He takes a quick look around–first this way, then that way. He feels conspicuous. Naked. Well, he is almost naked. He has his unzipped body bag wrapped around him so it will cover everything that needs to be covered. But that’s it.
Seeing nobody, he proceeds cautiously down the hall, his toe tag slapping the tiles with each step. He should have taken that thing off–what was he thinking?
The moment of truth. Using his hip, he presses the panic bar on the big door at the end of the corridor. He doesn’t know what’s on the other side–after all, he was dead when he came through it before. The door resists, so he slams his body against it. This time it yields, and he is rocketed into a lobby where a receptionist, startled by the disturbance, stands up behind her desk and screams.
Assuming a banal demeanor to soothe her, he shuffles to the desk. He’s still feeling a little stiff. Gripping his body bag to make sure it stays where it belongs, he nonchalantly asks the girl, “Could you call me a taxi?”
That’s when she crumples to the ground, hitting her head hard on the desk as she goes down. In response to her scream, an orderly bursts into the area and tries to take in what he sees.
Within minutes, the space is jammed with hospital personnel, police, the Medical Examiner, and the inevitable media types. Lights glare and cameras whir. Everyone is talking at once and people are shoving each other out of the way to get a look at him. He has been given a set of scrubs to wear (they don’t smell good–did they dig them out of a laundry cart?) and he looks up gratefully as his lawyer elbows his way to his side.
He has always disliked being the centre of attention, but now it’s unavoidable. The victim of murder–the recipient of a vicious beating, multiple stab wounds and two shots to the head–returned from the dead after three days zipped up in the freezer? It will be tough to remain inconspicuous.
In fact, before the week is out he will be on The Fifth Estate, CNN, The TODAY Show, Oprah, O’Reilly and Jay Leno. Who knows what Rick Mercer will do with him. He will be examined, interrogated and photographed. His face will be on the front page of every newspaper in the world and on the cover of TIME. The checkout counters of every supermarket in North America will look like art galleries devoted to him. Publishers will be falling over themselves to sell his story, and authors will be queuing up to write it. Movie offers will pour in. He will be up for auction.
His picture will be emblazoned on T-shirts all over the planet. He will receive offers to endorse every product imaginable. He will be awarded honorary degrees, asked to speak at commencements and conventions, and invited to address Parliament and a joint session of Congress–maybe even the General Assembly. He might even become a blogger.
He will be signing autographs on posters, pictures, books, DVDs and garments of every variety. People will want to be photographed with the dead guy. He’ll have streets and schools and bridges and hospitals named after him. Probably even a cemetery or two. Any thought of even one more day of privacy is fantasy.
Nobody would try to cover up an event like this. Why would they want to? It would be a sensation, the most talked-about occurrence in anyone’s lifetime. In centuries. Perhaps in the history of the world.
So why do they try to cover up the resurrection of Jesus the Christ? To act as if it never happened?
Matthew, one of Jesus’ disciples and an insider (he used to work for the Romans as a tax collector and likely had an impressive network of contacts) tells of the conspiracy between the security detail assigned to guard Jesus’ tomb and the chief priests of the Jews who had condemned Him and convinced Pilate to crucify Him despite His innocence. Matthew 28.11-15 record that the soldiers accepted a substantial sum of money from the Jewish leaders if they would circulate the story that Jesus’ disciples had come and stolen His body.
Why would they do that?
Why would people discount Christ’s resurrection after He was seen by over five hundred people at once? These encounters were documented during their own lifetimes so anyone who wanted an eyewitness account could get it. (1 Cor 15.6)
Why would people be willing to suffer unspeakable persecution and deprivation and die horrible martyrs’ deaths for an event that never happened?
And where is the corpus delicti? The body of Christ is nowhere to be found. I could go on and on. The facts surrounding His resurrection are so compelling it requires a massive effort to disbelieve them.
So why would the most amazing, earth-shattering, life-changing event in the history of the world be covered up?
(Well, it wasn’t covered up, exactly–despite the priests’ frantic attempts to do so. It’s recorded in the Bible. It’s chronicled in numerous historical documents. And it has been proclaimed and preached and written with the blood of Christ’s followers for two thousand years.)
The suggestion that Jesus never claimed to be God is absurd. He did it repeatedly. In fact, that is the very reason the Sanhedrin demanded His execution. And His resurrection? There’s only one reason to cover it up. If it is acknowledged to be history, then Jesus must be acknowledged to be Who He said He was–holy God in human flesh, Creator, Redeemer and Judge. The “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1.29) And His miracles must be acknowledged as genuine, His judgment as final, His words as true. Words like those in John 14.6:
I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
And that’s why they tried to cover it up.
Image is from www.popjargononline.com. All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version.