to the vain who want to live forever more than they want to help others and be inspired to humanitarian heroism.
The Christians have reinvented the resurrection to make a philosophy of comfort and spirituality out of it. This was not in the original tale. Clearly the New Testament sees the resurrection as a historical event. The authors did not have the perspicacity to turn it into a powerful religious weapon.
Anything that got converts just by being a show of magic is impossible to connect with spiritually. It shows the mentality of the times. Miracles that do not keep the focus on inner peace and inner transformation are just invitations to bigotry and religious superstition.
The resurrection is a very off-putting meaningless miracle when it's just a man going about after his death. That should not affect our lives any more than it would if Jesus lived and went on a holiday to Mexico. Indeed it would be disgusting for Christians to emphasise something that was really no more than a display of supernatural power that showed no concern for helping us to be better people. The theologians say all that - fair dues.
There is nothing exceptional about Christians. They do evil as much as anybody else does. I would add that to harm a person is bad enough but to think you also offend a wonderful God when you harm makes your intentions worse. Makes you more likely to give up trying to be a better person through frustration. So belief in God makes the heart darker and more evil. But that aside, the resurrection miracle has not made it possible for Christians to love better. It has not made it probable that they will love better. A miracle that fails in these two things is not intended to improve us but it is solely about God flexing his muscles. It's vulgar and insulting. It shows a propensity to superstition and malice. Why should we respect the miracle of the resurrection even if it were evidentially convincing?
No matter what the gospels say about what happened after Jesus died, they forget to tell us if the testimonies were eyewitnessed ones or inspired ones. What is the difference? In religious experience, visionaries find that it takes time afterwards to get inspiration about what happened and why and what it communicated. We need not assume that they meet a being just like you and me and talk and then record it. The accounts speak of struggles to absorb what God was trying to convey. We are not told the process by how anybody decided what was real about the experiences and what was not. We are not told how they got the experiences. We know from Mormon history that Smith and his cronies found that getting visions and revelations and learning how to communicate them in an appealing way was very difficult.
The resurrection of Jesus is only important as a puzzle. It does not give our lives meaning any more than Jesus eating an apple would. Christianity is not based on resurrection of Jesus to a glorious eternal and danger free life. No account describes Jesus that way. It's read into the data by fantasists. He never said he couldn't get ill anymore. Moses and Elijah are described as glorious resurrected beings at transfiguration. Yet Jesus resurrection which never mentions glorious is stressed. They were the "wrong" kind of Jews for the new faith.
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