Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Case for the Miracle

My friend Aisha was a Muslim. She and I had a weekly appointment: We'd have dinner together in her apartment, and then for a few hours afterwards, we would debate the differences between Christianity and Islam. I enjoyed these exchanges, because Aisha was a dear friend, and nothing we ever said to each other was done in anger or defensiveness.

There was one point that Aisha made time and again that always puzzled me. I would have expected her to assert there was no way Jesus could have risen from the dead. That, in and of itself, is a miracle none of us can prove, but must accept by faith.

But Aisha didn't make that point.

Instead, she argued that Jesus never died -- that He went out of consciousness after being lowered from the cross and that after three days in a cold stone tomb, He regained His strength and walked out of His own accord.

I'd never heard this point of view before, and to be honest, I was stumped into silence. All I could do was shake my head at her and tell her that I couldn't accept it.

That was about 15 years ago.

Then last night, I watched a program about the 12 disciples. During the discussion about how these 12 men had spread the news about Jesus, the program hosts brought up the exact argument I'd heard from Aisha -- what they called, "The Swoon Theory."

I was transfixed as a medical doctor -- who also has his degree in engineering and is an advisor to the National Institutes of Health -- explained why Jesus had indeed died on the cross, and how He had died.

The evidence, he said, was in John's gospel. Standing at the foot of the cross, John had witnessed the spear go into Jesus's side and had seen blood and water flowing out.

It's amazing to me that this detail is included, because it affirmed to this doctor -- and others -- that Jesus died of a ruptured heart. Clotted blood separates from a watery sac that surrounds the heart. So when the spear went into Jesus's side, what exited was blood and water, the doctor said. If He'd been alive, there would have been spurts of red blood as the heart continued to beat.

This morning I wanted to find out if there was more evidence to back up this doctor's claim ... And I found this great article! If you're interested, check out this link:

How cool is it that after 2000 years, the written account of Jesus's death can be affirmed scientifically?

Do you think it a miracle that God had John include that detail in his account ... or just a coincidence?

Personally, I think the case for the miracle has been made.

1 comment:

  1. COunt me in on the "miracle side"! Christians are "foolishness" to the unbelievers. It is just another indication that the Word of God is true. I comes true over and over with such miracles and we "see", FINALLY, if we let God show us the insight.
    Your blog is a thought-provoking one. After years of working among unbelievers, I wish, now, I had written down all the "miracle encounters" myself. Thank you for all your sharing. P.S. It would have been RATHER hard for Jesus to roll that stone away at the entry of the cave where He was buried. Just the rolling away of the stone to get out of there was a miracle goodness. Somebody had to be at work with 2 guards standing there in addition. Who did they manage the guards? What can I say? Yippee!