Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Religion & Spirituality
  3. Secular

Happy Easter - Did Jesus Exist?

See also

Christians recently celebrate Easter. It seemed somewhat blander than I remembered from earlier years. Perhaps the businesses did not invest the time to decorate or maybe, hopefully, the world is just getting more secular.

Easter is not as much fun as Christmas, perhaps because a bloody, beaten, dying man on a cross is nowhere near as cute as a newborn baby in a straw pile surrounded by barnyard animals. Only kids receive gifts on Easter. No one is rushing to find the right Easter gift at the last minute. Except for "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" there are few secular Easter songs. There are no brightly wrapped packages around the, uh, cross?

I got into a discussion about Jesus with a religious friend of mine and he was surprised when I admitted that Jesus probably existed and that he was probably crucified. I added that the idea of the crucifixion of an apocalyptic prophet was quite probable but that we could not be very sure of the prophet’s name. Jesus was a good as any.

He seemed confused so I elaborated. Assuming that a prophet named Jesus was preaching his message of the coming kingdom of God and that he, Jesus, was the predicted Jewish messiah, his being crucified by the Romans as an insurrectionist was quite reasonable. I added that it was unlikely that a group of Jews in the first century would make up a story like that.

Nowhere in the Jewish canon is there anything about the messiah being ignobly crucified. Those Jews who believed in the coming of the messiah expected him to be a warrior and a leader who would drive the oppressors of the Jews out the Promised Land and return glory to the Jews.

As the followers of Jesus attempted to recruit other Jews into their cult, they would have to deal with questions. When they said that Jesus was the promised messiah, they would have to explain what Jesus didn’t drive out the Romans. They would have to explain away the miserable death of Jesus as criminal. A made up story would not start with an uncomfortable rationalization. So the story of Jesus’s death is probably true.

My friend then asked if I felt the resurrection was probable. I told him that it could not be verified on a historical basis, that it was a matter of faith.

I see no argument to the life of an apocalyptic prophet who may have been named Jesus. I see no argument to the brutal death of that prophet on a cross. The followers of Jesus turned that demeaning death into the centerpiece of Christianity by adopting the idea of resurrection from other religions. Christianity has gone on, in a variety of forms to become a dominant religion in the world.

Advertisement

Life

  • ESPYS party
    Athletes and celebrities hit the red carpet at Body at the ESPYS party
    Today's Buzz
  • Healthy balance
    Keeping a healthy balance is so important for your own well-being
    Camera
    15 Photos
  • Apollo
    NASA observes 45th anniversary of Apollo 11: One giant leap for mankind
    Camera
    14 Photos
  • Unique jewelry
    Nothing catches the eye or completes and outfit like a great piece of jewelry
    Camera
    12 Photos
  • Student Farmworker Alliance
    Student-Farmworker Alliance launches 'Boot the Braids' web site
    Camera
    15 Photos
  • Exercise
    Find out why you should exercise to compliment your diet
    Camera
    10 Photos