Kingdom of Heaven for Arabs

Does Qur’an lie?

“‘BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME, IMMANUEL,’ which translated means, ‘GOD WITH US.’
Who is with us? God was with us and is with us!  But will we be with Him if we are against Him???!!!

TRUE God is ONE


There are millions other gods but

only ONE is ALIVE

01a-globe.jpg

God revealed Himself in Jesus Christ who is Issa al Massih Ibn Allah

Isaiah 9:6. Prophecy about issa Al Massih
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
and the government will rest on his shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

1.jpg Brothers Arabs and Muslims,

If we are discussing with you  crucifixion of Jesus Christ then let me tell you what Qur’an says about Jesus and What Jesus Christ said Himself about Him:

Gospel is not Gospel of apostle Paul. Gospel means Good News that Jesus is alive and we are forgiven by God. Good News from God told by Paul, millions of disciples of Christ and by me to you.

The Muslims claim that both the Old and the New Testaments have been changed, and therefore, the Bible is not trustworthy. For this reason, they believe it was necessary for God to give another book, the Qur’an, in its place. They believe that the Qur’an contains the essence of all the heavenly books, including the Old and New Testaments.

Can the Word of God really be changed?

Brothers, holy Bible is God’s Word.

· If the Bible is God’s Word, how can man change it?

· Isn’t God able to protect His Word from being changed?

· Since the Bible is God’s Word, who are we accusing when we say it’s been changed? Aren’t we accusing God Himself by saying He was not able to protect It from being changed?

· Who changed the Bible?

Just claims that “It was changed,” shows that there is no proof or evidence to support his allegations.

What does the Bible say regarding itself?

Matthew 5:18 (Christ speaking) “…until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

Matthew 24:35 (Christ speaking) “Heaven and earth will pass away,

but My Word will not pass away.”

1 Peter 1 :24, 25

“ All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
But the word of the LORD endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8

2 Timothy 3:16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.”

2 Peter 1 :21 “.. for no prophecy was ever make by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God

What does the Qur’an say about the Bible?

The Qur’an itself does not say the Bible has been changed. In fact, it says that unless one obeys the Torah and the Bible, they are nothing. It mentions the Torah with the Zabur (the Old Testament with the Psalms) and the Injil (which is the New Testament) many times. When the Qur’an was written, it was not claiming the Bible to be changed. Thus, when Islam began in the 6th century, 600 years after Jesus Christ, the Bible was accepted as true!!!

What about the issue of translation?

The Bible we have in our hands today has been translated from the original languages of Hebrew and Greek. Whether it was printed in 1990, 1980, 1970 or 1960, it was translated from the original language. We have a complete Bible that dates back to the third century, 300 years after Christ and 400 years before Islam. It is a complete, original Bible, and we have several of these in existence, one in the museum in London, and another in the Vatican in Rome.

Sorneone may say, “Well, maybe it was changed before the year 300.” We have thousands of original copies of various sections of the Bible that date back to before the year 300. If these pieces were put together, the result would be hundreds, if not thousands of complete Bibles dating back before the year 300, the oldest dating to 100 AD. We know that the first books of the New Testament were written in 40 or 50 AD. Evidence of this may be found in the writings of the Church Fathers, by whom many books and articles were written which also date back to before 100 AD. The entire New Testament, with the exception of five sentences which have nothing to do with theology or doctrine, may be reconstructed from the quotes of it found in these writings. In essence, we have original copies from the same time as the writings of the Apostles who wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Why are there four Gospels rather than just one?

Some Muslims argue that Islam has one Qur’an, while we have four Bibles. It is important to explain that this is not true. While we have what we call the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, these are not divergent accounts, but rather the same story, told from four different points of view. All of these agree concerning the basics of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, and no one book contradicts any of the others. They do not all record all of the events surrounding the life of Jesus, but together with the other Old and New Testament writings, combine to form one Bible, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

What is interesting is that in the days of Christ, the Middle East region in which Christ was born and raised, where He died and was raised from the dead, was under the influence of Greek civilization. The Greek judiciary system required two witnesses before a judge would have a case tried before him regarding events in question. God, in His sovereignty, has given us four witnesses, all of whom are in agreement concerning the events in the life of Christ. II Corinthians 13:1 says, “...EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES.

Finally, the Bible is not a scientific book, but where it mentions science, it is true. It is not a history book, but where it mentions anything historic, it is accurate. It is not a geographic book, but where it mentions geography, it too is always true and accurate. The Bible, as it is today in our hands, is, the true Word of God and is able to stand all tests, research and criticism.

The consistency of God’s revelation

In the mind of a Muslim, God has, over the course of history, established three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is believed that He first sent Moses to establish Judaism, but because the Jews were a stiff-necked, disobedient people, He scattered them all over the world and sent Jesus, the Son of Mary, to establish Christianity. By the fifth century, however, Christianity had become so corrupt that God sent Mohammed to establish Islam, His final revelation. Muslims believe that Islam includes both Judaism and Christianity and say that even Abraham was a Muslim. In their mind, everything is Islam. Muslims, brothers Arabs, note that God was consistent In His revelation, and will continue to be until the end!!!!

God’s primary purpose was not to establish a religion; religions are man-made. Rather, he desired to establish a personal relationship between Himself and man. This is the message of the entire Gospel. The first two chapters of the Bible speak about creation, including that of man and woman. In the third, we read about the fall of man into sin. From the fourth chapter of Genesis, through to the end of the Book of Revelation, God’s Word is talking about Salvation.

There is a very important passage in Genesis chapter 3, verses 14-15, in which God confronts Adam and Eve regarding their sin:

“And the LORD God said to the serpent,
‘Because you have done this,

Cursed are you more than all cattle,

And more than every beast of the field;

On your belly you shall go, And dust shall you eat

All the days of your life;

And I will put enmity between you and the woman,

And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head,

And you shall bruise him on the heel‘”

Muslims believe in the story of Adam and Eve, the creation and the fall. They also believe that Satan appeared in the shape of a serpent and tried to seduce the woman to eat from the fruit, that she fell and ate and that she gave some to her husband. The key point here, however, is God’s promise: the seed of the woman shall bruise the head of Satan. If you ask a Muslim who, from the time of Adam and Eve, until today was actually born only from “a woman and not from a man and woman, they will say, “Jesus“. They know this. Who the seed of the woman? The seed of the women is Jesus Christ! It was God’s promise – that from the seed of woman, He would destroy Satan and redeem man. This promise, given the moment man fell into sin, was fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Look prophesy of prophet in the Old Testament about Jesus:

Isaiah 7:14 “Behold, the virgin shall be found with child and bear a son, and she will call his name Immanuel.”

Isaiah 9:6 “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on his shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Matthew 1 :23 “‘BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME, IMMANUEL,’ which translated means, ‘GOD WITH US.'”

Look here Messianic prophecies and their fulfillment in Christ:

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies

48 Major Prophecies

I.  Prophesies about HUMAN ORIGIN of Messiah

1. Born of the seed of woman; Gen 3:15; Matt 1:20 & Gal 4:4

2. Seed of Abraham; Gen 22:18; Matt 1:1 & Gal 3:1

3. Son of Isaac; Gen 21:12; Luke 3:23,34 & Matt 1:2

4. Son of Jacob; Numbers 24:17; Luke 3:23,34, 1:33 & Matt 1:2

5. From the tribe of Judah; Gen 49:10 & Micah 5:2; Luke 3:23,33 & Matt 1:2 & Heb 7:14

6. From the family line of Jesse; Isaiah 11:1,10; Luke 3:23,32 & Matt 1:6

7. From the house of David; Jeremiah 23:5, 1 Chronicles 17:11-14; Matt 1:1 & Mark 10:47-48 & Luke 3:23,31 & Acts 13:22-23 & Rev 22:16

II. Prophesies about BIRTH of Issa Al Massih

1. Born of a virgin; Isaiah 7:14; Matt 1:18,24,25 & Luke 1:26-35

2. Born at Bethlehem; Micah 5:2; Matt 2:1,4-8 & John 7:42 & Luke 2:4-7

3. People will bring Him gifts; Psalm 72: 10 & Isaiah 60:6; Matt 2:1,11

4. Herod will kill children; Jeremiah 31:15; Matt 2:16-18

III. Prophesies about HIS Divine SPIRITUAL NATURE

1. His pre-existence; Micah 5:2 & Isaiah 9:6-7 & Prov 8:22-23; John 1:1-2, 8:58, 17:5,24 & Col1:17 & Rev 1:17

2. He shall be called LORD; Psalm 110:1; Matt 22:43-45 & Luke 2:11

IV. Prophesies about MINISTRY of Issa Al Massih

1. He will crush the head of Satan; Gen 3:15; Heb 2:14 & 1 John 3:8

2. He will be a Prophet; Deut 18:18; Matt 21:11 & John 6:14

3. He will be a Priest; Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 3:1, 5:5-6, 7:26-27

4. He will be a Judge; Isaiah 11:4, 33:22; John 5:30 & 2 Tim 4:1

5. He will be a King; Ps 2:6 & Zech 9:9 & Jer 23:5; Matt 27:37, 21:5 & John 18:33-38

6. He will have a special anointing of the Holy Spirit; Isaiah 11:2, 42: 1, 61:1-2; Matt 3:16-17, 12:17-21 & Luke 4:15-21,43 & John 1:32

7. His zeal for God will be great; Psalm 69:9; John 2:15-17

8. He will be preceded by a messenger; Isaiah 40:3 & Malachi 3:1; Matt 3:1-3, 11:10 & Luke 1:17 & John 1:23

9. His ministry will begin in Galilee; Isaiah 9:1; Matt 4:12-13,17

10. His ministry will be one of miracles; Isaiah 35:5-6, 32:3-4; Matt 9:32-35, 11:4-6 & Mark 7:32-35 & John 5:5-9, 9:6-11, 11:43-44,47

