[private] Every time I turn on the TV these days there is someone discussing the DaVinci Code book, or the recently made public Gospel of Judas. There are pros and cons to both these two stories. The pros are usually the writers, the discoveries and investigators. The cons are every Christian denomination in existence, with the most vociferous being the Roman Catholics. The only thing that can be said for the DaVinci Code is that it is a fanciful idea and a well put-together piece of fiction.
There are many ideas of what could have happened to Christ after crucifixion. Some have Him surviving and some have Him being survived by his wife and daughter. Both of these ideas are based on suppositions and/or information from sources other that the bible in circulation today.
If anyone would read the New Testament carefully and without any preconceived ideas you will find that there is a lot of evidence that Jesus Christ of Nazareth perished on the cross. According to one account, on the day of His crucifixion when it came time for Him to “die” Jesus uttered: “It is finished.” He then bowed his head and gave up the ghost.
In this same account His followers requested of the soldiers not to break his limbs to hasten death, as was the custom. Then without warning a roman soldier thrust a lance into the side of Jesus Christ. This wound was not a part of the established procedure and it was the coup de grace for the crucified and weakened Jesus. Jesus died.
The arguments for the resurrection are weak and could be classified as merely hearsay. Jesus predicted his death and placed great emphasis on his resurrection because the latter event would prove without a doubt that He was the long awaited messiah. His crucifixion was witnessed by all of Jerusalem but the resurrection, the single most important event on which the Christian faith is based, went without witnesses.
Our knowledge of the resurrection is based solely on the testimony of a few of his followers, the people he had to convince of his claim to be the Son of God. On that Sunday even Mary Magdalene did not recognize Him. He had only been in that sepulchre for about thirty-six hours. Mary Magdalene confused Him with the gardener (John 20:15) until he spoke in a special voice. He also had to use His special voice to convince Simon. Unfortunately Christ did not survive the ordeal on the cross: that gesture of mercy by that insignificant roman soldier was the reason why.
I’m not sure if the Gospel of Judas is important. There are about thirty other gospels written in about the same time period that go unmentioned in our bible. Judas has always been categorized as the villain in the Jesus story. Judas was the true friend and also the confidant of Jesus. There was only one person that could have saved Jesus from execution and that was Jesus himself.
On the occasion of his first day in the hands of the chief priest when asked if He was the Son of God, he answered them: Ye say that I am, (Luke 22:70). That expression can be translated into something like: if you say so! That is a wise crack in any language.
Judas Iscariot committed suicide but it was not because of a guilty conscience, it was from sorrow and grief because he had lost his best friend and that was not supposed to happen. We will just have to wait and see what affect these book and movie revelations will have on our beliefs. I must agree with Tom Hanks who, in the tradition of Yogi Berra, said: “You gonna believe what you gonna believe. [/private]