A Literal Resurrection Is Just Silly

I have never been comfortable with the idea that a human can be crucified and then resurrected. It makes no sense and reeks of silliness. Here’s why:

  1. Dead is dead. If Jesus had played dead and he wasn’t, the centurion who had pronounced him dead would have been crucified the next day. Those were the rules of Roman crucifixions. Jesus was dead.
  2. Jesus was crucified because he had been charged with sedition (claiming to be a king), and the Romans would have been extra careful to make sure that not one element of Jesus was left to later worship as a martyr. As with all crucifixions, the crucified were either on the cross for the wild animals to eat that night or taken to Gehenna (the city dump of Jerusalem) and burned until every bit of his humanity was gone. What body parts would be left to resurrect?
  3. The first time the followers of Jesus heard a resurrection story was fifty-five or so years after Jesus had died. The last one, John’s rendition, could have been written ninety years later. We all know that stories “age” as they travel through time. The Gospel of Mark first appeared about 70 CE, some forty years after Jesus died, and it stopped at 6:8, with no resurrection story. Today’s Mark 16:9–20, a resurrection story, was added some hundred or so years after 70 CE.
  4. Twenty-three Gospels talk about the life of Jesus. Only Matthew, Luke, John, and Peter even mentioned a resurrection story. The rest, for some reason, didn’t know or care.
  5. Science tells us that a body starts decaying about four minutes after it dies. Decaying means turning rancid. In hot climates, that stink starts quickly. Picture a decaying odoriferous Jesus walking around. I can’t.
  6. Each of the remaining three Gospels tell a different resurrection story. Why? Could it be because it was a metaphor, not historical fact?
  7. Maybe the people who wrote these Gospels knew that Jesus had died as a felon, which was not a positive trait for Messiahship. A good way to expunge that criminal record and become more Christlike would be divine intervention.
  8. At the time of Jesus’s death there were at least sixteen similar savior crucifixion resurrection stories (see The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors by Kersey Graves). Jesus resurrection was just one of many.

Literal resurrections worked for centuries, but no more. We have too much science refuting its possibility. Many folks might be leaving the church because its ancient, fictitious, silly ideas don’t make sense anymore.

I have an idea. Let’s look at the resurrection stories as being metaphors—life-transforming ones that have changed the course of many people’s lives and civilization.

My question for you is, Was Jesus a first-century Houdini or a messenger of the power of agape love?

Your choice.

Peace Love Joy Hope


Photo by Zachary Olson on Unsplash

5 thoughts on “A Literal Resurrection Is Just Silly”

  1. Bill I believe Jesus was a revolutionary in the deepest sense and he preached revolutionary love that transformed lives. Thank you for your thoughts.


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