• Proofs of the Resurrection

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    Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

    Modern hermeneutics, redaction criticism and linguistic analysis can arrived at these historical facts: the empty tomb and the appearances to the disciples.

    The empty tomb can be explained in various ways. The only thing to say is that if the tomb were not empty, Christianity would have been nipped in the bud.

    The claim of the disciples that Jesus appeared and ate with them can also be verified, but cannot be established as a fact. The fact that they were afraid before and then boldly proclaimed the truth of Jesus’ rising from the dead, all of them dying as martyrs to their faith, can be used to bolster faith in the Resurrection.

    Scientists from NASA brought 14 tons of equipment to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, said to be the linen cloth used to wrap the body of Jesus after the Crucifixion. There are still a lot of intriguing questions to be answered scientifically. Believers claim they found faith in the image of the face in the cloth that is so peaceful, even as the marks of flagellation, the crowning of thorns, and the marks of the nails that are anatomically correct.

    Jesus’claim that He had a special, unique relationship with God and could heal and in God’s name forgive sins would find complete validation in Jesus’ resurrection.

    The implications are cosmic in scope. If Jesus really rose from the dead, then all that he said is true. Those who take up their cross and follow him will live with him in joy without end. And those who murder without mercy, those in government positions who plunder the wealth of the people, will not get away with it and will be sent to a place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    The Resurrection and modern science
    During the early years of Christianity, the Romans went to great lengths to discourage the belief in bodily resurrection. According to Eusebius of Caesarea, one group of Christians executed by the Romans had had their corpses left to rot for a week, unburied (so that they would be denied proper funerals). The remains were then cremated, and finally dumped into the Rhone River. As the ashes washed downstream, one of the overseers remarked aloud, “Now let us see if they will rise again!”

    Atheists have been trying, like the Romans of yore, to disprove the Resurrection. They are spending a lot of time and ink talking about a God they say does not exist and about a carpenter from Galilee they claim was either mad or bad in proclaiming himself equal to God.

    Christians have to explain to these atheists how physical laws can be open to the otherwise physically impossible, to divine intervention in the affairs of the cosmos.

    In the time of quantum physics, experiments show that particles may somehow remain united, regardless of the amount of space separating them, since the idea of quantum entanglement is a non-local phenomenon, unaffected by distance.

    According to Matthew Allen Newland, entanglement suggests that particular events leave a lasting “mark” upon their subjects, right down to the subatomic level. Events unite particles together, whether the spin of a progenitor particle (like a pi meson), or (perhaps!) the shared participation in a particular living body.

    Jesus’followers did, in fact, discover an empty tomb days after His death, and were surprised by His living, physical presence among them. Such an event cannot be rendered impossible by modern science because of the openness of the physical universe to seemingly unlikely events in the subatomic world.

    The death and resurrection of Jesus suggests that God involves Himself intimately in the sufferings, tragedies and joys of creaturely life, in surprising ways, according to the article “Quantum Theory and the Resurrection of Jesus,” by Anders S. Tune.

    This idea of a physical object embodying more than one set of observable features, even conflicting ones, exists in the physical sciences where light can be a wave and a particle at the same time. With Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and Schroedinger’s cat who can be both alive and dead, modern physics states that material reality is fundamentally probabilistic.

    This is because of “quantum non locality,” which states that once complex quantum systems (the universe) have interacted, they are forever entwined, no matter how far apart they are in space. This illuminates all the more profoundly the cosmic dimensions and significance of God becoming All in all.

    Faith and unbelief
    The Resurrection of Christ has resulted in centuries-long reflection on what it means for a human being to rise again from the dead. This reflection included questions about the relation of the self to the body, occasioned explorations into human identity, and resulted in the return towards a more holistic understanding of the human person.

    Pope Benedict XVI, in his homily at the Easter Vigil, April 15, 2006, said that the Resurrection of Christ is something more, something different: “If we may borrow the language of the theory of evolution, it is the greatest ‘mutation,’ absolutely the most critical leap into a totally new dimension that there has ever been in the long history of life and its development: a leap into a completely new order which does concern us and concerns the whole of history.”

    The Resurrection is a qualitative leap in the history of “evolution” and of life, according to Pope Benedict, “towards a new future life, towards a new world which, starting from Christ, already continuously permeates this world of ours, transforms it and draws it to itself.”

    The Resurrection inaugurates a new form of life, a new dimension of creation. As the poet wrote, “Our measure is not dust, enough to fill a small cup, our measure is Christ, unbroken, everlasting.”

    This is the credo of believers which goes against the materialist view of reality that understands the universe as being dead, and even if there is life in it, will one day end up in a state of absolute lifelessness.

