True skeptics, as opposed to cynics, are interested in evidence. An editorial in the magazine Cética entitled “What is a skeptic?”, Presented the following definition: “Skepticism is… the prevalence of reason over any idea, without exception to the rule. In other words ... skeptics do not go into an investigation when there is no possibility that the phenomenon is real and that the belief is true. When we claim that we are “skeptical,” we mean that we want to see convincing evidence before we believe it. ”
Unlike Russel and Crossan, many true skeptics investigated the evidence for Jesus' resurrection. In this article, we'll get in touch with some of them and see how they analyzed the evidence of what is perhaps the most important question in the history of the human race: Did Jesus really rise the dead?
Before his death, Jesus told his disciples that he would be betrayed, arrested and crucified, and that he would return to life three days later. This plan is, to say the least, strange! What was behind this? Jesus was no artist trying to act according to the audience's wishes. On the contrary, he promised that His death and resurrection would prove to everyone (if their minds and hearts were open) that He was indeed the expected Messiah.
Biblical researcher Wilbur Smith claimed about Jesus:
“When He said that He Himself would rise the dead, on the third day after He was crucified, He claimed something that only a madman would dare to say, if he still expected the devotion of some disciple, unless he was sure it would happen. No founder of any religion in the world known to man has ever dared to make a similar claim. ”
In other words, as Jesus clearly told his disciples that he would return after his death, failure to keep that promise would expose him as a fraud. But we're going too fast. How did Jesus die before (if it really did) rise the dead?
A terrible death and then. . . ?
You know how the last hours of Jesus' earthly life were like watching the movie of the road warrior / brave heart Mel Gibson. If you missed part of the film The Passion of Christ because you were covering your eyes (it would be easier if it had been shot with a red camera filter), just flip through the last pages of any of the New Testament gospels to find what you missed .
As Jesus predicted, he was betrayed by one of his own disciples, Judas Iscariot, and was arrested. In a mock trial before Roman governor Pontius Pilate, He was found guilty of treason and sentenced to die on a wooden cross. Before being nailed to the cross, Jesus was beaten brutally by a Roman “cat with nine tails”, a whip made with the ends of bones and metal that was intended to tear the flesh. He was slapped repeatedly, kicked and spat.
Then, using hammers, the Roman executioners drove the heavy wrought iron nails into Jesus' fists and feet. Finally, they erected the cross in a hole in the ground, between two other crosses, convicted thieves were found.
Jesus hung for about six hours. Then, at three o'clock in the afternoon, that is, at exactly the same time that the Passover lamb was being sacrificed as a sin offering (there is a bit of symbolism there, don't you agree?) - Jesus shouted "It is finished" (in Aramaic) and died. Suddenly, the sky went dark and an earthquake shook the earth.
Pilate wanted proof that Jesus was dead before allowing his crucified body to be buried. Thus, a Roman guard pierced a side of Jesus with a spear. The mixture of blood and water that he poured was a clear indication that Jesus was dead. Jesus' body was taken the cross and buried in the tomb that belonged to José de Arimateia. Roman guards then sealed the tomb and watched it 24 hours a day.
In the meantime, Jesus' disciples were in shock. Dr. J. P. Moreland explains how devastated and confused they were after Jesus' death on the cross. “They were no longer confident that Jesus had been sent by God. They had also been taught that God would not allow their Messiah to suffer death. Scattered. Jesus' movement ended at that moment. ”
All hope was gone. Rome and the Jewish leaders had prevailed, at least, it seemed.