|What's up with this picture?|
I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to tie Easter in to my gentle humor column for this week's Christian Home Magazine. There's certainly nothing funny about Jesus dying on the cross. And although the resurrection is the most glorious and breath-taking event in all of history, it's hardly humorous.
Come to think of it, what is there about the Easter story that's even slightly funny? Judas hanging himself, then falling so his guts spill open on the ground? Peter chopping off someone's ear? Nah. There's the disciple who ran away naked when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, but there's not too much I can do with that in a gentle humor post.
I've got it! What about the Romans and the Sanhedrin? What about all the goofy claims people make even today to try to prove the resurrection didn't actually happen?
Now that's funny.
Maybe you've heard some of the anti-resurrection arguments before. But have you ever stopped to actually laugh at their absurdity?
False Claim #1: The guards fell asleep. This one dates all the way back to Bible times. No Jesus in the tomb? No stone in the entrance? No problem! The Pharisees came up with the great idea for the Roman soldiers standing guard to just tell their superiors they fell asleep. This was Rome. These soldiers were professional killing machines. And we're supposed to believe that all of them fell asleep at the same time and didn't wake up as someone stole Jesus' body? Great! My Easter is already starting with a laugh!
False Claim #2: Jesus fainted. Ok, let's delve into this doozy. First Jesus is whipped, flogged, beaten, and tortured. Then he is nailed to a cross for ... oh, say six hours. When Pilate hears Jesus is dead, he tells the centurion, "Go make sure." What's the centurion do? He doesn't check for a pulse or call the medical examiner. He pierces Jesus' heart with a spear. Blood gushes out, and so does water from the pericardial sack. They wrap Jesus up like a mummy (as was custom), placed him in a tomb, and sealed with a several-ton boulder. But guess what? After all that - these comedians claim - Jesus woke up from his "faint," took off his clothes, and after all that torture and blood loss he rolled the stone away form the tomb all by himself without any divine intervention or miraculous healing. Riiiight...
False Claim #3: The disciples stole Jesus' body. There's something that's important to remember about the disciples. Chiefly, they are sniveling cowards. They all run away when Jesus is arrested and don't even claim to know him when he stands on trial. Ok, so now that we've established the utter chicken-bellied nature of the Twelve, we're going to just assume that these scaredy cats walk up to a Roman guard and take Jesus' body? But for the sake of sporstmanship, let's just suspend disbelief for a moment (pretend it's a Hollywood blockbuster). Let's assume the disciples really do take Jesus' body because they want the whole world to think he's alive. In other words, the disciples all know that Jesus is dead. But these men - cowards, as we've previously established - face brutal suffering and torture from both the Romans and the Jews in order to maintain a lie, a lie that would be immediately dispelled if someone uncovered the body? Unlikely, IMHO.
If there's any slap-stick humor surrounding Holy Week at all, it's right here. It's these claims that our Savior didn't really rise up from the dead after conquering the grave. Jesus is alive today (really). And if that doesn't have us rolling on the floor in laughter, it should at least have us falling to our knees in awe.
An invitation to comment: I understand that not everyone (or even the vast majority) of people in the world agree with me. Although I took a humorous look at arguments against the resurrection, I welcome comments from people with differing beliefs. I'm a writer - not a debater - so you don't need to worry about things getting ugly on this forum.