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Sherlock Holmes and the Easter Murder MysteryNo, the Easter Bunny wasn’t murdered...I’m referring to that other side of Easter that often is missed in the midst of all the Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, and Easter bonnets. Nowadays in our secularized culture, many children have literally no idea of any meaning to Christmas and Easter beyond ‘reindeers and chocolate’. And yet most adults have realized at one point or another that Easter and Christmas involve profound spiritual questions that affect all of us. Easter raises the issue: is there really anything beyond the grave, or is death actually the permanent end of all conscious existence for us as individuals?
Sometimes in answering difficult questions, it is helpful to put on one’s "Sherlock Holmes" detective hat, and eliminate dead-end options one by one. Hugh Montifiere suggests that there are really only six possible ways of explaining who stole the Easter Corpse. One thing that everyone agrees on is that the corpse went missing. No one in history has ever debated the historical fact that the Easter Tomb was found empty. So the bottom line question is: Who was the grave robber? Was it the disciples, the Roman guards, or the Jewish authorities? There are newspaper reporters, lawyers, judges, and scientists who have applied a scientific, empirical approach to the question of the Easter Corpse, and then been amazed by the implications of the evidence uncovered. Again and again, sceptics investigating Easter have come back, saying that they have discovered evidence that demands a verdict. Frank Morris, the newspaper reporter who wrote the book "Who moved the Stone", is but one example of a sceptic shocked by the data that he dug up.
The first piece of data Frank Morris and others uncovered was that the Easter Corpse was actually medically dead. If someone could prove that O.J. Simpson’s wife Nicole was never actually killed, that overblown media trial would have been over immediately. You may remember the book "The Passover Plot" that was built around the claim that the Easter Corpse was never really dead. How do we know for sure that the Easter Corpse didn’t fake his death? First of all, the Easter Body was certified as dead by experts, both the Roman centurion in charge of the execution and by the governor Pilate. Secondly this Corpse had been tortured and whipped for hours to the point of death, lynched on a tree, and then stabbed through his side with a spear just to make sure of his fate. From his side came dark clot and pale serum, which any doctor could tell us is a certain legal-medical proof of death.
The second piece of data is the empty grave itself. All the opponents of Easter had to do was produce the dead corpse, and Easter could be put back into the grave, to be forgotten about. But no one ever could. If the Roman guards had stolen the body, they would have undoubtedly produced the Easter Corpse to stop this new threat to Roman law and order. The Romans had murdered Jesus specifically to get him out of the way, as he disturbed their political status-quo. The last thing they wanted was the claim that the Easter Corpse was running around, disturbing people.
What about the Jewish authorities? Might they have stolen the body? Click to find out more about the Easter Murder Mystery....
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St. Simon's Anglican Church
North Vancouver, B.C.