    Faith is a leap into the dark. Faith in an afterlife or a future of the universe populated by black holes and dead stars—that is the choice we have.

    “The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope,” according to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

    The Lord is risen, Alleluia!

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    9 Comments

    1. jan yuvienco on

      not cognitive, but affective, my way of believing in the joy of the resurrection –a new life– ALSO comes from the joy of ‘experiencing’ a new life (with a new charm!) through a bouquet of dried (dead) roses. When I gather the dead petals and use them to re-arrange a new center-piece arrangement for the coffee table of our living room; and when i witness the once-red-and-bright color of the roses naturally changing into a shade of old-rose, the flowers give off a new scent, a new charm, a new vitality. And I am over-joyed! Such jubilee is my little alleluia.

    2. Purong G. I. on

      Father Beltran, thank you very much for that most informative narrative. For most of us Catholics have this belief about Jesus Christ resurrected on the third day. To those non-believers (some are Catholics) and skeptics will never be convince. No matter what science and or scientist’s proofs show to prove it nobody will be able to make them think otherwise.This is only my personal observation.

    3. Dominador D. Canastra on

      Thank you, Fr. Beltran. May your work as a priest as well as your humanitarian efforts, specially Sandiwa, continue to be blessed by God The Holy Trinity/

    4. Be a witness of Christ Resurrection.

      Man wants an objective and direct understanding of God. The problem is in the process. The process is approached from what can be perceived through the senses but this cannot be applied to God, who is a Spirit, hence he cannot be perceived by the senses. The senses can perceive supernatural events, or natural wonders that defies human understanding, and from them attribute them to God. This intermediary and indirect means to knowing God, only intensify more questions; and the interpretations persistently fail to satisfy the need to know know God. This method of approach “objectifies” God, therefore irreverent,and presumptuous. If this same method of approach applied to other human being, the effect is the same. It is meet with disdain, resistance or with contempt.
      Human beings desire personal approach to knowing others human being, how much more for a Supreme Being. There is a difference in the analogy,human being can be known objectively being person with a body. God has no body being spirit, but man has a soul which is a spirit. These are what is common to both . So God has to be personally known by the spirit of man not by his senses. Just as people are known when their spirit are shared so also with God by the spirit. If the spirit man tries to know God, he cannot reach God, because he was spiritually dead.
      There is a need to be born again of the spirit.

      Surely man can know about God objectively but those knowledge are second-hand knowledge. This secondhand knowledge does quench the hunger to know him. Big difference between knowing God and knowing about God. The second is object. This kind has a chasm between the knower and the known. There is no connection. Which sometimes could generate attitude of “What do I care?”

      John 3: 6-7 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

      That is why God shared his spirit, the Holy Spirit to man in order for man to know God. Just like knowing other people is primarily personal. Knowing God must also be personal, being personal it is necessarily subjective. This is in accordance to who He is and who man is.

      Rom 8:14 -16 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, i“Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

      Man can know God directly and personally through the Holy Spirit in him by his own spirit. Some people call this an encounter with God, an experience of God that does not originate from the mind but from the heart, and it overflow into the body and to the people around. This experience involves the whole of man. – personal meeting and connection.

      This how one can know that Jesus is risen from personal encounter, not from intellectual deduction or induction which one cannot feel or sense; unless they are experienced the are just ideas or concepts. For most people are like the Apostle Thomas, who wanted to put his hand into the wound on his side, that even seeing him was not enough. He neede to touch him. We too need to touch him to firmly unshakably anchor our faith in him. Then one can proclaim with full confidence that Jesus is risen, because one has encountered him.

      • Everyone’s perception of God is different. Because unknowable, isn’t the God each person conceives personal to him? Even The Catholic bible has different versions, there’s the Roman, the Orthodox, etc. The different readers and interpreters find different gods in the pages of the Catholic bible. Add to the mix the thousands of different Protestant bibles with their readers and their personal interpretations. ArchB Villegas even implies that their are priests who cannot trumpet the scriptures.. Then there’s the Torah, the Koran, the book of Moroni, the Hindu holy books, those of the Budhists, the Rizalists, etc. God speaks in so many languages and is understood differently by different people of faith.