11. He will teach in parables; Ps 78:2; Matt 13:34-35

12. He will enter into the Temple; Malachi 3:1; Matt 21:12

13. He will enter Jerusalem on a donkey; Zech 9:9; Matt 21:6-11 & Luke 19:35-37

14. He will be a stumbling block to the Jews; Ps 118:22 & Isaiah 8:14, 28:16; 1 Peter 2:7 & Romans 9:32-33

15. He will be a light of the nations; Isaiah 49:6, 60:3; Acts 13:47-48, 26:23, 28:28, & Luke 2:30-32

V. Prophesies about Issa Al Massih

1. He will be betrayed by a friend; Ps 41:9,55:12-14; Matt 10:4,26:49-50 & John 13:21

2. He will be sold for 30 pieces of silver; Zech 11:12-13; Matt 26:15, 27:3-7

3. He will be forsaken by His disciples; Zech 13:7; Matt 26:31 & Mark 14:27,50

4. He will be silent before his accusers; Isaiah 53:7; Matt 27:12-14 & Luke 23:9 & 1 Peter 2:22-25

5. He will be wounded and bruised; Isaiah 50:6, 53:5 & Zech 13:6; Matt 26:67, 27:26 & 1 Peter 2:24

6. He will be mocked; Psalm 22:7-8,69:8-13; Matt 27:29-31,39

7. His hands and his feet will be pierced; Psalm 22:16 & Zech 12:10; Luke 23:33 & John 20:25

8. He will be crucified with thieves; Isaiah 53:12; Matt 27:38 & Mark 15:27-28 & Luke 22:37

9. He will pray for those who persecute Him; Isaiah 53:12; Luke 23:34

10. He will be hated without a cause; Psalm 69:4; John 15:25

11. His garments will be parted and cast for lots; Psalm 22:18; John 19:23-24

12. He will suffer thirst; Psalm 69:21; John 19:28

13. He will give a forsaken cry; Psalm 22:1; Matt 27:46

14. He will commit himself to God; Psalm 31:5; Luke 23:46

15. His bones will not be broken; Exodus 12:46 & Psalm 34:20; John 19:33,36

16. There will be darkness over the land; Amos 8:9; Matt 27:45

17. He will be buried in a rich man’s tomb; Isaiah 53:9; Matt 27:57-60

18. He will rise from the dead; Ps 16:10, 30:3, 118:18; Matt 28:6 & Luke 24:46 & Acts 2:31, 13:35

19. He will ascend into heaven; Psalm 68:18; Acts 1:9 & Ephesians 4:8

20. He will sit at the right hand of God; Psalm 110:1; Mark 16:19 & Acts 2:34 & Hebrews 1:3


Why we believe Jesus is the Son of God

Brothers, when we say, “Son of God’, we do not believe that God ever had a physical relationship with a woman to have this Son! Jesus is the Son of God from both a spiritual point of as well as and in a physical one, but not through the traditional physical means of intercourse that people are inclined to assume.  As such we would say that Jesus is not the physically procreated son of God. The Holy Spirit placed Jesus as a complete physical embryonic child into Mary’s womb. The word “conceive” from Latin concipere , literally means “to take in”.  As such Mary “conceived” Jesus in that she accepted Him being placed into her womb. As such Jesus is not a “traditionally conceived” Son of God as many might be inclined to believe, but we call Him the Son of God because He came from the Spirit of God and was miraculously placed into her womb.

In the Arabic version of the Bible, there is a big difference between the word “son” of God and “child” of God. In Arabic, there are the words “lbn” and “walad”. “Ibn” means “son” and “walad” means “child”. “Ibn” refers to the child you adopt; “walad” means it was born of you. This is why we never call Jesus in Arabic “Walad Allah“. We call Him “Ibn Allah“, meaning He came from God. “What is the difference between “lbn” and “walad”?

In Arabic, the phrase “son of…” is used to signify where one is from. For instance, I am from Lebanon, and am often called “Son of Lebanon“. A man from Morocco would be called “Son of Morocco”. Because the Nile is the most famous part of Egypt, an Egyptian will often be called “Son of the Nile”. One could also be called “Son of Education”, meaning that he is a very, very well-educated person. The phrase may also be used to express one’s main interest. In the same way, Christ is called “Son of God” because He came from the Spirit of God, from God Father and He is God.

Did Jesus really die on the cross?

Does the Qur’an refute Christ’s crucifixion?

Muslims do not believe that Jesus died on the cross. There is a verse in the Qur’an which says, “They killed Him not, they crucified Him not, but it was likened unto them. They killed Him not knowingly, but God raised Him and God is the most merciful of merciful.”

Brothers, you all can read Qur’an in Arabic look that Qur’an is simply saying they killed Him without knowingly He was the Messiah. It means Jesus was killed!

In fact, Muslims, there are other verses in the Qur’an which say Jesus was killed! If you don’t agree with Qur’an, I don’t agree too! I am happy if you don’t agree with what it sates! Because it means that you agree that Qur’an contradicts itself!!!!

There is one Sura in which Jesus is speaking which says, “peace unto Me the day I was born, the day I died and was taken to heaven.”  Qur’an 19:15.

Does Qur’an lie?

Good Question!!!

Yes.

If Qur’an lies that look below how Bible doesn’t lie in fulfillment of prophecies about Issa Ibn Allah!

The Biblical prophecy and necessity of Christ’s crucifixion

The issue of Christ’s death on the cross also brings us back to the verses in Genesis 3:15. In this passage, God promised that the seed of woman would bruise Satan, even though Satan would bruise His heel. Bruising His heel is nothing less than His crucifixion and being nailed to the cross. Though Satan managed to nail Him to the cross, that same death would bruise his own head. Through this death, Christ won the victory over Satan and redeemed mankind.

In Genesis 22, Ibraham takes his son in obedience to God’s command: And He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son, whom you love and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you,” (Genesis 22:2). What does this mean? Why would God have asked such a thing? God is providing a Iamb miraculously as a substitute for Ibraham’s son. Ibraham had lifted his knife and was ready to kill his son, but what happened instead? He heard a voice saying, “Abraham!…Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me,” (Genesis 22:12). What would have happened had Ibraham not listened? His son would have been killed. But Ibraham believed and there was a Lamb, which he sacrificed in the place of his son (during hajj you saw this ritual and it is just symbol in Islam that Son of God/Lamb of God will be killed instead of you to forgive your sins!!! ) This Iamb represents Jesus Christ, and we can turn back 2000 years ago and see Him on the cross for you and for me. In John 1:29 where John the Baptist proclaims, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus is the Lamb of God who died willingly to forgive Arabs you all who will believe in Him!

Brothers, look in Isaiah 53, Bible here very clearly speaks about the coming of Christ and the redemption of mankind – Jesus Himself bearing our sins on the cross, Himself being offered as a sacrifice. The entire chapter is talking about Jesus, in verses 4 through 12:

4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

“Who do you think the prophet Isaiah is talking about here?”

, “It is clear; he is talking about the son of Mary, Issa, Ibnou Mariam,

that is, Jesus, the son of Mary!!!!!

Christian Arabs call Him “Yassoua”, which is taken from “Yashoua”,

the Hebrew name for Jesus, while Muslims call Him “Issa”.

That which was prophesied in Isaiah was fulfilled in the person of Christ nearly 600 years later!!!

An important thing to point out here as well, is that “the LORD was pleased” (verse 10) to offer Christ as a sacrifice for man’s sin. God is just; He said in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death,” which is eternal separation from God. But God is also merciful.

God would not allow the whole world go to hell!!!

Do you remember as I said before:

“One guy from Saudi Arabia was punished for murder. But he lived righteous life. It was just one his sin- he killed one man….but he made countless number of good deeds. If Sharia cannot accept this situation without punishing him, it means that it is just. But what is justice then? Justice to kill human beings sending them to hell? Justice to let you be tormented and suffered eternally in hell fire. If God is such then let’s forget such religion. Because such religion is against us! If religion is self-destruction then we don’t need it! Thanks to the Lord that God revealed Himself to us as LOVING God in Bible.”

God would not allow the whole world go to hell!!!

The death of Christ was planned

from the moment man fell as a solution for this sin!

Now, there are those who would question the necessity of Christ’s death on the cross, citing good works as a means of atonement for one’s sin. But suppose I stole your watch, and you caught me, brought me to the police and turned me in. Suppose further, that because of this, the police sentenced me to five days in jail. Could I get out of it by saying, “Wait a minute, I bought him lunch yesterday, paid for his subway and everything!” Would this be sufficient to cancel out my crime? Would the police accept it? Of course not! It’s not logical. Works alone are not sufficient payment for one’s crimes!!!!!

Look another illustration of the judge: A judge is sitting in the courtroom, wearing his judicial robe, and a young girl stands before him. She has been charged with driving without a license and speeding down the highway, for which the penalty is ten thousand dollars He points his finger at her and says, “Are you guilty or not?” to which she answers, “Yes. Your Honor, but I cannot afford to pay the penalty.” The judge, however, tells her, “You must pay,” and then closes court. He then steps down from the bench, takes off his robe and gives the girl ten thousand dollars. Why? Because he is her father, and while he could not dishonor his name by letting her go free, he is also merciful and loving and could not bear to see her put in jail because of her inability to pay.

The only solution, therefore, is for him to pay the penalty himself.

In the same way, we can see how Christ has paid the penalty for our sin in Philippians 2, verses 5 through 11: Christ, being equal with God, nevertheless emptied Himself, taking off the robe of heavenly glory and coming down as a man to bear the cross. At the cross, the justice of God and the mercy of God met together, and both were satisfied.

