One belief that is omnipresent in Christian thought is the belief of resurrection of Jesus after he had ‘died’ on the cross. This is one of the sacrosanct beliefs in the Christion religion and no devout will ever question this belief. To question this belief is blasphemey and in earlier times merited the death penalty. But those days are over and scholars can study this aspect of history as well. There are some scientists who have presented a contrary thought that Jesus did not die on the cross but survived and lived to a ripe old age.
One man who claims that he was the Mahdi and founded the Ahmadiyya faith, Ghulam Ahmed in his writings has brought forth the view that Jesus did not die on the cross and travelled to Kashmir and lived there. The tomb at Rozabal with distinct Jewish features in down town Srinagar is claimed by many to be the tomb of Jesus Christ. Many others have also made similar claims.
With so many writers claiming that Jesus did not die on the cross, there is a need to rebut these theories. This has been done by Dr William lane Craig.
Dr Craig has done extensive research in this field and his conclusions are unambiguous. Firstly Dr Craig believes that one need not go entirely by what Paul says. Paul in contrast to the gospels says that the resurrection of Jesus was not a physical phenomenon. Dr Lane feels that Paul was too close to the event and as such may have been influenced by extraneous matters. Who is Dr William Craig? He is a research fellow at the Talbot school of Theology in La Miranda, California. Dr Craig has thought to rebut the theory that Jesus did not die on the cross and hence the resurrection as believed by Christian did not take place
Dr lane after years of research has concluded that the resurrection of Jesus was a materialistic fact and he reappeared in flesh and blood. It was not something ephemeral. It was certainly not a visionary experience as can be interpreted from Paul.
Dr lane brings forth the following points. He says
a) Jesus appeared to his disciples on 4 occasions.
b) He appeared to Peter
c) He then appeared to his 12 disciples
d) He followed up by appearing before 500 of his disciples.
e) Lastly he materialized before his younger brother James.
The most surprising was his appearance to James who did not think that Jesus was an apostle of God. Dr Lane also points out that the body of Jesus was interred in the tomb. This was known to the Jews and Christians. When the tomb was opened the body was not there and Jews explained that the body was stolen as the guards may have fallen asleep. This is a most unlikely scenario.
Dr Lane concludes that the resurrection was a reality as a) the tomb was empty b) the body could not have been stolen. He opines that this was a miracle and an act of god and the Resurrection did take place. This is the foundation of the Christian faith.
Dr William Lane Craig
( This article is for discussion and soon I shall present a contrary view)