Yesterday evening as I was sitting here in my favorite chair relaxing after a hard day's work and watching the evening news, a story came on that caught my attention. Some archaeologist digging around at an old church in Turkey have found, they claim, what could be a piece of the very cross Jesus of Nazareth was crucified upon. Certainly you don't hear that type of thing often!
Oddly enough, one of the few things on my agenda for this weekend was to watch a new DVD I recently purchased (at a huge discount!), The Lost Tomb of Jesus. These kinds of "discoveries" and stories go on endlessly, always educing much buzz among believers and unbelievers alike.
As a former Christian I do recall the excitement these stories would generate, yet we never placed our faith in such artifacts. Christian apologists do place great stock in some of the findings of archaeologists, but only in a confirmatory way. Faith for the Christian is rooted in tradition and The Book.
The nonbelievers will "make hay" of this opportunity to poke fun at the folks they consider simpletons for accepting the Gospel story. Authenticating this piece of wood as a chunk of Jesus' cross is surely a virtual impossibility, so there is great occasion here for the Christians to appear foolish.
This story, therefore, is that archaeology Professor Gülgün Koroglu claims to have found a piece of wood she believes might have been part of Jesus' cross. Woo-hoo! (Right; I was being sarcastic.)
Of course many secular historians have conceded that Jesus of Nazareth probably did exist and likely was crucified in the barbaric manner described in the New Testament. Even if it were possible to authenticate a piece of Jesus' cross, it wouldn't prove the grander elements of Gospel story. That is the point at which faith takes charge in order to breath life into the subject.
There came a point in my life when my doubts overcame my faith. No news story or archaeological finding will ever restore it. Perhaps that could only be affected by a personal Damascan Road experience. And life goes on....