What would you think of God if for thousands of years

He promised that Jesus would come and die for the sins of the world,

and then, at the last moment,

when Jesus was about to be put on the cross,

He took Him alive and changed Judas into the image of Christ?

Does this description fit the God we know?”

Now again we need to ask ourselves

who is this God we worship and submit?

God of deception or TRUTH???!!!

Not only would this make God out to be a liar,

but there would have been no provision for man’s sin!

Jesus was the only sacrifice sufficient for man’s salvation!

If Jesus died on the cross, and if Jesus is God, does that mean that God died on the cross, also?

In the Gospel of John, chapter 4, we are told that God is Spirit. In the original Hebrew language, Spirit is roh. From this word, the word rihe is taken, which is also “the air”. We can actually say, therefore, that God’s Spirit is like the air in the atmosphere. Air is everywhere. Though you cannot see it, you know it is present: you can feel it, you breathe it, even though it has no color or shape. The same thing is true of the Spirit of God; It is present everywhere.

If you take an empty bottle, you know that it is empty of any liquid, yet it’s filled with air The air that’s inside the bottle, furthermore, has taken the shape of the bottle, even though air has no shape. Because it is inside of the bottle, however, it has taken the shape of the bottle. The characteristics of the air inside the bottle are similar to the characteristics of the air outside the bottle. The fact that there is air inside the bottle, does not mean there is no air outside the bottle, because air exists everywhere in the atmosphere. Now, if you were to take this bottle today, and smash it against the wall, it would break into hundreds of little pieces. It would be shattered. Can we say that the air inside the bottle would also be shattered? No. Only the form that contained the air has been shattered.

The same thing took place when God, who is Spirit, dwelt amongst us in the body of Jesus Christ. God took the likeness of man. That did not mean that He existed no more. Rather, like the air when it filled the bottle, God still existed everywhere. Furthermore, Jesus’ crucifixion on the cross does not mean that God was killed, but rather that the body which contained the Spirit of God was killed. God existed always, even during the three days in which Jesus was dead in the tomb. This is exactly what the Apostle Paul has written in his epistle to the Philippians, chapter 2, verses 5-11:

“Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men”, And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross”. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”

The Trinity

Now let’s look what is Trinity or tri-unity concept in Christianity. Muslims often say: “You Christians believe in three different gods God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. That is blasphemy’ One cannot believe in three different gods.

Christians claim to believe in ONE God!

Look at water: it is the same substance, but manifests itself in three different forms, liquid water, solid ice and vaporous steam. Or look illustration of sun: the glowing ball of gases itself, the source, as representing God the Father, the radiating light represents Christ, the light of the world, and the heat that we feel representing the work of the Holy Spirit.

Corinthians 8:4 says, “There is no God but one”

ALL THREE PERSONS OF THE TRINITY MENTIONED IN THE SAME VERSE:

Is 48:16, 61:1, 2 Cor 13:14, Matt 28:19, Gal 4:6, Jn 15:26, 1 Tim 3:16, Acts 2:33, 1 Thess 3:13, Rom 8:9, Heb 9:14, 1 Cor 12:3

16 “ Come near to Me, hear this:
I have not spoken in secret from the beginning;
From the time that it was, I was there.
And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit
Have sent Me.” Issaiah 48:16

14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. 2 Cor 13:14

14 how much more shall the blood of Christ,

who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God,

cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Heb 9:14

3 Therefore I make known to you

that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed,

and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor 12:3

9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit,

if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.

Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. Rom 8:9

3 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our

God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. 1 Thess 3:13

33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God,

and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. Acts 2:33

6 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:

God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.
1 Tim 3:16

6 And because you are sons,

God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts,

crying out, “Abba, Father!” Gal 4:6

Each of the passages cited refer to attributes, such as holy, unchangeable and eternal, which are possessed only by God, as well as functions, such as baptism and salvation, for which only He is responsible. Note that each person of the Trinity is said to possess each of these attributed and to be involved in each of these functions! It therefore follows that either all three persons are God, or all three are One!!!!

Holy Father, please save my brothers Arabs, Muslims and all people who are reading my message! God may Your Word of God, which is living and active, will minister through the power of Holy Spirit to my friends and my brothers in whom is my blood…blood of our father Ibrahim….blood which you created!!!  May You power, the Holy Spirit, change lives of Arabs right now and may they will belong to You and will worship You in Your Kingdom of Heaven already here on the earth in their Arab countries and lives! Lead them my Holy Father to know the Truth and the Life and the Way to YOU through God Jesus Christ our Lord and Redeemer!

Credentials of Issa Ibn Allah

God Jesus had various credentials to support His claims to being Messiah, God’s son. One credential often overlooked, one of the most profound, is the fulfillment of prophecy in His life!

Over and over again Jesus appealed to the prophecies of the Old Testament to substantiate His claims as the Messiah. Galatians 4:4 says, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.” Here we have reference to the prophecies being fulfilled in Jesus Christ. And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures (Luke 24:27).

Jesus said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44). He said, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me” (John 5:46). He also said, Ibrahim rejoiced to see My day” (John 8:56).

18 But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. (Acts 3:18).

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures [in other words, Christ’s death was prophesied in the Old Testament], and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).

3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

In the Old Testament there are sixty major messianic prophecies and approximately 270 ramifications that were fulfilled in one person, Jesus Christ. It is helpful to look at all these predictions fulfilled in Christ as His “address.”

Now let’s consider some of amazing prophecies about Issa Al Massih Ibn Allah.

An Address in History

With even greater detail, God wrote an address in history to single out His Son, the Messiah, the Savior of mankind, from anyone who has ever lived in history -past, present, or future. The specifics of this address can be found in the Old Testament, a document written over a period of a thousand years, which contains more than three hundred references to His coming. Using the science of probability, we find the chances of just forty-eight of these prophecies being fulfilled in one person to be right at one in 10157 (a one followed by 157 zeros!).

The task of matching up God’s address with one man is further complicated by the fact that all the prophecies of the Messiah were made at least 400 years before He was to appear. Some might disagree and say that these prophecies were written down after the time of Christ and fabricated to coincide with His life. This might sound feasible until you realize that the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, was translated around 150-200 B.C. This Greek translation shows that there was at least a two-hundred-year gap between the prophecies being recorded and their fulfillment in Christ.

Certainly God was writing an address in history that only the Messiah could fulfill. Approximately forty major claims to be the Jewish Messiah have been made by men. Only one-Jesus Christ-appealed to fulfilled prophecy to substantiate His claims, and only His credentials back up those claims.

What were some of those details? And what events had to precede and coincide with the appearance of God’s Son?

To begin, we need to go way back to Genesis 3:15 and consider a very important verse again and again today. Here we have the first messianic prophecy. In all of Scripture, only one man was born of the seed of a woman” -all others are born of the seed of a man. Here is the one who will come into the world and undo the works of Satan (“bruise His head”).

In Genesis 9 and 10 God narrowed the address down further. Noah had three sons, Shem, Japheth, and Ham. Today all of the nations of the world can be traced back to these three men. But in this passage, God effectively eliminated two-thirds of them from the line of Messiahship. The Messiah will come through the lineage of Shem.

Continuing on to the year 2000 B.C., we find God calling a man named Abraham or Ibrahim in Arabic out of Ur of the Chaldees. With Abraham, God became still more specific, stating that the Messiah will be one of his descendants (Genesis 12; 17; 22). All the families of the earth will be blessed through Abraham. Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac, but many of his descendants were eliminated when God selected his second son, Isaac (Genesis 17;21).

Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau, and God chose the line of Jacob (Genesis 28; 35:10-12; Numbers 24:17). Jacob had twelve sons, out of whom developed the twelve tribes of Israel. God singled out the tribe of Judah for Messiahship and eliminated 11/12ths of the Israelite tribes. And of all the family lines within Judah’s tribe, the line of Jesse was the divine choice (Isaiah 11:1-5). One can see the probability of Jesus being the Messiah building.

Jesse had eight children and in 2 Samuel 7:12-16 and Jeremiah 23:5 God eliminated 7/8ths of Jesse’s family line: We read that God’s man will not only be of the seed of a woman, the lineage of Shem, the race of the Jews, the line of Isaac, the line of Jacob, the tribe of Judah, but that He will also be of the house of David.

A prophecy dating 1012 B.C. (Psalm 22:6-18; cf. Zechariah 12:10 and Galatians 3:13) also predicts that this man’s hands and feet will be pierced (i.e., He will be crucified). This description was written eight hundred years before crucifixion began to be practiced by the Romans.

Isaiah 7:14 adds that this man will be born of a virgin -a natural birth of unnatural conception, a criterion beyond human planning and control. Several prophecies recorded in Isaiah and the psalms describe the social climate and response that God’s man will encounter: His own people, the Jews, will reject Him and the Gentiles will believe in Him (Isaiah 8:14; 28:16; 49:6; 50:6; 52:53; 60:3; Psalms 22:7,8; 118:22). There will be a forerunner for Him (Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1), a voice in the wilderness, one preparing the way before the Lord, a John the Baptist.

Thirty Pieces of Silver

Notice, too, the seven ramifications of a prophecy (Zechariah 11:11-13; cf. Psalm 41, Jeremiah 32:6-15, and Matthew 27:3-10) that narrows the drama down even further. Here God indicates the Messiah will be (1) betrayed, (2) by a friend, (3) for thirty pieces, (4) of silver, that will be (5) cast onto the floor, (6) of the Temple, and (7) used to buy a potter’s field.

11 So it was broken on that day. Thus the poor of the flock, who were watching me, knew that it was the word of the LORD. 12 Then I said to them, “If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.” So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.
13 And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD for the potter. 1

In Micah 5:2 God eliminated all the cities of the world and selected Bethlehem, with a population of less than a thousand, as the Messiah’s birthplace.

