THE BURIAL OF JESUS- Introduction
The Gospels report that Jesus was buried in a rock tomb and He was buried by Joseph of Arimathea. They go on to say that he rose from the dead and that he ascended into heaven. Skeptics, faced with these accounts, often respond by saying that Jesus could never have been buried in a tomb. Do you ever wonder why they grasp at that straw? Was he buried in a tomb or wasn’t he?
THE BURIAL OF JESUS- An Exception?
Skeptics frequently point out that the Romans typically threw those they crucified in shallow unmarked graves. Well while that’s true, it doesn’t necessarily follow that crucifixion victims were always buried in this manner. The fact is, most crucifixion victims were runaway slaves, rebels, the people that the Romans considered to be the riff raf of society. Obviously, they weren’t about to pay for fancy burials for people like this! And of course, in most cases, their families and friends were poor or imprisoned and couldn’t pay the price of a major league funeral either. But Jesus clearly didn’t fit the mold of the common criminal. Far from being a petty thief, he was turning the world upside down by the brilliance of his words, not to mention the dramatics of his deeds.
THE BURIAL OF JESUS- Joseph of Arimathea
For me it’s not at all hard to imagine that he attracted some pretty substantial people — people like Joseph of Arimathea. And by the way, it’s a fact that skeptics frequently claim that Joseph of Arimathea was never involved in Christ’s death and burial at all. However this is simply untrue. Not only do all four Gospels affirm this fact, but in addition even the most minute details that support his burial dovetail nicely with the archaeological evidence. Of course that happens to be because the narratives just happen to be based on genuine historical events.
THE BURIAL OF JESUS- Conclusion
The evidence is indeed overwhelming! Jesus was buried in a rock tomb and he was buried by Joseph of Arimathea. In fact, with every turn of the archaeologists spade the skeptics increasingly are forced to grasp at straws. Not only is the evidence that he was buried in a rock tomb incontrovertible, but the evidence for his resurrection is incontrovertible as well. On The Burial of Jesus, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.