Many Christians claim that the creator of the universe will eternally torture all those who do not believe in the Easter story. Therefore, it is worth investigating whether or not the story is true.
- When in his ministry did Jesus enter Jerusalem?
- Matthew 21 (of 28), before cleansing the Temple & getting arrested
- Mark 11 (of 16), before cleansing Temple & getting arrested
- Luke 19 (of 24), before cleansing Temple & getting arrested
- Jesus cleanses the Temple in John 2. Jesus has the triumphal entry into Jerusalem in John 12 (of 21).
- What Animal(s) did Jesus ride into Jerusalem?
- Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
- Mark 11:1-7 One donkey
- Luke 19:29-35 One donkey
- John 12:14-15 One donkey
- Matt 21:1-7 Two donkeys
What were Jesus’ last words?
- Matt 27 and Mark 15: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This is quoting Psalm 22:1.
- Luke 23: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” This is quoting Psalm 31:5.
- John 19: “It is finished.”
Matt 27: 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
There is no historical record of this incredible event allegedly witnessed by many people.
What time did the women visit the tomb?
- Matthew: “as it began to dawn” (28:1)
- Mark: “very early in the morning . . . at the rising of the sun” (16:2, KJV); “when the sun had risen” (NRSV); “just after sunrise” (NIV)
- Luke: “very early in the morning” (24:1, KJV) “at early dawn” (NRSV)
- John: “when it was yet dark” (20:1)
Who were the women?
- Matthew: Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (28:1)
- Mark: Mary Magdalene, the mother of James, and Salome (16:1)
- Luke: Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and other women (24:10)
- John: Mary Magdalene (20:1)
What was their purpose?
- Matthew: to see the tomb (28:1)
- Mark: had already seen the tomb (15:47), brought spices (16:1)
- Luke: had already seen the tomb (23:55), brought spices (24:1)
- John: the body had already been spiced before they arrived (19:39,40)
Was the tomb open when they arrived?
- Matthew: No (28:2)
- Mark: Yes (16:4)
- Luke: Yes (24:2)
- John: Yes (20:1)
Who was at the tomb when they arrived?
- Matthew: One angel (28:2-7)
- Mark: One young man (16:5)
- Luke: Two men (24:4)
- John: Two angels (20:12)
Where were these messengers situated?
- Matthew: Angel sitting on the stone (28:2)
- Mark: Young man sitting inside, on the right (16:5)
- Luke: Two men standing inside (24:4)
- John: Two angels sitting on each end of the bed (20:12)
Did the women tell what happened?
- Matthew: Yes (28:8)
- Mark: No. “Neither said they any thing to any man.” (16:8)
- Luke: Yes. “And they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest.” (24:9, 22-24)
- John: Yes (20:18)
When Mary returned from the tomb, did she know Jesus had been resurrected?
- Matthew: Yes (28:7-8)
- Mark: Yes (16:10,11)
- Luke: Yes (24:6-9,23)
- John: No (20:2)
When did Mary first see Jesus?
- Matthew: Before she returned to the disciples (28:9)
- Mark: Before she returned to the disciples (16:9,10)
- John: After she returned to the disciples (20:2,14)
Could Jesus be touched after the resurrection?
- Matthew: Yes (28:9)
- John: No (20:17), Yes (20:27)
What happened at the appearance?
- Matthew: Disciples worshipped, some doubted, “Go preach.” (28:17-20)
- Mark: Jesus reprimanded them, said “Go preach” (16:14-19)
- Luke: Christ incognito, vanishing act, materialized out of thin air, reprimand, supper (24:13-51)
- John: Magically appears in locked room, disciples happy, Jesus blesses them, no reprimand (20:19-23)
Did Jesus stay on earth for a while?
- Mark: No (16:19) Compare 16:14 with John 20:19 to show that this was all done on Sunday
- Luke: No (24:50-52) It all happened on Sunday
- John: Yes, at least eight days (20:26, 21:1-22)
- Acts: Yes, at least forty days (1:3)
Where did the ascension take place?
- Matthew: No ascension. Book ends on mountain in Galilee
- Mark: In or near Jerusalem, after supper (16:19)
- Luke: In Bethany, very close to Jerusalem, after supper (24:50-51)
- John: No ascension
- Acts: Ascended from Mount of Olives (1:9-12)
- Oldest Syriac versions say Jesus Barabbas rather than Barabbas in Matthew 27
- Christian historian Origen (184 – 254 CE) referred to Jesus Barabbas and was confused as to why it was permitted for his name to be so similar to Jesus
- Most scholars believe Jesus Barabbas was in the original version of Matthew
- Barabbas is Hebrew for Son of the Father
- Jesus Barabbas means Jesus Son of the Father
- Jesus “Son of the Father” is set free
- Jesus “Son of God” is sacrificed
- Exactly like the “scapegoat” Jewish tradition in Leviticus 16:15-25
- No record of a prisoner release (Privilegium Paschale) on Passover or any Jewish holiday
- Apologists will point to a couple of occasions where Romans set prisoners free, but they cannot find any example of releasing prisoners on a Jewish holiday