SERMONS, OUTLINES, ILLUSTRATIONS, AND PREACHING IDEAS

THE LOST TOMB OR THE EMPTY TOMB? WHICH IS IT AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?

by Stan Coffey


The Lost Tomb or the Empty Tomb? Which Is It and Why Does It Matter?
Stan Coffey
Matthew 27:62-66


This Easter we must all make a choice. Whether we will stand with the skeptics who say they have found the Lost Tomb of Jesus or do we stand with 2000 years of Christian scholarship and testimony and millions of Christians who believe in the empty tomb of Jesus?

The importance of your answer is defined by Mark 1:16, ''Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.''

What is the new attack on the literally bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead in particular and on the Christian faith as well?

Hundreds of ancient tombs have been discovered in Jerusalem, but one represents an attempt to rewrite the early history of Christianity. In 1980, a construction crew exposed a family tomb which had remained hidden since the first Century.

Carved above the tomb entrance were unusual symbols and inside the tomb archaeologists found ten ossuaries (small limestone coffins) in which Jews of the time, placed the bones of their dead.

While only 20 percent of ossuaries discovered in Israel have inscriptions, six of the ten in this tomb had writing on them. The team removed the boxes, catalogued them and stored them in a warehouse.

It was not until years later that other researchers noticed that the ossuaries bore an unusual cluster of names which, if taken together, might be construed to be a list of the members of Jesus' family.

In the feature documentary, ''The Lost Tomb of Jesus,'' aired on the Discovery Channel, it is asserted by director James Cameron, who also directed the Titanic movie and documentary, and by Simacha Jacobovici, that this is the family tomb of Jesus of Nazareth.

Six inscriptions were discovered with names similar to or the same as some of Jesus Christ's family and disciples.

Jesus, son of Joseph, Mary, Mariamene Mara, Matthew, Jofa, and Judah, son of Jesus.

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