Greetings everyone. As we approach Easter I thought it important to focus this week on Jesus' death and Resurrection. You may have noticed a common theme among my post. That being miracles, although from God, can be explained somewhat mathematically or scientifically. Many of my cohort take a different approach. Some of them are experts in the fields of astronomy or math, and far more knowledgeable in their fields than I could ever dream. But, they believe that events like the Star of Bethlehem or the Resurrection are miracles from God, and not meant to, or can not be explained. I take a different approach. I believe that God created the Universe and miracles through mathematical methods. Meaning His' works can be explained through math and science.
I believe God to be perfect, have perfect plans, and intends us to understand his perfection by learning and understanding the sciences. I believe Jesus' life which was perfect because he was the Son of God, also had deeper meanings in the amount of time of his life and the timing of his birth and death. Therefore, I attempt to explain some of God's miracles through intense research and critical thinking. When it comes to the Resurrection, I believe that there are some clues that might help explain the Resurrection, at least to the point that we can grasp it. In my latest book I tackle this topic. The following is from that book.
The Bible records no witnesses to the Resurrection, which is kind of surprising, and Jesus does not provide any details about the process. The only evidence, and its legitimacy has been widely debated, is the Shroud of Turin. I wanted to avoid linking the Shroud into the debate of the integral idea. But, it, because of its unexplainable image, provides evidence that the integral idea is more than just being same birthday and day of death on the calendar. It is a miracle from God. Many of the Shroud’s critics point to a so called lack of evidence before the 1350s. But, Ian Wilson, in his book The Blood and the Shroud, provides several passages that at least validate the existence of something that reassembled the Shroud being housed in Edessa, Turkey soon after the death of Jesus in 30 CE. He states, “As a result of which, instead of there being absolutely no record of our Shroud before the 1350s, as is so often contended, we have been able historically to trace an object that sounds and looks most uncannily like it, almost all the way back to the very time of Jesus himself.”
Tristan Casabianca, in an article entitled “The Shroud of Turin: A Historical Approach,” believes that the shroud, referred to here as “TS,” should be allowed as part of the history of Jesus:
He states, “A consequence of our historiographical approach is that the probability of this linen sheet being the real shroud of Jesus of Nazareth is very high. Historians and natural theologians should therefore treat the TS seriously, if ever cautiously, when the life and death of Jesus comes up for discussion.
The shroud remains the only evidence to the Resurrection, and if true, could help explain what happened to Jesus’ body during this period. This is important because it would help explain the importance of the integral idea and further prove the God is perfect. In July of 2015, the BBC posted an article for its magazine online titled “How did the Turin Shroud Get Its Image?” In it, they suggested several possible explanations for the shroud’s existence. In 1978, an international team of experts known as the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) conducted the first comprehensive research on the shroud. They found that the image on the shroud is not painted. There is no evidence of pigments or dyes on the linen cloth and no brush strokes. It was not until 1898 that the image could be viewed as a negative image of a photograph. This gave the Shroud the artistic qualities of a photograph 1800 years before the invention of the camera. The BBC concludes as follows:
The STURP group asserted that the image is the real form of a “scourged, crucified man . . . not the product of an artist. There are genuine bloodstains on the cloth, and we even know the blood group (AB, if you’re interested). There are traces of human DNA too, although it is badly degraded.
Perhaps the best explanation comes from Giulio Fanti of the University of Padua. He theorizes that the image was burned into the upper layers of the linen cloth by a burst of “radiant energy.” This may have been a bright light, ultraviolet light, X-rays, or streams of fundamental particles that emanated during the process of Resurrection. The New Testament may offer some helpful explanation here.[Luke 9:29–30 states, “As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lighting. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.” Therefore, Jesus had a history of giving off a powerful aura of light.
The Shroud has become the subject of one of most heated arguments in Christendom between the believers and the proponents of a scientific approach. True believers will never disagree with the authenticity of the shroud, and scientists will always find something to doubt about. In 1989, three teams of independent scientists carbon-dated the shroud to between 1260 and 1390. This should have ended some of the hype, but the believers never gave up hope. Objections include that the shroud’s carbon was tainted due to being exposed to several fires; in addition, they believed the process of Resurrection itself would be difficult to carbon date. Also questioned was whether the part of the shroud that was tested was not part of the original but rather part of a restoration patch. This led to Fanti conducting nonstandard dating methods involving spectroscopy, the absorption of light of different colors, which he claims dates the shroud to between 300 BCE and 400 CE. However, even this dating is a wide range, and should be used cautiously when used to prove the Shroud dates from 30 CE.
If the Shroud is an image created by some form of light energy, this might explain the image, but what about the healing of Jesus’ body? I believe I owe the readers of this book some sort of answer. The best explanation to date, although just a theory at the present, and one that may be omitted, updated, or made more persuasive in later editions should more information come to light, is the possible link between Resurrection and meditation. In meditation, one thinks deeply or focuses the mind for a period of time in silence, or with the aid of chanting for religious or spiritual purposes, or as a method of relaxation. In recent years, scientists have studied the effects of meditation on the body and found some interesting results.
By comparing blood samples of long-term meditators and a control group, the scientists found that the meditators had 2209 genes that were differently expressed (switched on or off). Specifically, 1275 were up-regulated (their activity increased) and 934 were down-regulated (their activity decreased. Additionally, it was found that there were 1561 genes that expressed differently between a group of novice meditators who did eight weeks of meditation training and the control group. Specifically, 874 genes were up-regulated and 687 were down-regulated. The research team concluded the following:
The RR (relaxation response) is clinically effective for ameliorating symptoms in a variety of stress-related disorders including cardiovascular, autoimmune, and other inflammatory conditions and pain. We hypothesize that RR elicitation is associated with systemic gene expression changes in cellular meta-bolism, oxidative phosphorylation/generation of reactive oxygen species and response to oxidative stress and that these changes to some degree serve to ameliorate the negative impact of stress.
In short, they concluded that meditation changes your genes, and the more experience one has in meditation the more gene changes are possible. Some nurses even suggest meditation practice to ease patient suffering. Mary Grace Umlauf, PhD, RN, wrote a book titled Healing Meditation that explores this subject and suggests that nurses use meditation as part of their nursing practice.
Buddhists and Hindus have been practicing meditation for thousands of years. In the oldest texts from India, it is used to calm the mind. There are several different ways to achieve this. It can be done through breathing techniques, concentrating on an object, or by chants. Sometimes people have experienced parts of their body vibrating during the process. Once the body is calm, the mind can investigate how things really are. This will lead to what Buddhist call insight. The ultimate form of insight is enlightenment. Until next time, GO WITH GOD.
14 years ago I became interested in the date that Jesus was born. This led to several years of research, I quickly realized that there was no valid information that provided any real answers to this question. Since this website is getting some interest I will post from time to time some of the information I learned during this quest.