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Faith and the bones of Jesus

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POSTED: March 20, 2007 5:13 a.m.
“How would finding the bones of Jesus affect your Christian faith?” a seminary professor asked me several years ago. I thought, then responded that it would not affect my fate at all.
Little did I suspect that there would be a reported finding this week of an ossuary with Jesus’ bones? At first I wanted to laugh at this fabricated find, but found the details of the “find” will air on Discovery Sunday night.
How does this affect your faith?
I do not believe that the ossuary found contained the bones of Jesus Christ. The find however raises a faith rather than a science issue. I say “faith” rather than “science” because any miracle has a grain of scientific plausibility so that God does not “box” us into believing in Him. If God forced us to believe then we would not really be free, would we? Faith bridges the gap between science and the unexplainable — the miracle. Miracles or “signs” as they were called of the New Testament times are to affirm our faith not form the basis upon which we believe. Jesus refused to give the Pharisees a “sign” so that they would believe.  
Gospel accounts of the resurrected Jesus were that he had a glorified body which bore the marks of crucifixion. He was not immediately recognized by his friends as we see in Luke where two disciples walk along the road to Emmaus without knowing him. It was only when they broke bread that Jesus’ identity was revealed.
God, the Creator of the universe, does not need bones as the building blocks for a body, he can restore perfectly without them. God does not need the “old stuff” for His new creation.
My faith is that my Redeemer lives despite whether or not bones were found. What about you?

Carter is rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Hinesville.
 

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