    5. Bakit inuubos ng tao na patunayan ang mga bagay na ginamit ni cristo at siya ba ay nabuhay na muli galing sa kamatayan!
      Ang nakakapagtaka lang bakit ay alamin ng tao kung ano talaga ang mga kautusan ng dios at bakit hindi nila kilala si cristo at ang tunay na dios!
      Walang taong ipinaganak na siya ay atheist,ito ay bunga ng maling turo ng mga religion at hindi nila nakita sa mga ito ang totoong utos at pag-ibig ng dios,kaya pumapasok sa isipan nila na walang dios dahil hindi nila nakikita ito at nararamdaman na may dios sa mga nagtuturo nito!
      Nakasulat na ng umakyat sa langit si kristo ay nakaupo siya sa kanang kamay ng dios!bakit itinuturo na si cristo siya na ang anak at taga pamagitan pero at pinaka nakakagulat, siya pa rin ang kaisa-isang dios!
      Siya ay nagdadasal sa dios,nag-mamakaawa na sana ay wag siyang mamatay sa krus,siya na ipinanganak ng tao,binigyan ng kapanyarihan ng dios!
      Bakit bigla na lang siya ang tunay na dios!
      Sana mag-isip naman ang mga nagtuturo na hindi sila nakakatulong bagkus kinakaladkan pa nila ang mga tao sa matinding kapahamakan!maawa sana tayo!!

      • Justaskingseriously on

        Sana magpakumbaba tayo sa harap ng mga bagay na na-isulat para sa atin ng mga origenal na mga taong naranasan nila ang mga pangyayari tungkol sa pagka buhay muli ng Mesiyang naipako sa crus. Bumalik sana sa pagbasa ng Mateo 28, Marcos 16, Lucas 24, at Juan 20. Dahil si Lucas ay isang medico o manggagamut at ang kaniyang nasaisip na magbabasa sa kaniyang naisulat ay ang mga griego o mga paganos mabuti sana na ituloy din ang pagbasa sa kaniyang sinulat na “Gawa ng mga apostoles” o “Acts of the Apostles.”

        Kasama sa pagpakumbaba ang humingi ng tulong sa Espiritu Santo na bigyan ng liwanag ang isip at bigyan ng pagmamahal ang puso habang ang mga bentana ng kaluluwa ay nakabukas at nagbabasa ng mga nabanggit na mga kasulatan sa biblia.

      • Justaskingseriously on

        Ang mga sinasabi ni Jesse sa salitang engles medyo mahaba nga. Ngunit ang nag i-isang punto na dapat natin maunawa-an ay ang paraan ng pag-uunawa natin sa ating nalalaman. Alam po ng lahat na ang paraan ng ating pag-uunawa ay sa pamamagitan ng mga “senses” natin. Ang mga mata, ang mga tainga, ang mga daliri at ang buong panit (skin) ng katawan, ang “taste buds” sa tongue (dila? diwa?), ang ilong para sa amoy. Lahat nito ay material o fisical na mga bagay ang maaring alamin ng utak ng tao. Sa pamamagitan ng mga “senses”, ang utak ay nagkakaroon ng mga impormasyon at ang tao ay nagkakaroon ng kaalaman hinggil sa kaniyang paligiran.

        Ang Dios nga ay isang espiritu at hindi material o fisical. Kaya nga’t hindi maaring ma-isama sa ating paraan ng pag-uunawa. Kaya madaling sabihin lalo na sa mga “scientific” na mga tao na talagang walang bagay na espiritu o walang Dios. Ang kaalaman ng “science” ay limitado sa fisical na mundo kaya ang kanilang nalalaman ay maaring alamin din ng ibang scientists dahil mayroon nga talagang “proof” na maaring ulit-ulitin at ganon talaga ang lumalabas na “truth” o katuwiran.

        “Bakit bigla na lang siya ang tunay na dios!”? Ang tunay na Dios ay walang simula at walang hanggan. Hindi maaring “bigla” kung Dios ang pinag-usapan. Ang “bigla” ay sa parte ng tao. Talagang may simula ang pananampalataya. Ito ay maaring bigla o dahan dahan. Pagmasdan ang salaysay ni Simon na naging San Pedro. Pagmasdan din ang salaysay ni Saul na naging San Pablo. Makikita natin ang Pedro Dahandahan at Pablo Bigla. Bigla o dahan dahan ito ay simula lamang. Unti unti ang mga sinabi ni Cristo tungkol sa Dios ay maaring paniwalaan ngunit hindi tunay na ma-i-intindihan ng ating maliliit na mga utak. Manganga-ilangan tayo ng isang eternity o walang hanggang na panahon sa pagunawa ng tunay na Dios. Tunay nga ang pagmahal sa atin ng Dios na binigay sa atin ang kaniyang kaisa-isang Anak at sa ganon makamtan natin ang kaniyang pag-ibig sa atin. At sa pamamagitan ng Dios Anak tayo ay maaring tawagin na mga anak din ng Dios, palibhasa’y “adopted” na mga anak.