The resurrection of Jesus is important for several reasons. First, it witnesses to the immense power of God Himself. To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. If God exists, and if He created the universe and has power over it, He has power to raise the dead. If He does not have such power, He is not a God worthy of our faith and worship. Only He who created life can resurrect it after death, only He can reverse the hideousness that is death itself, and only He can remove the sting that is death and the victory that is the grave’s. In resurrecting Jesus from the grave, God reminds us of His absolute sovereignty over life and death.
Second, the resurrection of Jesus is a testimony to the resurrection of human beings, which is a basic tenet of the Christian faith. Unlike all other religions, Christianity alone possesses a founder who transcends death and who promises that His followers will do the same. All other (false) religions were founded by men and prophets whose end was the grave. As Christians, we take comfort in the fact that our God became man, died for our sins, was killed, and was resurrected the third day. The grave could not hold Him. He lives and He sits today at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. The living church has a living Head.
– Source: Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ important?
The apostle Paul said, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17
If someone can prove that Jesus Christ was not resurrected, Christianity would be just like any other religion whose founder is dead and buried — and the faith of Christians (literally, “followers of Christ”) would be worthless. (In the original text, Paul wrote, “worthless your faith is” — which is translated as ‘futile’ in the above quote.)
The latest attempt to debunk Christianity is a documentary titled, “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” slated to be aired on the Discovery Channel on March 4, 2007, 9PM ET:
The makers of a new documentary, to be aired for the first time at a news conference in New York on Monday, claim that a tomb found in a Jerusalem cave 36 years ago belongs to Jesus Christ.
The claim presented in the documentary is based on years of research by archaeologists, statisticians, experts in ancient scripts and in DNA, the Israeli Yediot Ahronot daily yesterday quoted the makers as saying.
The documentary, titled The Burial Cave of Jesus, is a joint production by Israeli-born Canadian documentary maker Simcha Jacobovici and three-time-Oscar-winning Canadian film director James Cameron.
The 2000-year-old cave had already been discovered in 1980 in Jerusalem’s Talpiyot neighbourhood.
In it were 10 coffins, six of which bore inscriptions, which – translated into English – included the names “Jesus son of Joseph,” twice “Maria,” and “Judah son of Jesus.”
The second Maria is hypothesised to be Maria Magdalene, while the tomb bearing the name Judah could indicate Jesus had a son.
If true, the find could be one of the most significant in the history of archaeology and shake the Christian world.
– Source: Documentary makers claim tomb of Jesus found, DPA, Feb. 24, 2007
A companion book called “The Jesus Family Tomb” was released on Feb. 27, 2007.
Religious scholars and archaeologists are not convinced, and have criticized the documentary.
Israeli archaeologist Professor Amos Kloner was the first to find the tomb. He found the tomb and the ossuaries — the urns or vaults used to hold the bones of the dead — interesting, but of no particular archaeological importance. He says there are more than 900 buried tombs just like the “Jesus” tomb within a two-mile radius of Talpiyot. Of them, 71 bear the name Jesus and two Jesus, son of Joseph. The tomb in Talpiyot is one of them. But the inscription, he says, was barely decipherable and therefore questionable.
At the time, Jesus was a very common name, as was Mary. But the cluster of all those names together, Jesus, Joseph Mary, not to mention what the filmmakers claim is Jesus’ son, “Judah, son of Jesus,” is indeed unusual. Simply because the tomb is labeled a tomb that “belonged to a Jesus, doesn’t make it the tomb of Jesus Christ,” Kloner told ABC News.
Jerusalem-based biblical anthropologist Joe Zias goes a step farther to discredit Cameron’s documentary. “What they’ve done here,” Zias says, “is they’ve simply tried in a very very dishonest way to try and con the public into believing that this is the tomb of Jesus or Jesus’ family. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus.”
Zias pointed out a number of contradictions that he says undermines the claim. Jesus was a very common name at the time — Mary even more so. Zias claims 48 percent of women living at the time were named Mary, Mariam or the Hebrew name, Shlomzion. In addition, Jesus’ family was poor. Those who paid for the tomb were middle class, at least. If Jesus’ family did have the cash, the family tomb would likely have been situated in Nazareth. After all, Jesus was known as Jesus of Nazareth.
– Source: Archaeologist Disputes Claims in James Cameron’s “The Lost Tomb of Christ”, ABC News, Feb. 26, 2007