Then through a series of prophecies He even defined the time sequence that would set His man apart. For example, Malachi 3:1 and four other Old Testament verses (Psalm 118:26; Daniel 9:26; Zechariah 11:13; Haggai 2:7-9) require the Messiah to come while the Temple of Jerusalem is still standing. This is of great significance when we realize that the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 and has not since been rebuilt.

The precise lineage; the place, time, and manner of birth; people’s reactions; the betrayal; the manner of death. These are just a fraction of the hundreds of details that made up the address to identify God’s Son, the Messiah, the Savior of the world.

Objection: Such Fulfilled Prophecy Was Coincidental

“Why, you could find some of these prophecies fulfilled in Kennedy’. King, Nassar, etc.” replies a critic. Yes, one could possibly find one or two prophecies fulfilled in other men, but not all 60 major prophecies and 270 ramifications. H. Harold Artzler, of the American Scientific Affiliation, in the foreword of a book by Peter W. Stoner writes:

The manuscript for Science Speaks has been carefully reviewed by a committee of the American Scientific Affiliation members and by the Executive Council of the same group and has been found, in general, to be dependable and accurate in regard to the scientific material presented. The mathematical analysis included is based upon principles of probability which are thoroughly sound, and Professor Stoner has applied these principles in a proper and convincing way. 74

The following probabilities are taken from that book to show that coincidence is ruled out by the science of probability. Stoner says that by using the modern science of probability in reference to just eight prophecies, “we find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 1017.” That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that

Now these prophecies were either given by inspiration of God or the prophets just wrote them as they thought they should be. In such a case the prophets had just one chance in 1017 of having them come true in any man, but they all came true in Christ.

This means that the fulfillment of these eight prophecies alone proves that God inspired the writing of those prophecies to a definiteness which lacks only one chance in 1017 of being absolute.

Objection: Jesus Tried to Fulfill Prophecies

Another objection is that Jesus deliberately attempted to fulfill the Jewish prophecies. This objection seems plausible until we realize that many of the details of the Messiah’s coming were totally beyond human control.

For example, the place of birth. I can just hear Jesus in Mary’s womb as she rode on the donkey: “Mom, we won’t make it!”

When Herod asked the chief priests and scribes, “Where is the Christ to be born?” they said, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet” (Matthew 2:5). The time of His coming. The manner of His birth. Betrayal by Judas and the betrayal price. The manner of His death. The people’s reaction. The mocking and spitting, the staring. The casting of dice for His clothes. The non-tearing of His garment, etc. Half the prophecies are beyond His fulfillment. He couldn’t work it out to be born of the seed of the woman, the lineage of Shem, the descendants of Abraham, etc. No wonder Jesus and the apostles appealed to fulfilled prophecy to substantiate His claim.

Why did God go to all this trouble? I believe He wanted Jesus Christ to have all the credentials He needed when He came into the world. Yet the most exciting thing about Jesus Christ is that He came to change lives. He alone proved the hundreds of Old Testament prophecies that described His coming to be correct. He alone can fulfill the greatest prophecy of all for those who will accept it -the promise of new life: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you” (Ezekiel 36:25-27). “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

ROMAN HISTORY SCHOLAR

Professor Thomas Arnold, for fourteen years the headmaster of Rugby, author of the three-volume History of Rome, and holder of the chair of modern history at Oxford, was well acquainted with the value of evidence in determining historical facts.

This great scholar said,

I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead. 3/324

TEXTUAL CRITIC

Brooke Foss Wescott, English scholar, said, “Taking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no historic incident better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ.” 82/4-6

PROFESSOR OF ANCIENT HISTORY

Dr. Paul L. Maier, professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University, concluded that, “If all the evidence is weighed carefully and fairly, it is indeed justifiable, according to the canons of historical research, to conclude that the tomb in which Jesus was buried was actually empty on the morning of the first Easter. And no shred of evidence has yet been discovered in literary sources, epigraphy or archaeology that would disprove this statement.” 56/A-10

CHIEF JUSTICE

Lord Caldecote, Lord Chief Justice of England, has written:

My faith began with and was grounded on what I thought was revealed in the Bible. When, particularly, I came to the New Testament, the Gospels and other writings of the men who had been friends of Jesus Christ seemed to me to make an overwhelming case, merely as a matter of strict evidence, for the fact therein stated … The same approach to the cardinal test of the claims of Jesus Christ, namely, His resurrection, has led me, as often as I have tried to examine the evidence, to believe it as fact beyond dispute.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

One man who was highly skilled at dealing with evidence was Dr. Simon Greenleaf. He was the famous Royall Professor of Law at Harvard University and succeeded Justice Joseph Story as the Dane Professor of Law in the same university. The rise of Harvard Law School to its eminent position among the legal schools of the United States is to be ascribed to the efforts of these two men. Greenleaf produced his famous three-volume work, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence, which still is considered one of the greatest single authorities on this subject in the entire literature of legal procedure.

Greenleaf examined the value of the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ to ascertain the truth. He applied the principles contained in his three-volume treatise on evidence. His findings were recorded in his book, An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice.

Greenleaf came to the conclusion that, according to the laws of legal evidence used in courts of law, there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for just about any other event in history.

RATIONALISTIC LAWYER

Dr. Frank Morrison, a lawyer who had been brought up in a rationalistic environment, had come to the opinion that the resurrection was nothing but a fairy-tale happy ending which spoiled the matchless story of Jesus. He felt that he owed it to himself, and to others, to write a book that would present the truth about Jesus and dispel the myth of the resurrection.

Upon studying the facts, however, he, too, came to a different conclusion. The sheer weight of the evidence compelled him to conclude that Jesus actually did rise from the dead. Morrison wrote his book-but not the one he had planned. It is titled, Who Moved the Stone? The first chapter, very significantly, is called, “The Book That Refused to Be Written.”

LITERARY GENIUS

The literary scholar, C. S. Lewis, former professor of Medieval and Renaissance literature at Cambridge University, when writing about his conversion to Christianity, indicated that he had believed Christians “to be wrong.”

The last thing Lewis wanted was to embrace Christianity. However, “Early in 1926 the hardest boiled of all atheists I ever knew sat in my room on the other side of the fire and remarked that the evidence for the historicity of the Gospels was really surprisingly good. ‘Rum thing,’ he went on. ‘All that stuff of Frazer’s about the Dying God. Rum thing. It almost looks as if it had really happened once.’

“To understand the shattering impact of it, you would need to know the man (who has certainly never since shown any interest in Christianity). If he, the cynic of cynics, the toughest of the toughs, were not -as I would still have put it -‘safe,’ where could I turn? Was there then no escape?”

After evaluating the basis and evidence for Christianity, Lewis concluded that in other religions there was “no such historical claim as in Christianity.” His knowledge of literature forced him to treat the Gospel record as a trustworthy account. “I was by now too experienced in literary criticism to regard the Gospels as myth.”

Finally, contrary to his strong stand against Christianity, Professor Lewis had to make an intelligent decision:

You must picture me alone in that room in Magdelen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 1 gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. 52/211, 215, 223

Resurrection Foretold

Jesus Christ actually predicted He would rise on the third day. His claims are substantiated throughout the four Gospels. When Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, We are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered to death. They will deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him. And on the third day He will be raised up” (Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22).

Mark points out in his Gospel that He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, and the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31).

John confirms this when he writes: “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews therefore said, ‘It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and will You raise it up in three days?’ But He was speaking of the temple of His body” (John 2:19-21).

Basis of Christianity

The historical fact of the resurrection is the very basis for the truth of Christianity. To put it simply, the resurrection of Jesus Christ and Christianity stand or fall together. One cannot be true without the other.

The apostle Paul emphasized this point when he wrote:

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain; your faith also is in vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless (1 Corinthians 15:13-17).

Intelligent Faith

When an individual in the Scriptures was called upon to exercise faith, it was to be that intelligent faith. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth [not ignore it] and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

A lawyer asked Jesus, “Which is the greatest commandment?”

Jesus replied, ” [To] love the Lord your God with all your heart … and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).

Never is an individual called upon to commit intellectual suicide in trusting Christ as Savior and Lord. Instead, a believer is instructed to be ready always to give an answer (an intelligent one) as to why he believes (1 Peter 3:15).

Historical Criteria

The resurrection of Christ must be examined by the same criteria as is any other past event in history. The faith of the early church was founded on experiences in the factual realm. For example, the followers of Christ said He showed Himself alive to them by “many convincing proofs” (Acts 1:3). Luke used the word tekmerion. That connotes a “demonstrable proof.”

Sufficient Evidence Needed

Wolfhart Pannenberg is a professor of systematic theology at the University of Munich, Germany. He has been concerned primarily with questions of the relationship between faith and history. This brilliant scholar says, “Whether the resurrection of Jesus took place or not is an historical question, and … at this point is inescapable. And so the question has to be decided on the level of historical argument.”

The evidence must be approached with an honest, fair view of history and the investigation must not be prejudiced by preconceived notions or conclusions. There is a compelling need to let the evidence speak for itself. Historian Ronald Sider writes about the need for objectivity in historical research:

What does the critical historian do when his evidence points very strongly to the reality of an event, which contradicts his expectations and goes against the naturalistic view of reality? I submit that he must follow his critically analyzed sources. It is unscientific to begin with the philosophical presupposition that miracles cannot occur. Unless we avoid such one-sided presuppositions, historical interpretation becomes mere propaganda. We have a right to demand good evidence for an alleged event, which we have not experienced, but we dare not judge reality by our limited experience. And I would suggest that we have good evidence for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Proper Approach

The Erlangen historian Ethelbert Stauffer gives further suggestions on how to approach history:

What do we (as historians) do when we experience surprises which run counter to all our expectations, perhaps all our convictions and even our period’s whole understanding of truth? We say as one great historian used to say in such instances: “It is surely possible.” And why not? For the critical historian nothing is impossible. 72/17

Historian Philip Schaff adds to the above: “The purpose of the historian is not to construct a history from preconceived notions and to adjust it to his own liking, but to reproduce it from the best evidences and to let it speak for itself.”

