Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Back From The Dead

This story has been getting a lot of coverage:

Man finds the family cat lying apparently dead out in the road in a puddle of blood. Man and a friend bury the cat. End of story. At the time. Five days pass and the "dead" cat reappears in the yard of a neighbor - banged up badly and dehydrated, but nonetheless alive. Read the story here.

Guess what I immediately thought of?

You guessed it, the purported resurrection of Jesus.

Absolutely no disrespect intended. I don't pretend to know what happened that day so long ago when Jesus' tomb was found empty and shortly thereafter his disciples started preaching that Jesus had arisen bodily from the dead.

But inasmuch as I don't accept the orthodox version of Christianity, I don't feel obliged to believe it was a miraculous event - even if I do accept that Jesus was a historical person.

For a long time I've toyed with what has pejoratively been referred to as the "swoon theory." I don't think of it exactly that way. But what if Jesus, like the unfortunate cat in the story above (whose name, btw, is Bart), was badly damaged, apparently dead, yet not truly dead? What if Jesus revived later in his tomb, similar to the way this cat recovered and removed itself from the grave?

That would explain the tradition of the empty tomb and also the disciples' apparent firm conviction that the story of Jesus didn't end that sad day on Gologtha's hill. If there were witnesses who saw Jesus alive after his crucifixion, maybe it was because he was still alive.

I know, the orthodox version, that God raised Jesus bodily from the dead, explains it, too.

But even an atheist could accept my explanation. Or the person who feels God doesn't override the laws of nature could accept it. Why, you could even not dismiss the miraculous but still not feel obliged to accept that God raised Jesus from the dead and accept the above suggestion.

Incidentally, Bart's neighbor, who saw him "cold and stiff," believes his return is a miracle from God. And so Jesus surviving crucifixion could be thought of as a miracle, in the sense of being a highly unlikely thing.

Just some thoughts kicking about in my head as I get ready to head for bed.

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