“A warm Spring welcome to Zingcreed, the annoying religious blog that knows no boundaries. It’s a polemic for the post-Christian era in which we are living.
I love Spring.
Here in North London the street trees are in blossom, the frogs are croaking as they copulate in the pond I dug in my garden, and the house smells of Hyacinths. Easter is just around the corner and I am putting my potatoes in (Charlotte variety: our favourites.) I can manage without Easter bunnies, chocolate eggs and Easter services.
I hope this piece, timed for Easter, doesn’t upset people. It’s just a thought that came into my head – I didn’t get it from one of the many books I read. I am very ignorant about Christian theology, a bumbling outsider, and I am sure Christians that read this Post will be able to answer the point I raise. I will publish any interesting replies. I tried it out on a voluble street preacher in Wood Green (North London) this afternoon and his response was “You have to have faith.” That just won’t do. It’s not an answer, it’s a cop out. I hope you find this “Question for all Christians” intriguing.
Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.”
I’ll start with a post-resurrection quote from Luke 24 (vv. 39, 42) And he said to them, “Why are you upset?….You can see from my hands and my feet that it’s really me. Touch me and see – a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones as you can see that I have…..he said to them,”Do you have anything here to eat?” They offered him a piece of grilled fish, and he took it and ate it in front of them. (Scholars version)
Jesus’s death on the cross is at the centre of the whole religion. It’s like the keystone of the arch: without it the whole edifice crumbles and collapses. We are told that his death redeems us from sin, that only his blood sacrifice puts us right in the eyes of God. These are enormous claims, earth-shattering claims, paradigm-shifting, game changing claims, yet they are all based on flimsy foundations.
For besides emphasising the significance of his death the bible also stresses the importance of his unique resurrection. Unique because he’s the only person in human history to resurrect. How can you believe that he died and that he was walking and talking a couple of days later? Doesn’t that undermine the credibility of the claims made for his atoning death?
You can’t have it both ways – either he really died, in the usual sense of the word, or he didn’t.And if his death wasn’t real then neither was his sacrifice, neither was his offer of ‘salvation.’ Let’s look at the 2 alternatives:
1/ If Jesus really ate some fish in front of his mates after his death, as Luke claims, then he was alive and kicking, he was not dead at all. Which is it to be? If he was executed on Friday and walked out of the tomb on Sunday (which is rising on the second day, not the third – they’ve exaggerated the time interval by 50%, but that’s not my point here) then he didn’t die. His supposed death, which the church sets such great store by, was fake, pretend, false, fixed, phoney, fraudulent, a con trick. Not a good foundation for the claim that he “died for our sins”. How could he have if he didn’t really die at all. It must be the most dubious death in human history and yet they tell us that more hangs on it than on any other death in human history!
2/ If on the other hand he really did die, a real death, not a fake one, then the resurrection is all a myth, it’s a logical impossibility. St Paul, though, claimed it is the heart of the faith: if Christ was not raised, then our gospel is null and void, and so is your faith; and we turn out to be lying witnesses for God because we bore witness that he raised Christ to life. (1 Cor 15:14 – 15) (N.E.B.)
Just a couple of reminders:
When a person dies their body decays, the corpse releases gases and stinks, especially in hot climates.
No one in human history has ever been brought back from the dead, there is no such thing as resurrection.
No one has ever seen a ghost.
So the question is: was Jesus’s death at Easter real or fake?
Answers to Zingcreed, please.
This is the first of a number of Questions for all Christians I have up my sleeve.