The ultimate test historically concerning the resurrection is whether the purported facts are supported by the evidence.

SECURITY PRECAUTION #1-The Trial

Jesus was brought for trial before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. All available evidence shows Pilate to have been an extremely cruel and merciless despot. Philo records that he was responsible “for countless atrocities and numerous executions without any previous trial.”

Six Trials

One needs to realize that Jesus Christ went through six distinct trials. One was before Annas, the high priest (John 18:13), another was before Caiaphas (Matthew 26:57), the third before the Sanhedrin (Matthew 26:59), the fourth before Pilate (Matthew 27:2), the fifth before Herod (Luke 23:7), and the sixth was back before Pilate (Luke 23:11-25). There were three Jewish trials and three Roman trials.

The Jewish legal system was made up of two different Sanhedrins. One Sanhedrin was composed of 23 members who tried cases involving capital punishment. 86/335 The other Sanhedrin of 71 could serve as a trial court for cases involving the head of state, the high priest, or for offenses against the state or the Temple. The Sanhedrin of 71 could not try a case involving capital punishment. It was probably the Sanhedrin of 23 that tried Jesus.

One was located in every major city in Judea.

Finally after three Jewish trials and three Roman trials, the Jewish authorities, in conjunction with the Roman authorities, delivered Jesus to be crucified (Matthew 27:26).

Various “security precautions” were taken to make sure that when Jesus was dead He would remain dead and buried.

SECURITY PRECAUTION #2-Death by Crucifixion

Alexander the Great introduced crucifixion into the Mediterranean world-mainly Egypt and Carthage. From all indications, the Romans learned the practice from the Carthaginians.

A Cruel Death

Death by crucifixion developed into one of the world’s most disgraceful and cruel methods of torture. Cicero called it “the most cruel and hideous of tortures.” 15/64 Will Durant wrote that “even the Romans … pitied the victims.” 21/572

Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian, who was an advisor to Titus during the siege of Jerusalem, had observed many crucifixions and called them “the most wretched deaths.”

The Custom of Whipping

After the verdict of crucifixion was pronounced by the court, it was customary to tie the accused to a post at the tribunal. The criminal was stripped of his clothes, then severely whipped by the lictors or scourgers.

The whip, known as a flagrum, had a sturdy handle to which were attached long leather thongs of varying lengths. Sharp, jagged pieces of bone and lead were woven into them. The Jews were limited by their law to 40 lashes. The Pharisees, with their emphasis on strict adherence to the law, would limit their lashes to 39, so that if they miscounted they would not break their law. The Romans had no such limitations. Out of disgust or anger, the Romans could totally ignore the Jewish limitation, and probably did so in the case of Jesus.

A Medical Perspective

Dr. C. Truman Davis, a medical doctor who has meticulously studied crucifixion from a medical perspective, describes the effects of the Roman flagrum used in whipping:

The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across [a persons] shoulders, back and legs. At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises, which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped.

Eusebius, a third-century historian, confirms Dr. Davis’s description when he writes: “The sufferer’s veins were laid bare, and the very muscles, sinews, and bowels of the victim were open to exposure.”

A Crown of Thorns

After placing the crown of thorns on Christ’s head, they began to mock Him saying, “Hail, the King of the Jews.” They also spit on Him and beat Him with a rod. Then they led Him away to be crucified.

The Crossbar Burden

A man condemned to be crucified had to carry his own crossbar from prison to the place of his execution.

Dr. Pierre Barbet points out that “they began to use a long piece of wood, which was used for barring doors and was called the patibulum (from patere, to be open).” The patibulum weighed approximately 110 pounds and was strapped to the victim’s shoulders.

Crucifixion With Nails

Upon reaching the execution site, the condemned person was nailed or bound by ropes to the cross. Many have questioned the historical accuracy of the nailing of the hands and feet. The reason for this skepticism is that there has been almost zero evidence of it in history.

Dr. J. W. Hewitt, in his Harvard Theological Review article entitled, “The Use of Nails in the Crucifixion,” said, “To sum up, there is astonishingly little evidence that the feet of a crucified person were ever pierced by nails.” 39/29-45 He went on to say that the victim’s hands and feet were bound by ropes to the cross.

For years Dr. Hewitt’s statement was quoted as the final word. The conclusion, therefore, was that the New Testament account of Christ being nailed to the cross was false and misleading. Crucifixion by use of nails was considered legendary. It was believed that nails would have ripped the flesh and could not have supported a body on the cross.

A Dead Man Speaks

Then, a revolutionary archaeological discovery was made in June 1968. Archeologist V. Tzaferis, under the direction of the Israeli Department of Antiquities and Museums, discovered four cave-tombs at the site of Gav’at ha-mivtar (Ras el-Masaref) just north of Jerusalem near Mt. Scopus.

In Ossuary 4 of Tomb I, inscribed with the name Yohanan Ben Ha’galgal, were found the bones of an adult male and of a child. A large 7-inch spike had been driven through the heel bone, and both legs had been fractured. Haas reported: “Both the heel bones were found transfixed by a large iron nail. The shins were found intentionally broken. Death caused by crucifixion.” 34/39

The bones in Ossuary 4 confirm another passage in the New Testament:

The soldiers therefore came, and broke the legs of the first man, and of the man who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs (John 19:32,33).

Purpose for Breaking the Legs

To understand why the legs were broken, one must study the means of execution. The soldiers would feel for the depression at the front of the wrist, then drive the heavy wrought-iron spike through at that point. Next, the legs were placed together and a large nail was driven through them. The knees were left moderately flexed, and a seat (known as a sedecula) was attached to the cross for the buttocks of the victim.

Dr. Truman Davis, the M.D. whom I quoted before, describes what happens to the human body after a short time of exposure on the cross:

As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the bloodstream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.

After a while, orthostatic collapse through insufficient blood circulating to the brain and heart would follow. The only way the victim could avoid this was to push up by his feet so the blood could be returned to some degree of circulation in the upper part of his body.

When the authorities wanted to hasten death or terminate the torture, the victim’s legs were broken below the knees with a club. This prevented him from pushing himself upward to relieve the tension on the pectoral or chest muscles. Either rapid suffocation or coronary insufficiency followed. In the case of Christ, the legs of the two thieves crucified with Him were broken, but Christ’s were not because the executioners observed He already was dead.

Spilling of Blood and Water

One of the executioners thrust a spear into Christ’s side, and, as recorded in John 19:34, “Immediately there came out blood and water.

Davis relates that there was “an escape of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart. We, therefore, have rather conclusive post-mortem. Evidence that [Christ] died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.” 181186

A Job Well Done

Pilate required certification of Christ’s death before the body could be turned over to Joseph of Arimathea. 21/573 He consented to Christ’s being removed from the cross only after four executioners had certified His death.

The efficiency of execution by crucifixion was quite well-known in the time of Christ. Dr. Paul L. Maier, professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University, writes,

True, there is a recorded instance of a victim being taken down from a cross and surviving. The Jewish historian Josephus, who had gone over to the Roman side in the rebellion of A.D. 66, discovered three of his friends being crucified. He asked the Roman general Titus to reprieve them, and they were immediately removed from their crosses.

Still, two of the three died anyway, even though they apparently had been crucified only a short time. In Jesus’ case, however, there were the additional complications of scourging and exhaustion, to say nothing of the great spear thrust that pierced His rib cage and probably ruptured His pericardium. Romans were grimly efficient about crucifixions: Victims did not escape with their lives.

SECURITY PRECAUTION #3-Solid Rock Tomb

The body of Christ was placed in a new tomb, hewn out of a solid rock, in a private burial area. Jewish tombs usually had an entrance 4-112 to 5 feet high.

SECURITY PRECAUTION #4-Jewish Burial

The New Testament is very clear that the burial of Christ followed the customs of the Jews.

In preparing a body for burial, the Jews would place it on a stone table in the burial chamber. The body first would be washed with warm water.

It was the custom, as verified in the New Testament, to prepare the corpse (after cleansing) with various types of aromatic spices.

In the case of Christ’s burial, 75 pounds of spices were used. One might regard this as substantial, but it was no great amount for a leader. For example, Gamaliel, grandson of the distinguished Jewish scholar Hillel, also was a contemporary of Jesus. Saul of Tarsus studied under him. When Gameliel died, 86 pounds of spices were used in his burial. Josephus, the Jewish historian, records that when Herod died, it required 500 servants to carry the spices for his body. 43 So the 75 pounds for Jesus was not at all unusual.

After all the members of the body were straightened, the corpse was clothed in grave vestments made out of white linen. There could not be the slightest ornamentation or stain on the cloth. 5/261 The grave linens were sewn together by women. No knots were permitted. For some this was to indicate that the mind of the dead was “disentangled of the cares of this life” 5/261-to others, it indicated the continuity of the soul through eternity. No individual could be buried in fewer than three separate garments.

At this point, the aromatic spices, composed of a fragrant wood pounded into a dust known as aloes, were mixed with a gummy substance known as myrrh. Starting at the feet, they would wrap to the armpits, put the arms down, then wrap to the neck. A separate piece was wrapped around the head. I would estimate an encasement weighing a total of between 92 and 95 pounds. John Chrysostom, in the fourth century A.D., commented that “the myrrh used was a drug which adheres so closely to the body that the graveclothes could not easily be removed.”

