Sunday, 24 April 2011
Robbing Jesus’ Body – The Mother of All Conspiracy Theories?
El Greco: Christ Carrying His Cross (1580). Image courtesy of Wikipedia. Surprisingly many people think that the first Christian Easter was a result of a huge conspiracy theory.
Conspiracy theories are popular in our time. Even science publications can subscribe to these "theories", especially when they comment on legislation that allows critical thinking in biology classes. Darwinists are afraid that evil creationists will replace evolution by their own version of origins.
These theories do not have anything to do with reality, however.
How do conspiracy theories come about? The Gospel of Matthew describes an ancient conspiracy that still has some adherents, especially among skeptics.
Jesus’ tomb was empty but the body was nowhere to be seen. The authorities had to invent an explanation that would convince the people.
”Some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, ‘You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. ” (Matt. 28:11-15, NIV.)
The explanation was absurd. The Romans who ruled Palestine at the time would have punished sentries who slept while on duty with death. But if the resurrection of the body was too frightful an idea, they had to explain it in some way.
Robbing Jesus’ body is not the earliest conspiracy theory, however. Genesis tells us about the mother of all conspiracy theories. The serpent asks Eve, ”Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” causing her to doubt the goodness of God.
This conspiracy theory that the devil concocted has many adherents even today, but it does not have anything to do with reality. God is still good and He only wants to do good to us humans.
We should nevertheless remember that God is also holy and we can only approach Him on His conditions.