"The eyes are useless when the mind is blind"
"May Yeshua our Messiah, the righteous King, open our eyes to the texts of the Gospels that we have probably read blindly a thousand times. May He lift up the veil of blindness in us, may He open our eyes to seemingly ordinary words, so we will be fully able to catch the meaning of the Good News in context. In Yeshua's Name I pray. Amen."
He saw and he believed. What did John see in Yeshua's tomb?
"On the first day of the week as it turned toward morning, while it was still dark, Myriam haMagdalit came to the tomb and saw that the stone was removed from the tomb. She ran and came to Shim'on Petros and to the other disciple whom Yeshua loved, and said to them, " they have taken the Master from His tomb and we don't know where they have put Him!"
Petros left along with the other disciple and they went to the tomb. Both of them ran together, but the other disciple ran faster, passed Petros, and came to the tomb first.
He peered inside and saw the burial garments lying there, but he did not enter. Shim'on Petros came after him. He entered the tomb and saw the burial garments lying there. The scarf that had been on His head was not lying beside the burial garments, instead it was folded up by itself in a separate place. The other disciple who came to the tomb first also entered. He saw and believed."
Gospel of John, Chapter 20, verses 1 to 8, Franz Delitzsch translation into English
I've read the Gospels so many times. But did I really READ them? A recent research about tefillins, burial rituals within the Jewish community in the 1st Century, the types of tombs really made me aware of my ignorance of many customs and specific context.
So I made the firm decision to stop relying only on translations and popular interpretations of the Gospels.
One major difficulty of the Gospels is that we base our interpretations on a text that was translated in to Ancient Greek by Hebrew thinking minds.
I also became conscious of the importance of studying archeological findings, as they are very much of help to catch the customs and context of the 1st Century in Israel.
Each single word and each single detail we probably fail to pay attention to actually DO matter.
What seemingly appears as secondary is often of higher importance.
We must always bear in mind that the Gospels refer to Jewish custom and speak of a Israeli rabbi named Yeshua ( born in Israel, raised as a Jew, thinking in Hebrew and Aramaic who is teaching and discussing the Torah). Keeping these details in mind will help us do away with very simplistic and out of context interpretations of the Scriptures.
The Gospels are the fulfilling of the Tanakh. They make sense when confronted and put together with Torah, prophets and other Old Testament writings.
This being said, I'd like to invite you for a deeper exploration of the Gospel accounts about Yeshua's Resurrection.
Before we can proceed, there are several details we need to speak about, especially the aspect of the tombs in the 1st Century.
Jewish tombs in the first Century
The following, very detailed study about the structure of Jewish tombs really helped me understand the way tombs were conceived.
However, the English translation of Franz Delitzsch's gospels added and interesting, new element of comprehension about entering Jewish tombs in the 1st Century.
In most versions of the Gospel of John, you would find "he bent over" while the Delitzsch version would render the same verse by " he peered inside". To peer means to look intently, searchingly, or with difficulty. While peering probably combines all three elements together, the second picture certainly puts an emphasis on the difficulty that is linked with penetrating inside of the tomb.
Jewish tomb model
peering inside of a first Century tomb, this gives you an idea about how the disciples entered...
The Garden Tomb from the outside ( soil from the Garden Tomb has been found on the Shroud of Turin)
Inside the Garden Tomb
Burial cloths in Hebrew= Shroud
"Hatakhrikhim munakhim" =התכיריכין מֻנחים = Shroud
התכיריכין מֻנחים: I tested the Hebrew expression for burial cloths in a Hebrew to English translator and it is rendered by Shroud-not burial cloths, but Shroud!
Here we have concrete proof that the Gospel report is talking about Yeshua's burial Shroud also known as the Shroud of Turin.
John saw and believed. But what did John see?
UVB light emission from the Shroud of Turin
By reading the Gospel of John, many people assume that John just saw the folded burial cloth and believed. However the great majority of people tend to forget what an event like the Resurrection really implies. In my opinion, John saw much more than just the folded piece of linen and the head cloth lying apart. Shroud experts say that the Resurrection was an event of the magnitude of an earthquake and that it implied the emission of laser-light light.
My friend David Hines, who dedicates a lot of his time to Shroud research, has brought evidence forward in his two latest videos, that the Shroud image was formed by UVB light.
Of course , the absence of Yeshua's body fully pointed at His Resurrection. But it is said of the disciples " for they did not yet understand what was written, that He would surely rise among the dead." As far as I am concerned, the disciples needed to see evidence. This evidence was brought to them through the contemplation of the shiny Shroud image that probably reflected the image of the Master in a very shiny way ( we are probably unable to imagine how powerful the light emission was a few hours after Yeshua's Resurrection.)
Why is it important that Yeshua was put into the tomb of a rich man?
As much as our Messiah was hated by many corporate religious men, He also had some powerful and rich allies such as Joseph of Arimathea who was courageous enough to reclaim our Savior's body to Pilate.
This is not a minor fact. First and foremost, it fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 53.9:
" And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth." Isaiah 53:9
The religious establisment of the 1st Century rejected the story of Yeshua's Resurrection.
Let us examine the verses 11 to 15 of Matthew, Chapter 28, in the orthodox Jewish version ( you will understand why I made this choice):
"Now while they were on their way, hinei! Some of the shomrim ( guards, patrols) came into the Rashei Hakohanim ( to the Chief Priests) all the things that had happened. And when they had assembled with the Zekenim ( the Elders) and counseled together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, and said, you are to say, His talmidim ( disciples) came by night and stole Him while we were asleep. And this would come to the Governor's ears, we will will him over and keep you out of trouble. And the ones who took the kesef ( money) did as they had been instructed and the story was widely spread among the Yehudim ( the Jews) to this day." Matthew 28: 11-15
Now I choose this orthodox Jewish version on purpose for any Gentile reader to understand that it is really the Jewish religious establishment that hated Yeshua, not the simple Jew. Many people in Israel loved rabbi Yeshua, especially Galileans, but also simple folks from Jerusalem. It is the corporate and corrupt establishment that plotted against Yeshua, because He represented a BIG THREAT as the King Messiah.
We know that the disciples were hiding, because they were very much afraid of persecution, especially after the death of their Master. We also know that at least 7 men with a strong body would have been needed to remove the stone that was placed at the entry of Yeshua's tomb.
In addition, we know from the Gospels that the tomb was being guarded by Roman soldiers.
So, WHO removed the stone?
This is the question one of my acquaintances from an evangelical church asked herself when she first visited the Garden Tomb in Israel, back in the 90's.
This is how she came to faith in Yeshua our Messiah.
WHO do you think removed the stone?
WHO do you say YESHUA is?
Copyright© by Isabelle Esling