MAKE NO BONES ABOUT IT
Rev. Jim Henry
John 20: 1-9; 1 Corinthians 15
The Lord willing, about three weeks from now, there's going to be an excited group of tourists making a journey to the Holy Land. One day they will step on the top of Mount of Olives and our guide will show us a panoramic view of Jerusalem. He will point all the important sites to us as believers--the Eastern Gate, the home of Caiaphas, and the walls around Jerusalem. We will be standing on the place where Jesus ascended into Heaven and where, He promised, He will come back. Then we will go down the steep road that leads to the walls of Jerusalem. It's on the way to Gethsemane, where Jesus went to pray. About half way down, the guide is going to take us aside, for just a few minutes, to see a cave. Inside we will see some boxes, and the guide will ask us, "Do you know what these boxes are?" Those of you here today, who will be going with us on the trip will tell him we know what they are. They are ossuaries, which hold the bones of Jewish people who died hundreds and thousands of years ago. That's a tradition in that part of the world, to put the bones in those containers.
In 1996 the British Broadcasting Company, in conjunction with the London Sunday Times, decided that they would send reporters to Jerusalem to see if they could find the bones of Jesus. They thought if they could, it would make a great difference in basic Christianity and the very foundation of our faith. The journalists began to look for ossuaries in Jerusalem and, among those they found, was a box with a label listing the names of Joseph, Mary, Matthew, and Judah, son of Jesus. They thought they had found the bones of Jesus but, it made no sense because there is no record in the Bible of Jesus being married or having children. Next, they wouldn't have had the ossuary buried in Jerusalem because Jesus' parents lived in Nazareth and Joseph had died many years before. The journalists tried to make a ...
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