SECURITY PRECAUTION #5-Very Large Stone

Matthew records in his writings that a large stone was rolled against the front of the tomb (Matthew 27:60). Mark said the stone was extremely large (Mark 16:1-4). In today’s language, he would have said, “Wow! Get a loada’ that rock!”

Just how large was that “Wow, get a loada’ that rock” stone?

In the Mark 16:4 portion of the Bezae manuscripts in the Cambridge Library in England, a parenthetical statement was found that adds, “And when He was laid there, he (Joseph) put against the tomb a stone which 20 men could not roll away.”

The significance of this statement is realized when one considers the rules for transcribing manuscripts. It was the custom that if a copier was emphasizing his own interpretation, he would write his thought in the margin and not include it within the text. One might conclude, therefore, that the insert in the text was copied from a text even closer to the time of Christ, perhaps, a first-century manuscript. The phrase, then, could have been recorded by an eyewitness who was impressed with the enormity of the stone, which was rolled against Jesus’ sepulcher.

One and a Half to Two Tons

After my lecture at Georgia Tech, two engineering professors went on a tour of Israel with other Georgia Tech faculty members. They remembered the comments I had made about the large size of the stone. So, being engineers, they considered the type of stone used in the time of Christ and calculated the size needed to roll against a 4-1/2 to 5-foot doorway.

Later, they wrote me a letter containing all the technical terms, but they put their conclusions in simple language on the back of it.

They said a stone of that size would have to have had a minimum weight of 1-1/2 to 2 tons. No wonder Matthew and Mark said the stone was extremely large.

One might ask, “If the stone were that big, how did Joseph move it into position in the first place?” He simply gave it a push and let gravity do the rest. It had been held in place with a wedge as it sat in a groove or trench that sloped down to the front of the tomb. When the wedge was removed, the heavy circular rock just rolled into position.

SECURITY PRECAUTION #6-Roman Security

Jewish officials panicked, because thousands were turning to Christ. To avoid a political problem, it was to the advantage of both the Romans and the Jews to make sure Jesus was put away for good.

So the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together and said to Pilate, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, lest the disciples come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first” (Matthew 27:63).

Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” And so “they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone” (verse 65).

Some people would argue that Pilate said, “Look, you have your Temple police. You take your Temple police, and go make it secure.”

The Temple Police

Now, if you want to say it’s a Temple guard, you need to realize who made up that guard. It consisted of a group of 10 Levites who were placed on duty at different places at the Temple. The total number of men on duty was 270. This represented 27 units of 10 each. The military discipline of the Temple guard was quite good. In fact, at night, if the captain approached a guard member who was asleep, he was beaten and burned with his own clothes. A member of the guard also was forbidden to sit down or lean against something when he was on duty.

A Roman Guard

However, I am convinced it was the Roman guard that was placed at the grave of Christ to secure it.

A. T. Robertson, noted Greek scholar, says this phrase is in the present imperative and can refer only to a Roman guard, and not the Temple police. According to him, Pilate literally said, “Have a guard.”

Robertson adds that the Latin form koustodia occurs as far back as the Oxyrhynchus papyrus in reference to the Roman guard. The Jews knew Pilate wanted to keep the peace, so they were sure he’d give them what they wanted.

What was the Roman guard?

A Roman “custodian” did a lot more than care for a building. The word “custodian” represented the guard unit of the Roman Legion. This unit was probably one of the greatest offensive and defensive fighting machines ever conceived.

One helpful source for understanding the importance of the Roman guard is Flavius Vegitius Renatus. His friends called him Vegitius. A military historian, he lived several hundred years after the time of Christ when the Roman army started to deteriorate in its discipline. He wrote a manual to the Roman Emperor Valentinian to encourage him to instill the methods of offensive and defensive warfare used by the Romans during the time of Christ. Called The Military Institutes of the Romans, it is a classic today.

Vegitius wanted to see the Roman armies restored to the efficiency and might, which characterized them at the time of Christ. These armies were great because they were highly disciplined. He wrote, “Victory in war does not depend entirely upon numbers or mere courage; only skill and discipline will insure it. We find that the Romans owed … the conquest of the world to no other cause than continual military training, exact observation of discipline in their camps and unwearied cultivation of the other arts of war.”

There are two other excellent sources. At Indiana University, Dr. George Currie did his doctoral dissertation on the Roman custodian, and Dr. Smith edited a dictionary entitled, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

The Force of the Roman Guard

These and other sources point out that the Roman guard was not a one-, two-, or three-man force. Supercilious pictures of the tomb of Jesus Christ show one or two men standing around with wooden spears and mini-skirts. That’s really laughable.

A Roman guard unit was a 4- to 16-man security force. Each man was trained to protect six feet of ground. The 16 men in a square of 4 on each side were supposed to be able to protect 36 yards against an entire battalion and hold it.

Normally what they did was this: 4 men were placed immediately in front of what they were to protect. The other 12 were asleep in a semi-circle in front of them with their heads pointing in. To steal what these guards were protecting, thieves would first have to walk over those who were asleep. Every four hours, another unit of 4 was awakened, and those who had been awake went to sleep. They would rotate this way around the clock.

Historian Dr. Paul Maier. writes, “Peter would be guarded by four squads of four men each when imprisoned by Herod Agrippa (Acts 12), so sixteen would be a minimum number expected outside a prison. Guards in ancient times always slept in shifts, so it would have been virtually impossible for a raiding party to have stepped over all their sleeping faces” without waking them.

High Priest Offers Bribe

Even Matthew records that it was a multi-man force when he wrote that “some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened” (Matthew 28:11).

A critic at this point might say, “See, they came to the high priest. It shows that they were the Temple guard.” The context is clear, however, that they came to the high priest because he had influence with the Roman authority and because it was the only possible way to save their necks. The high priest tried to bribe them (which would have been a mockery if they had been Temple police). He gave them money and told them what to tell the people. When the news reached Pilate, the high priest said he would keep them from being killed. Normally, they would receive the death penalty, because the story was to be that they had fallen asleep while guarding the tomb.

It is significant that the governor had to be satisfied, because I have not been able to find any account in history- secular, Jewish or Christian -indicating that the Roman governor had anything at all to do with the Temple police.

Even if the guard at the tomb had been made up of Temple police, the security would have been no less thorough.

A Fighting Machine

T. G. Tucker, in his book, Life in the Roman World of Nero and St. Paul describes one of these Roman guards:

Over his breast, and with flaps over the shoulders, he will wear a corset of leather covered with hoop-like layers, or maybe scales, of iron or bronze. On his head will be a plain pot-like helmet, or skull-cap, of iron.

In his right hand he will carry the famous Roman pike. This is a stout weapon, over 6 feet in length, consisting of a sharp iron head fixed in a wooden shaft, and the soldier may either charge with it as a bayonet, or he may hurl it like a javelin and then fight at close quarters with his sword.

On the left arm is a shield, which may be of various shapes. The shield is not only carried by means of a handle, but may be supported by a belt over the right shoulder. In order to be out of the way of the shield, the sword -a thrusting rather than a slashing weapon, approaching 3 feet in length- is hung at the right side by a belt passing over the left shoulder …. On the left side, the soldier wears a dagger at his girdle.

Polybius, the Greek historian of the second century B.C., records that, in addition to all this,

the men are adorned with a crown made of feathers and with three upright feathers, either purple or black, about a foot and a half high; when they add these on the head along with the other arms, the man appears twice as big as he really is, and his appearance is striking and terrifying to the enemy.

The men of the lowest property classes also wear a bronze plate, 8 inches square, which they place in front of their chests and call the heart guard; this completes their armanment. But those worth more than 10,000 drachmae, instead of wearing the heart guard, along with the rest of their equipment, wear a coat of mail.

SECURITY PRECAUTION #7- Roman Seal

Mathew records that along with the guard they set a “seal on the stone” (Mathew 27:66). A.T. Robertson says this could be placed on the stone only in the presence of the Roman guards who were left in charge. Vegitius indicates the same thing. The purpose of this procedure was to prevent anyone from tampering with the grave’s contents.

After the guard inspected the tomb and rolled the stone in place, a cord was stretched across the rock. This was fastened at either end with sealing clay. Finally, the clay packs were stamped with the official signet of the Roman governor.

A parallel to this is seen in Daniel: “And a stone was brought and laid over the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his nobles, so that nothing might be changed in regard to Daniel” (Daniel 6:17).

Purpose of the Seal

Henry Sumner Maine, member of the Supreme Council of India, formerly regius professor of the civil law at the University of Cambidge, speaking on the legal authority attached to a Roman seal, said, “Seals in antiquity were actually considered as a mode of authentication.”

To authenticate something simple means to prove that it is real or genuine. So this seal on Jesus’ tomb was a public testimony that Jesus’ body was actually there. In addition, because the seal was Roman, it verified the fact that His body was protected from vandals by nothing less than the power and authority of the Roman Empire.

Anyone trying to move the stone from the tomb’s entrance would have broken the seal and thus incurred the wrath of Roman law and power.

Grave Robbers Warned

In Nazareth, a marble slab was discovered with a very interesting inscription – a warning to grave robbers. It was written in Greek and says, “Ordinance of Caesar. It is my pleasure that graves and tombs remain perpetually undisturbed for those who have made them for the cult of their ancestors or children or members of their house. If, however, anyone charges that another has either demolished them, or has in any other way extracted the buried, or has maliciously transferred them to other places in order to wrong them, or has displaced the sealing or other stones, against such a one I order that a trial be instituted, as in respect of the gods, so in regard to the cult of mortals. For it shall be much more obligatory to honor the buried. Let it be absolutely forbidden for anyone to disturb them. In case of violation I desire that the offender be sentenced to capital punishment on charge of violation of sepulcher.”

