Any Life Greater Than Death?


Superhuman Life No. 8

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By Ernest O’Neill

We’re discussing whether there exists any life greater than this humanmental, emotional, and physical life that you and I experience. Is there anysuperhuman life? We’ve been looking at a remarkable “more-than-human” life thatwas lived in the first century of our era by a man in Palestine called Jesus.He differed from other religious leaders like Buddha and Mohammed in that heclaimed perfection–and even his enemies didn’t contradict his claim tosinlessness. He had power over nature and disease, and he is looked upon as theforemost ethical teacher the world has ever seen.

However, what sets him utterly apart from the other famous religiousleaders is his death. They all died–like dogs–and were buried like the restof us will be! He was killed and buried–but he got up after he was dead! Hetreated death as sleep and was able to raise people out of the grave. Now thatis “ life” because all of us have been brought up to believe thatdeath is the end of this temporary human life–and there is no way to avoid it.But this man repeated publicly that he would destroy death–and he did.

Many gurus have been buried alive and through controlled breathing havemanaged to survive in a kind of trance under the earth, but none have beenexecuted by experts like the Romans–and then actually risen from the dead.

This is what happened with this man. The soldiers were so sure he wasdead that they didn’t bother breaking his legs; they simply thrust a spear intohis side and a mixture of blood and water poured out. Then he was buried in aprivate tomb, bound tightly in grave-clothes, and then a large stone was rolledacross the mouth of the grave.1 On Sunday morning (he was buried on Fridaynight) he met Mary, one of his followers in the garden. When she reported it tothe other disciples, they wouldn’t believe her. But, in a moment, Jesusappeared suddenly in the room with them.2

He did this for the next month or more–appearing on more than a dozenoccasions. Sometimes He appeared to a few of them, sometimes to more than 500at one time.3 Sometimes he ate breakfast or allowed sceptical Thomas to pokehis fingers into the holes in his hands to make it clear that he was not aghost or a psychological hallucination.4 Then he explained that he must returnto his Father, the Creator of the universe, and his body has never been foundon earth since.

All the hypothetical explanations of the resurrection are harder tobelieve than the facts themselves. The two vital facts are–the EMPTY TOMB andthe RESURRECTION APPEARANCES. The old arguments that Jesus just swooned on thecross and was revived in the coolness of the tomb or that the disciples or theRomans stole the body aren’t even very logical. How could a man whose side hadbeen speared by the Roman experts as already dead have recovered from hiswounds so completely that he could not only free himself from thegrave-clothes, roll away the heavy stone, but could appear at a dozen differentlocations over the next month and appear not only revived but more alive thanhe had ever been before! It just doesn’t make sense. If the Romans stole thebody, why didn’t they parade it through the streets to prove that this man wasnot the Messiah? If the disciples stole it, why did they die for what they knewto be a lie. A man might die for what he believes to be the truth but he willnot die for what he knows is a lie.

The same is true of the suggestion that the resurrection appearanceswere just hallucinations. They just don’t fit the psychological criteria forsuch phenomena. Hallucinations occur usually to one person who desperatelywants to see the deceased person. Jesus appeared always to groups of people andnormally they had given up all hope that he would rise from the. dead.Hallucinations usually continue over a lengthy period of time; Jesus showedhimself alive for about forty days and then disappeared from the earth!

Because of evidence like this scholars hold that no fact of history hasbeen examined so comprehensively by legal, medical psychological, religious,and historical experts and emerged so unchallenged as to its veracity. If Jesusdid not rise from the dead, then we can be sure of nothing in mankind’s pasthistory.

Is there such a phenomenon as “ life?” The fully documentedhistory of the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is plain evidencethat such a life exists. How do you get into it? Can an ordinary person likeyou or me experience it? Let’s talk about this in the next article.

1 John l9:31-37

2 Mark 16:1-14

3 1 Corinthians 15:3-6

4 John 21:12-13, 20:27

IsJesus God’s Son? audio

IsJesus God’s Son? video

Read Superhuman Life No. 9

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