Is Christ’s Resurrection a REAL fact? Part-3

June 14, 2017

Is Christ’s Resurrection a REAL fact? Part-3

 The third theory is hallucination, which means that someone thinks that they are seeing an object or a person that is, actually, not there. They are having some sort of a vision. Therefore, some people believe that the post-resurrection appearances of Christ that the disciples witnessed were not true, that they were hallucinating. However, can this theory really stand?

First, when people hallucinate, they are in a specific state: they are highly imaginative, nervous, and tired, which was not the case for the disciples. They weren’t in that state. In fact, Mary Magdalene was weeping, Peter was remorseful, Thomas was skeptic, etc. Each disciple was in a different state.

Second, it is important to understand that hallucinations are very subjective and very individualistic, meaning that because we are stepping into the imaginary realm, the level of illusions has no end. Therefore, it is very rare, even impossible, that two people imagine the same thing at the same time. In our case, the eleven disciples saw Christ at the same time, the same as for the Marys and the two disciples of Emaus. They are all seeing Christ appearing while they are together. Saint Paul says in 1 Cor 15:6 that over 500 people have seen Christ at the same time and it is impossible that all of them were hallucinating at the same time. However, is Saint Paul saying the truth?

Christ is truth and, on earth, He was preaching truth, and Saint Paul is preaching the truth of Christ. This truth, from Saint Paul, is very foundational to what he is doing. It is impossible for him to lie in such a letter that is going to the city and the people of Corinth. Let’s take an example: if you go to a country where no one knows you, you could decide to invent stories about yourself in order for people to believe you are something great. Nevertheless, if we find someone who knows you, you wouldn’t dare to lie about yourself because you would be caught in an instant. Saint Paul adds that the greater part of these people remained to the present. It is impossible for him to lie, since the truth is foundational to the gospel that Saint Paul is trying to preach.

Third, the five senses are very important when it comes to hallucination. It can prove or disprove the hallucinations. For example, when we think that we see something and when we come to grab it, it disappears, we realize it’s a vision. Nevertheless, in the gospels, we have, for instance, the Marys touching and holding on to Christ’s feet (Matthew 28), or Saint Thomas putting his hands in Christ’s side, so they are definitely touching him. Therefore, it cannot be a hallucination.

Fourth, usually, when people hallucinate, they are usually in a specific place where they used to stay with the person who passed away a long time ago for example, so they are reminiscing on what has happened, and bit by bit, they start imagining the person next to them. Again, looking at the gospel, that is not what happened. In fact, when we research on our own, we will find that every person that saw Christ was in a very different place. 

Lastly, the frequency of hallucinations usually increases to the point where the person has a  crisis, or it decreases until the person is healed. However, historically, it has been demonstrated that these hallucinations stopped all of a sudden (which is not normal) for everybody, about six weeks after the resurrection, because this was the time of the Ascension of Christ. As He ascended, everybody stopped seeing Him at the same time. It is hence obvious that there were no hallucinations. The experts have explained that anything regarding the hallucinations has failed and that this theory does not stand.

The fourth theory is the mistaken tomb, which says that, because the women were in a state of shock of what happened on Friday night, they made a mistake on Sunday morning and went to a wrong tomb, which was empty, and then proclaimed the Resurrection. This is by far the weakest of the theories. If we have understood the evidence in this video and the previous one, it is very easy see how to disprove this one.

First, in Luke 23, it is mentioned that the women did observe the tomb, so they knew where it was located. Second, Peter and John also went to the tomb, so why did they also make the same mistake? It is important to note that Christ was not buried in a public cemetery, but in a very specific tomb that was privately owned. It is thus very hard to mistake that tomb. Also, the Roman seal was on that tomb, and not all tombs have that seal. This means that Christ was truly a very important man and a public figure. The Romans wanted to make sure Christ would remain dead, so they put that seal on the tomb. Can we say that the Roman guards made a mistake and did not know where the tomb they were guarding was? Can Joseph of Arimathea, the one who owns the tomb, not know where his own tomb is? Can the Jews, the ones who really want Christ dead and buried and make sure that He won’t rise again, mistake the location of the tomb? It is important to remember that the Jews knew Christ said He would be raised from the dead, and they saw Christianity “propagating” (as they call it) into the world. They would immediately locate the tomb for everyone to see it and would declare that Christians are liars, that the tomb is not empty. Nevertheless, on the third day, nobody could show or demonstrate where the body was because He was truly raised from the dead.

In these last two videos, we have focused on the evidence of the Resurrection, speaking to the mind, but we all know that true Christianity is not about the mind only, but about the heart as well. We therefore need to know and to live Christianity. Mary Magdalene, in John 20, was seeking to anoint her God and realized the tomb was empty and Christ appeared to her. However, she did not recognize Him until He said “Mary.” It’s as if she had heard her name so often from Him and they had this deep, intimate relationship, that only then her eyes were opened. She thus recognized Him and wanted to cling to Him and didn’t want to let Him go anymore. She was so happy to see her risen Lord. We also ought to imitate her: as she lived Christianity, we also need to live Christianity.

Remember; know your faith, live your faith,

and teach your faith

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