Maier observes, “All previous Roman edicts concerning grave violation set only a large fine, and one wonders what presumed serious infraction could have led the Roman government to stiffen the penalty precisely in Palestine and to erect a notice regarding it specifically in Nazareth or the vicinity.” 54/118-19 It well could be a response to the commotion caused by Christ’s resurrection.

Facts to Be Reckoned With

Now, something happened. Something happened almost two thousand years ago that changed the course of history from B.C. (Before Christ) to A.D. (the Latin Anno Domini – the year of our Lord).

That “something” was so dramatic it completely changed eleven men’s lives, so that all but one died a martyr’s death.

That something was an empty tomb! An empty tomb that a 15-minute walk from the center of Jerusalem would have confirmed or disproved.

Even after the two thousand years since that time, mankind hasn’t forgotten the empty tomb nor the resurrection appearances of Jesus Christ.

If you wish to rationalize away the events surrounding Christ and His resurrection, you must deal with certain imponderables. In fact, you might say that both the Jews and the Romans outwitted themselves when they took so many precautions to make sure Jesus was dead and remained in the grave. These “security precautions” -taken with the trial, crucifixion, burial, entombment, sealing and the guarding of Christ’s tomb -make it very difficult for critics to defend their position that Christ did not rise from the dead!

Consider these seven facts:

FACT #1-Broken Roman Seal

The first obvious fact was the breaking of the seal that stood for the power and authority of the Roman Empire. The consequences of breaking the seal were severe. The FBI and CIA of the Roman Empire were called into action to find the man or men responsible. When they were apprehended, it meant automatic execution by crucifixion upside down. Your guts ran into your throat. So people feared the breaking of the seal. Even the disciples displayed signs of cowardice, and hid themselves.

FACT #2-The Empty Tomb

Another obvious fact after the resurrection was the empty tomb. The disciples of Christ did not go off to Athens or Rome to preach Christ raised from the dead; they went right back to the city of Jerusalem where, if what they were teaching were false, their message would have been disproved. The resurrection could not have been maintained for a moment in Jerusalem if the tomb had not been empty.

Dr. Paul Maier says,

Where did Christianity first begin? To this the answer must be: “Only one spot on earth -the city of Jerusalem.” But this is the very last place it could have started if Jesus’ tomb remained occupied, since anyone producing a dead Jesus would have driven a wooden stake through the heart of an incipient Christianity inflamed by His supposed resurrection.

What happened in Jerusalem seven weeks after the first Easter could have taken place only if Jesus’ body were somehow missing from Joseph’s tomb, for otherwise the Temple establishment, in its embroglio with the Apostles, would simply have aborted the movement by making a brief trip over to the sepulcher of Joseph of Arimathea and unveiling exhibit A. They did not do this, because they knew the tomb was empty. Their official explanation for it – that the disciples had stolen the body – was an admission that the sepulcher was indeed vacant.

There are both Jewish and Roman sources and traditions that acknowledge an empty tomb. These sources range from the Jewish historian Josephus to a compilation of fifth-century Jewish writings called the Toledoth Jeshu. Maier calls this “positive evidence from a hostile source, which is the strongest kind of historical evidence. In essence, this means that if a source admits a fact decidedly not in its favor, then that fact is genuine.” 55/5

Gamaliel, who was a member of the Sanhedrin, put forth the suggestion that the Christian movement was of God (Acts 5:34-42); he could not have done this if the tomb had been occupied, or if the Sanhedrin had known the whereabouts of Christ’s body.

Even Justin Martyr in his Dialogue With Trypho relates that the Jerusalem authorities sent special representatives throughout the Mediterranean world to counteract the story of the empty tomb with the explanation that His followers stole the body. Why would the Jewish authorities bribe the Roman guard and propagate the “stolen body” explanation if the tomb was occupied? Historian Ron Sider concluded that: “If the Christians and their Jewish opponents both agreed that the tomb was empty, we have little choice but to accept the empty tomb as an historical fact.”

FACT #3-Large Stone Moved

On that Sunday morning, the first thing that impressed the people who approached the tomb was the unusual position of that 1-1/2- to 2-ton stone that had been lodged in front of the doorway. All the Gospel writers mentioned the removal of the large stone.

Up an Incline

For example, in Matthew 27, it is said that a “large stone was rolled against the entrance of the tomb.” Here the Greek word used for roll is kulio, meaning “to roll.” Mark used the same root word kulio. However, in Mark 16, he added a preposition to explain the position of the stone after the resurrection.

In Greek, as in English, to change the direction of a verb or to intensify it, you add a preposition. He added the preposition ana, which means “up or upward.” So, anakulio can mean “to roll something up a slope or an incline.” For Mark, then, to have used that verb, there would have had to be a slope or an incline coming down to the front of that tomb.

Away From

In fact, that stone was so far “up a slope” that Luke used the same root word kulio, but added a different preposition, apo. Apo can mean, according to the Greek lexicons, “a separation from,” in the sense of “a distance from.” Apokulio, then, means to roll one object away from another object in a sense of “separation” or “distance from it.” Now, they saw the stone moved away in a sense of distance from “what”?

Let’s go back to Mark 16. On Sunday morning, the women were coming to the tomb.

You might say, “Wait a minute! Why were those women coming to the tomb Sunday mornings?” One reason was to anoint the body over the graveclothes with a mixture of spices and perfume. Another might ask, “Why would they come since the Roman security unit was there guarding the grave?”

That’s quite simple. The guard did not examine the body and secure the sepulcher until Saturday afternoon. On Friday afternoon the women had watched as the body was prepared in a private burial area. They lived in the suburb of Bethany and therefore were not aware of the Roman and Jewish actions about putting extra security at the place of Christ’s burial.

Let’s go back to Mark 16 again.

The women are saying, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” Here, they used the Greek word for entrance. That’s logical, isn’t it? But, when they got there they said, “Who rolled the stone away from …?” and here they changed the Greek word for “the entrance” to the word used for the entire massive sepulcher. Apokulio, then, means “away from” in the sense of at a “distance from the entire massive sepulcher.”

Picked Up and Carried

In fact, the stone was in such a position up a slope away from the entire massive sepulcher that John (chapter 20) used a different Greek verb, airo, which (according to the Arndt and Gingrish Lexicon) means, “to pick something up and carry it away.”

Now, I ask you, if the disciples had wanted to come in, tiptoe around the sleeping guards, then roll the stone over and steal the body, why would they have moved a 1-1/2- to 2-ton stone up a slope away from the entire massive sepulcher to such a position that it looked like someone had picked it up and carried it away? Those soldiers would have had to be deaf not to have heard that stone being moved.

FACT #4-Roman Guard Goes AWOL

The Roman guard fled. They left their place of responsibility. This has to be explained away because the military discipline of the Romans was exceptionally good. Justin, in his Digest #49, mentions all offenses which required the penalty of death: a scout remaining with the enemy (-3.4), desertion (-3.11; -5.1-3), losing or disposing of one’s arms (-3.130), disobedience in war time (-3.15), going over the wall or rampart (-3.17), starting a mutiny (-3.19), refusing to protect an officer or deserting one’s post (-3.22), a drafted man hiding from service (-4.2), murder (-4.5), laying hands on a superior or insult to a general (-6.1), leading flight when the example would influence others (-6.3), betraying plans to the enemy (-6.4; -7), wounding a fellow soldier with a sword (-6.6), disabling self or attempting suicide without reasonable excuse (-6.7), leaving the night watch (-10.1), breaking the centurion’s staff or striking him when being punished (-13.4), escaping guard house (-13.5), and disturbing the peace (-16.1). To the above, one can add “falling asleep.” If it was not apparent which soldier had failed in duty, then lots were drawn to see who would be punished with death for the guard unit’s failure.

Fear of Punishment

One way a guard was put to death was by being stripped of his clothes, then burned alive in a fire started with the garments. The entire unit certainly would not have fallen asleep with that threat hanging over their heads. The history of Roman discipline and security testifies to the fact that if the tomb had not been empty the soldiers never would have left their position, nor would they have gone to the high priest. The fear of the wrath of their superiors and the possibility of the death penalty meant they paid close attention to the most minute details of their job. Dr. George Curie, who studied carefully the military discipline of the Romans, wrote that fear of punishment “produced flawless attention to duty, especially in the night watches.” 16/41-43

Dr. Bill White is in charge of the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. His responsibilities have caused him to study quite extensively the resurrection and the events following the first Easter. White makes several critical observations about the Jewish authorities bribing the Roman guard:

If the stone were simply rolled to one side of the tomb, as would be necessary to enter it, then they might be justified in accusing the men of sleeping at their posts, and in punishing them severely. If the men protested that the earthquake broke the seal and that the stone rolled back under the vibration, they would still be liable to punishment for behavior, which might be labeled cowardice.

But these responsibilities do not meet the case. There was some undeniable evidence, which made it impossible for the chief priests to bring any charge against the guard. The Jewish authorities must have visited the scene, examined the stone, and recognized its position as making it humanly impossible for their men to have permitted its removal. No twist of human ingenuity could provide an adequate answer or scapegoat and so they were forced to bribe the guard and seek to hush things up.

FACT #5-Graveclothes Tell a Tale

In a literal sense, the tomb was not actually empty. Instead, an amazing phenomenon occurred. After visiting the grave and seeing the stone rolled away, the women ran back and told the disciples. Then Peter and John took off running. John outran Peter, and upon arriving at the tomb he did not enter. Instead, he leaned over and looked in and saw something so startling that he immediately believed.

He looked over to the place where the body of Jesus had lain. There were graveclothes, in the form of a body, slightly caved in and empty -like the empty chrysalis of a caterpillar’s cocoon. That was enough to make a believer out of anybody! He never did get over it!

