Oh, man, am I depressed.
Haven’t you heard?
They found the box with Jesus’ bones in it. Twenty-seven years ago, and even though the BBC found out about it a decade ago, American TV is just now breaking the news. And on that paragon of scientific research, The Discovery Channel. Well, I expected more timely coverage from them.
At least it’ll be well done, I’m sure. Hey, James Cameron is a heck of a filmmaker. He can break your heart on the Titanic, scare the bejeepers out of you with The Terminator and even bring you to tears at the awesome beauty of God’s creation in the bottom of the ocean’s Aliens of the Deep.
And even though I’m not familiar with the authors of the book this documentary is based on – or their qualifications – you’ve gotta know that James Cameron would never side up with anyone less than stellar, or pursue a project he couldn’t believe in, or do something just for the money or the news coverage. And they’d never cook the books on statistical probabilities of name distribution in an ancient culture or exaggerate the implications of DNA testing. Right?
The bones of Jesus. Though I hear that they were considered unimportant by those who discovered it, and were disposed of. Man, what a loss. What a story they could tell … about being whipped, crucified, lanced and all. Not to mention resurrected and gathered to heaven.
But what made Jesus come back to Jerusalem, start a family, move mom and dad there and choose to die all over again in middle-class comfort and be buried in a fairly expensive tomb? (Did Joseph of Arimathea donate that one, too?) Or are we to believe something else implied by this incredible 27-year-old discovery?
Wow, I guess we’ll never know for sure.
It sure could throw a monkey wrench into the machinery of traditional Christianity, couldn’t it?
I mean, haven’t we always thought that Jesus just died the one time, left an empty tomb with folded grave clothes and dozens if not hundreds of witnesses to the sham trials, the torture, the murder, the resurrected body that still featured wound marks and was capable of cooking and eating fish for breakfast?
Just the idea that the people who loved the family most would lie about all that, maybe to protect them so they could live out normal lives – would lie about it, even when threatened with death by Romans – and that the martyrdoms for the lie would continue on and off for three hundred years … well, it’s just kind of sad and pathetic, isn’t it?
Especially when the story they told conformed to all kinds of prophecies from centuries before. Even when it offered hope to thousands and then millions and now billions of people. Even when people lived out lives of service and generosity to others in need, just in the attempt to be like Jesus.
Breaks your heart, doesn’t it? That it was all for nothing?
All those hospitals created for the sake of showing the love of Jesus … all those mission outreaches that brought appropriate technology like well-digging, irrigation, and brick-making to undeveloped cultures … all pointless, because they pointed to a Jesus that lived pretty well; lived the American dream: married the girl that had been rescued from seven demons, had the family with 2.2 kids with the folks living nearby and even had a pretty nice box to be buried in when it was finally all over.
To think, all these centuries, we poor deluded Christians have labored under the delusion that you can’t put Jesus in a box.
Well, the documentary’s gotta be true.
Because the names are right there on the ossuary. In real Hebrew, no less. The DNA proves that two of the former occupants weren’t related maternally, and therefore could have been married to each other. The odds of a Jesus being buried with a father named Joseph and a wife named Mary and not being the ones in the New Testament are, well, incalculable.
After all, statistics don’t lie.