Jesus’s Empty Tomb
We are going to chase Jesus down this rabbit hole of history till we uncover the Jesus that walked the earth, loved God with all his heart, all his soul, all his thoughts, and all his may, and taught us to adhere to him on the journey to ecstasy that he shared with “Abba” (God).
In the final episode, we explored some of the similarities among the teachings of Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr. each Jesus and MLK had been the founders of a good movement, taught social reform, non-violence, and enjoy of God and our fellow man. The singular distinction among these two males, who taught in an practically identical way, and had followers that loved them with all their hearts, can be summed up in a single word—resurrection! Numerous of the followers of Jesus believed that they “saw” him immediately after he died the followers of MLK did not.
But, what does that imply? What did that imply to the original Apostles and disciples? What did that imply to Paul, and what did that imply to later followers? Did it transform more than the decades?
There had been a lot of apocalyptic preachers through the initial century in Judea and Israel some had thousands of followers, some had been hailed as the extended-awaited Jewish messiah, some had been purported to have performed miracles, and some had been even killed and crucified by the Romans, but only a single teacher became the founder of a new religion that changed the globe, and that was the a single who was named Jesus. What was the distinction among the other “messiahs” and Jesus?
It was the belief of the original followers that Jesus survived the horrible death that he was subjected to. The followers believed that he survived death—but what did that imply to them? Did that imply that they saw him physically (as later Christians believed, and nevertheless think), or was it one thing else, one thing far far more critical to them, and to us nowadays?
Virtually quickly immediately after Jesus died, stories started to be told about his appearances to his Apostles and disciples. The stories that had been told (and recorded in the Gospels) varied. Was it on the road to Galilee as the despondent disciples headed back to their houses (Mark 28:7 Matt. 26:32 and 28:7)? Maybe it was in Jerusalem (Luke 24:13), or could it have been each (John 20:19 and 21:1)? Did 500 see him as Paul says (1st Corinthians 15:six), or was it just his intimate followers as talked about in the Gospels?
No matter, it was Paul’s vision of Jesus that ended up getting the game-changer. He plopped himself down ideal in the middle of history, and interjected himself into the mix. He proclaimed that he had the identical authority as Peter, James (Jesus’ brother) and the other Apostles that had identified Jesus personally (recall, Paul never ever met Jesus!). The Apostles and disciples had lived with Jesus for years traveled the dusty paths with him, watched him minister to these that he encountered, and suffered the slings and arrows from the doubters ideal along with him. It is understandable that some of them didn’t take kindly to Paul’s assumed authority, nor his non-Jewish teachings. And, far more importantly, Paul presumed to inform them that he was not only equal to them, but also superior to them when it came to telling the globe what Jesus and God’s wishes had been for the globe.
Paul’s only make contact with with the disciples had been two weeks with Peter and James (I “met with James, our Lord’s brother”), but this occurred at least 3 years immediately after obtaining had his vision of Jesus—he says himself that they had been the only two disciples that he met with in Jerusalem on his initial trip. It was through this initial meeting that he discovered all that he was to know about Jesus the man, but he boldly states, “Let me make it clear, mates, the message I announced does not conform to human expectation. I say this simply because it was not transmitted to me by any one nor did any one teach it to me. Rather, it came to me as an insight from God about Jesus as God’s Anointed.” Gal. 1:17-19 Wow! That is really a statement. In his thoughts, it was he, and he alone, that had the “true” connection with Jesus and God. It was he alone that knew what God and Jesus wanted of their followers. It was he alone who knew the heart and thoughts of not only Jesus, but God himself. He alone was privy to the expertise of what it took to gain—and lose—salvation. It is difficult for us to fully grasp how critical this observation is to understanding the Christianity that we all inherited but far more importantly, to our understanding of Jesus, who would come to be the Messiah to billions.
Paul ripped Jesus out of his homeland, moved him into the Greco-Roman globe, and elevated Jesus to a complete new level to match the demands and expectations of that globe, exactly where Paul taught and competed each day with the gods of his listeners. His letters and tireless teachings in a lot of nations became the game altering occasion. Without the need of Paul—who wrote about his vision, his philosophy, and his beliefs about Jesus the Messiah—I seriously doubt if we would have Christianity, as we know it nowadays. The explanation is just that the other Apostles wrote nothing at all, at least nothing at all that we know of and conversely, Paul wrote copiously. His a lot of letters ended up getting copied more than and more than, transmitted from a single group of Christians to a further, getting study then, and for generations that followed. I say once more, if we hadn’t had Paul, we wouldn’t have Christianity as we know it today—period.
It is not such a stretch to make that proclamation, for Paul’s account was the initial written account we have which describes what he (and other people) believed inside the initial handful of decades immediately after Jesus died (note the time-line). When Paul talks about the resurrected Jesus, he didn’t imply a physical man. He didn’t meet a physical particular person (Jesus) on the way to Damascus, it was a vision of Jesus that he saw. It was a Jesus that was beyond time and space how else could he seem to Paul and the other people? He met Jesus in the identical way that I met Jesus thousands of years later, on the beach in 1982 that I describe in my book, The Disciple. It instantaneously changed his life—as nicely as mine.