The first thing that stuck in the minds of the disciples was not the empty tomb -but the empty graveclothes, undisturbed in their form and position.

FACT #6-Appearances of Christ Confirmed

On several occasions, Christ appeared alive after the cataclysmic events of that first Easter.

A Principle to Remember

When studying an event in history, it is important to investigate whether enough people who were participants or eyewitnesses to the event were alive when the facts about the event were published. This is helpful to validate the accuracy of the published report. If the number is substantial, the event can be fairly well established. For instance, if we all witness a murder, and in a week the police report turns out to be composed of fabricated lies, we as eyewitnesses can refute it.

In other words, when a book is written about an event, the accuracy of its contents can be validated if enough people are alive at the time it is published who have been either eyewitnesses of, or participants in, the events recorded.

Several very important factors often are overlooked when investigating Christ’s post-resurrection appearances to individuals. The first is the large number of witnesses of Christ after that first Sunday morning.

Fifty Hours of Eyewitnesses

One of the earliest records of Christ’s appearing after the resurrection is by Paul (I Corinthians 15). The apostle appeals to his audience’s knowledge of the fact that Christ had been seen by more than five hundred people at one time. Paul reminds them that the majority of these people were still alive and could be questioned.

Dr. Ewin M. Yamauchi, associate professor of history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, emphasizes:

What gives a special authority to the list [of witnesses] as historical evidence is the reference to most of the five hundred brethren being still alive. St. Paul says in effect, “If you do not believe me, you can ask them.”

Let’s take the more than five hundred witnesses who saw Jesus alive after His death and burial and place them in a courtroom. Do you realize that if each of these five hundred people were to testify only six minutes each, including cross-examination, you would have an amazing fifty hours of firsthand eyewitness testimony? Add to this the testimony of many other eyewitnesses and you could well have the largest and most lopsided trial in history.

Variety of People

The second factor often overlooked is the variety of locations and people involved in Jesus’ appearances.

Professor Merrill C. Tenney of Wheaton College writes:

It is noteworthy that these appearances are not stereotyped. No two of them are exactly alike. The appearance to Mary Magdalene occurred in early morning; that to the travelers to Emmaus in the afternoon; and to the apostles in the evening, probably after dark. He appeared to Mary in the open air. Mary was alone when she saw Him; the disciples were together in a group; and Paul records that on one occasion He appeared to more than five hundred at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6).

The reactions also were varied. Mary was overwhelmed with emotion; the disciples were frightened; Thomas was obstinately incredulous when told of the Lord’s resurrection, but worshiped Him when He manifested Himself. Each occasion had its own peculiar atmosphere and characteristics, and revealed some different quality of the risen Lord.

In no way can anyone say His appearances were stereotyped.

Hostile Viewers

A third factor very crucial to interpreting Christ’s appearance is that He also appeared to those who were hostile or unconvinced. Over and over again I have read or heard people comment that Jesus was seen alive after His death and burial only by His friends and followers. Using this argument, they attempt to water down the overwhelming impact of the eyewitness accounts -but this line of reasoning is so pathetic it hardly deserves comment.

No author or informed individual would regard Saul of Tarsus to have been a follower of Christ. The facts show the exact opposite. He despised Christ and persecuted Christ’s followers (Acts 8:1; 9:1,2; Philippians 3:5,6). For Paul it was a life-shattering experience when Christ appeared to him (Acts 9:3-6). Although Paul was not at the time a disciple, he later became one of the greatest witnesses for the truth of the resurrection.

No one acquainted with the facts can accurately say that Jesus appeared to just “an insignificant few.”

FACT #7-Women Saw Him First

Another authenticating feature of the resurrection narrative is that the first appearances of the risen Christ were not to His disciples, but rather to women-to Mary Magdalene and the other women. This must have been an embarrassment to the apostles, Christ’s inner circle. They were likely quite jealous.

According to Jewish principles of legal evidence women were invalid witnesses. They did not have a right to give testimony in a court of law.

Unreliable Testimony

Dr. Maier accurately observes that since the testimony of a woman was deemed unreliable, the “initial reaction of the Eleven was understandably one of suspicion and disbelief. Again, if the resurrection accounts had been manufactured … women would never have been included in the story, at least, not as first witnesses.”

It Changed Their Lives

The changed lives of those early Christian believers is one of the most telling testimonies to the fact of the resurrection. We must ask ourselves: What motivated them to go everywhere proclaiming the message of the risen Christ?

Had there been visible benefits accruing to them from their efforts such as prestige, wealth or increased social status-we might logically account for their actions. As a reward, however, for their wholehearted and total allegiance to this “risen Christ,” these early Christians were beaten, stoned to death, thrown to the lions, tortured, crucified and subjected to every conceivable method of stopping them from talking. Yet they were the most peaceful of men, who physically forced their beliefs on no one. Rather they laid down their very lives as the ultimate proof of their complete confidence in the truth of their message.

Those Hardest to Convince

There was the skeptical family of Jesus (John 7:1-5). His brothers did not believe in Him. They were embarrassed to hear their brother say to the people, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by Me,” and “I am the vine, you are the branches,” and “I’m the shepherd, you are the sheep” (John 14:6; 15:5; 10:11). What would you do if your brother did that?

There was James, His brother. He was found in the company of the Pharisees. James and his brothers mocked Jesus.

However, after Jesus went to that degrading death on the cross, disgracing the family, and was buried, where do we find those hardest to convince -His own family?

We find them in the upper room with the disciples waiting for the Holy Spirit to be sent (Acts 1:13,14). Now, since they mocked Him while He was alive, what happened in a matter of a few days to turn their lives upside down?

James became a leader in the early church and wrote an epistle stating, “I James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ [his brother]. . ” (James 1). Eventually, for the cause of Christ, James died a martyr’s death -he was stoned.

What happened?

The best explanation I know is recorded by Paul: “Then He appeared to James” (I Corinthians 15:7).

His Cowardly Followers

What about the fearful disciples of Jesus? When the authorities captured Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, “all the disciples left Him and fled” (Matthew 26:56; Mark 14:50). During Christ’s trial, Peter went out and denied Him three times (John 18:15-27; Mark 14:66-72). After Christ was crucified, the fearful disciples hid themselves in an upper room and locked the doors (John 20:19). But something happened within days to totally change this group of cowardly followers into a bold band of enthusiasts who faced martyrdom without fear or hesitation. Peter, who had denied Jesus, was imprisoned for his persistency in preaching a “risen Christ” and later was himself crucified upside down.

What happened? The most logical explanation is that the resurrected Jesus “appeared to Cephas [Peter] … then to all the Apostles” (1 Corinthians 15:5-7).

A Jewish Fanatic Converted

And how about Paul, the religious persecutor of the Christians? This Jewish fanatic so hated the followers of Christ that he obtained special permission to go to other cities and incarcerate Christ’s disciples. He ravaged the church (Acts 8:1-3; 9:1,2; 22:3-5).

But something happened to this persecutor. He turned from an antagonist to a protagonist of Jesus. He was transformed from a murderer to a Christian missionary. He changed from a bitter interrogator of Christians to one of the greatest propagators of the Christian faith.

The irony is that Paul began to confound the Jewish authorities “by proving Jesus is the Christ,” the Son of God (Acts 9:22). He was eventually killed for his devotion to Christ.

What happened? This historical explanation is Paul’s statement that Jesus “appeared to me also” (1 Corinthians 15:8; Acts 9:3-22).

It would be very difficult to explain the transformation of these men if the resurrection were not true. Professor Robert Grant says: “The origin of Christianity is almost incomprehensible unless such an event took place.” 32/302

A Resurrection Explains All the Facts

Harvard law professor Simon Greenleaf, a man who lectured for years on how to break down testimony and determine whether or not a witness is lying, concludes:

It was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact.

The annals of military warfare afford scarcely an example of the like heroic constancy, patience, and unflinching courage. They had every possible motive to review carefully the grounds of their faith, and the evidences of the great facts and truths they asserted.

A believer in Jesus Christ today can have the complete confidence, as did those first Christians, that his faith is based not on myth or legend but on the solid historical fact of the empty tomb and the risen Christ.

Pray this prayer brother and be saved! Because God of our father Ibrahim loves you!

Jesus, my Lord, Issa Al Massih, I know that I am a sinner.

I know now that You are God.

Forgive me that I didn’t believe in You and sinned all my life.

And thank You for diying on the cross for my sin

and paying prize for it and risen again from the dead.

I am turning from my sin now.

And I am making choice to believe in You all my life

and follow You as my Savior and Lord.

Thank You for calling me and forgiving me, and receiving me, and loving me.

Thank you Lord that You adopted me through my Faith into YOU.

Help me to follow You from this day forward.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer

then know that God promised if we confess our sins then He is faithful and just to forgive us through faith into Jesus Christ and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Contact me here:
anaalmaas@maghreb.cc

Christians should be together
to support each other!

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,

the Beginning and the End,”

says the Lord,

“who is and who was and

who is to come, the Almighty.”

And when I saw Him,

I fell at His feet as dead.

But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me,

“Do not be afraid;

I am the First and the Last.

I am He who lives,

and

was dead,

and behold,

I am alive forevermore.

Amen.

And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.


God has so much more for you,

walk in His plan,

and you will fulfill His great commission for your life just believe in Him.

To believe in Him means to believe in His Son God Jesus, repent and live as God says in Bible. Because God is ONE and He is worthy to be praised.

http://www.arabworld.ning.com

http://www.arabkingdom.wordpress.com

anaalmaas@maghreb.cc

al96.jpg

http://www.arabworld.ning.com

http://www.arabkingdom.wordpress.com

anaalmaas@maghreb.cc    or    fadlofallah@gmail.com

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: