5.13 Hiding the miracles:
When Mary Magdalene and Mary the Mother of Jesus saw Jesus (pbut) after the alleged crucifixion and resurrection, he was wearing gardener's clothing (John 20:15). What was the significance of Jesus wearing gardener's clothing (as opposed to normal clothing)? Was it meant to be a disguise? If so, for what purpose?
Why were the women who visited the tomb terrified (Mark 16:8)? If Jesus (pbuh) had indeed foretold of his death and resurrection then should they not be overjoyed to see the alleged confirmation of this prophesy? What did they have to be terrified of if Jesus' prophesy to them was being fulfilled before their very eyes? Should they not be ecstatic? Should they not be overjoyed? Did Jesus not publicly challenge the Jews that he would die and be resurrected after three days? (section 5.10 of this book). Should the two women not have been expecting his resurrection? Should they not have been awaiting it with the utmost anticipation?
If Jesus could conquer death and rise from the dead, why did he fear seeing the Jews after the crucifixion? Particularly as death had no more power over him?
"Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him."
Why disguise himself, hide from the Jews and Romans, and appear only to the disciples? Surely, this was the great manifestation of his power and the fulfillment of the purpose of his creation according to the Church. What was the purpose in keeping it all a secret now? Are we not told in the Bible that Jesus (pbuh) told the Jews that they shall receive no sign except the "three days and three nights" sign? (Matthew 12:38-40) Are we not told that this would be his greatest sign to them? If all of this was true, and he had overcome death, and the Jews could no longer kill him, why did he not go marching with all of the disciples into the middle of town and shout at the top of his lungs to the Jews: "Here is the verification of my greatest challenge to you, come and see for yourselves"? Why issue the challenge if he is not willing to show up and prove his truthfulness to those he has challenged? Why show himself only to those who didn't need to be convinced? Why not show himself to those who disbelieved so that they might recognize their error and be saved eternally?
The Church fathers have struggled with this conundrum for centuries in an effort to make sense of it. Their explanations however have all been based on mere conjecture or strange and illogical interpretations. For example, the third century Church father Origen (185-254AD) comments
"Christ avoided the judge who condemned him, and his enemies, that they might not be smitten with blindness."
Life of Jesus, David Strauss, p. 738
Others have suggested that Jesus did not show himself to those he had challenged because that would have compelled them to believe!? or because they would not have believed even had they seen him so there was no use trying? (i.e. What about all of the "neutral" onlookers who would have believed had he publicly shown himself to the Jews as he had promised?). All of these attempts have been doomed to failure since they have all avoided addressing the actual cause of this problem. Specifically, that someone's fingers have been tampering with the text. ...Something to think about.
On the other hand if, Jesus (pbuh) was a human being who was not crucified but had been protected by God from the hands of the Jews, and if his ministry were about to come to an end, and if he needed to see his disciples one last time and deliver one last parting sermon to them, and the Jews were eager to kill him at the first sign of his presence, then it would be completely logical for him to disguise himself and stay out of the public eye. What reason can there be for him to so severely stifle and hide his greatest miracle and challenge to the Jews and the most powerful confirmation of his mission and his prophesies if he had truly said these things and they were not later additions of unscrupulous tampering fingers?
The Resurrection - Put on the Jews for Judaism home page. A short Biblical study to assist in evaluating this most central of Christian claims - from the Jewish point of view.
Why Didn't They Know?
According to the author, "just about everyone who had been associated with Jesus knew that he was supposed to be resurrected except the apostles." This article examines the numerous New Testament references to the apostles' skepticism of a resurrection. Perhaps the most interesting part of this article even though Luke (24:46) and Paul (1 Cor. 15:4) alleged that the "scriptures" said that Jesus would be raised on the "third day ", no such prophecy exists. As the author puts it, " . . . the claim and the reality are two different things. One could search the OT scriptures until doom's day, and he would find nothing written about a Messiah who would rise from the dead on the third day. One will find nothing in the OT scriptures about a risen Messiah, period!" Read it and see . . .
Did They or Didn't They?
After the women supposedly saw Jesus' empty tomb, did they tell anyone what they saw or didn't they? "That's the problem that inerrantists must resolve."
What Third-Day Prophecy?
The New Testament claims that the Messiah rose on the third day "according to the scriptures", but where in the Old Testament is a prophecy whose face-value meaning was so obvious that no reasonable person could deny that the prophets were indeed predicting that the Messiah would rise from the dead? Claiming prophecy fulfillment when there was no prophecy . . . a BIG problem for Christians. Excellent . . . so read it!!!