How to Share Your Faith Using The Lost Tomb of Jesus
Maybe you've heard about the Discovery Channel's controversial documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus, or maybe not... But regardless of whether you've tuned in to this particular controversy or not, the film in question makes claims every Christian teen should be prepared to discuss intelligently. Bottom line: is it a publicity stunt or an archeological gold mine with sweeping implications for the Christian faith?
While archeology may not be your spectator sport of choice, the claims being made by The Lost Tomb of Jesus are nothing to sleep through. Basically, the film's producer (whose credits include the blockbuster hit movie Titanic), is claiming that a tomb unearthed in Jerusalem in the 1980s contains the bodily remains of Jesus and his family - namely "Jesus, son of Joseph," "Mariamne" (Aramaic for Mary Magdalene), and "Judah, son of Jesus".
The filmmakers contend that archeological and statistical evidence point to this being the tomb of Jesus. These claims directly contradict Biblical teaching and Christian belief that Jesus' body was supernaturally resurrected from the dead. "The evidence is compelling," the president of the Discovery Channel told the press this week. "The consequences are enormous."
So is the evidence compelling? Or is this just hype and hot air designed to piggy-back on the daVinci Code juggernaut, grab headlines, and make money?
Evidence clearly supports the "docu-stunt" conclusion. Both Christian and secular scholars have widely rejected the Jesus tomb claims, on the grounds of archeological and historical evidence. Check out this National Geographic headline - "Jesus Tomb Claim Slammed by Scholars".
It seems even Professor Amos Kloner, a senior Israeli archaeologist who actually excavated the tomb in question says, "Their movie is not serious...And there is no basis on which to make a story out of this or to identify this as the family of Jesus...Joseph, Mary, and their son Jesus were a poor family from Nazareth. There is no proof they even lived in Jerusalem."
And what of the statistical evidence presented by the film that "the odds are at least 600 to 1 in favor of the Talpiot tomb being the Jesus family tomb" because of the relationship of the names inscribed in the tomb? Again scholars agree that the names in Jesus family were widely used in first century Israel, much like Ashley, Jessica, Michael and Christopher are popular on the high school scene today!
So what should you do with this boatload of information? Lock and load these bullets of info into your Bible gun and take aim at your unreached friends and acquaintances? NO! Instead, use these kinds of opportunities to engage your friends in deeper conversations about Jesus.
- Ask your friends if they've heard about the Lost Tomb of Jesus. What do they think about it? Compelling evidence or a publicity stunt? If they are interested ask them to look at some of the article links mentioned above that address the specific evidence.
- Ask them if they believe in God and who they think Jesus was. Listen carefully and then share your faith and what Jesus means to you. For help explaining this, check out the GOSPEL Journey.
- Find out what your friends believe about the resurrection? Explain what the Bible has to say. See the Soul Fuel You Can Bet Your Life on It! if you need some help.
- Why do you think some people grab onto a controversy like The Lost Tomb of Jesus and take sides?
Many times people use these kinds of 'theories' as an excuse to run away from a relationship with the One, True, Living God. Do what you can to help your friends hear the truth and accept God's gift of salvation!