This is the fourth in a series of posts dealing with the death and resurrection of Jesus.
In their desire to cast doubt on eyewitness testimony to the resurrection of Jesus, one of the things that anti-theists run up against are details in the account that simply wouldn’t be there if the accounts were invented, exaggerated, or flat out lies.
An example of this is someone we read about called Joseph who was from Arimathea. If you know the account, you’ll remember that this was the guy who apparently went and asked to take the body of Jesus from the cross. He then, with the help of others, prepared the body for burial and placed the body in his very own tomb. This tomb by the way wasn’t just an old cave. That was common practice in that area at that time in history. Instead, this was a tomb that had been carved out of rock. Joseph of Arimathea was rich. However, that is not what makes his mention in the ancient texts confirming or authenticating.
The inclusion of this man in the text goes to proving the truth of the story is because Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin; the very group that was responsible for arranging the murder of Jesus. Other details about this story include facts like:
- All of the members of the Sanhedrin that were present on the night in question voted unanimously to kill Jesus, and
- Joseph of Arimathea was not present for the vote.
Those two points are a little interesting, but the biggest authenticating factor is, the early Christians were furious at the injustice of Jesus’ crucifixion and they didn’t hesitate to lay it out for the public when the opportunity arose. There is no way that they would have invented a good or friendly or helpful member of the Sanhedrin unless it was true. Think about it, as the account goes, all of Jesus’ disciples run and hide while a member of the very party that put the hit on Jesus went to His, albeit late aide. As well, this was a member of a specific well known group. Whether or not he was involved in the way the writer mentioned could have been checked out with ease.
Joseph of Arimathea is a historical figure as are the accounts that include him as part of the story.
Sceptics would have you believe that the Gospel accounts were written by New York Times best selling authors who wrote a fiction so refined and so diabolical that billions of people have been duped.
Reality is, the writers were not refined or gifted authors. They would have never thought of some of the things that I’m describing in this series of posts if they hadn’t taken place.