Is the Easter story true? Think about it for a moment because it’s the basis of a religion that claims 1.8 billion adherents around the world. Of course all we have to base the claim upon are stories written by unknown authors, long after the supposed event occurred. Yet for two millennia, people have recited this story as fact. What should any of us take from this? Should it be that we accept the story as true simply because it has survived for so long or may we question it, because those that wrote about it were not actual witnesses?
A lot of what we read in the New Testament doesn’t quite add up when we view the events of Easter from a strictly historical perspective. the call for the execution itself doesn’t seem to add up since just a few days before (what we refer to as Palm Sunday), Jesus entered Jerusalem to a throng of supporters and admirers. A few days after, many of the same were calling for his death. The trial at night, strictly against Jewish law (the writers of the event were probably unaware of this fact), then the torture and finally crucifixion seemed to happen quickly for someone that was not a known criminal.
Everything though, comes down to the resurrection, doesn’t it? Somehow, a dead man, dead for two days by the way, magically rises and walks out of his tomb. In the original, or first, retelling, we actually don’t learn much other than two women, May Magdalene and Mary, mother of James and Salome, come to the crypt and find a man standing in white saying that Jesus isn’t there. The book of Mark originally ends with both of them running away, never telling anyone. So how do we know this then? They must have told someone and a much later interpolation adds verses beyond 16:8 to describe what actually occurred a little better for the believer.
The other accounts tell of Jesus meeting people on the road, meeting his disciples, and actually hanging out having a meal. Nice trick for a dead man but then we’re supposed to believe that God has made a miracle. Or was it Jesus, who is God, but then God’s son, but then…I give up.
The problem with the entire account is that it’s not recorded, by anyone at the time of the event, not even. from hearsay. It’s at least forty years after that we learn anything about it. The tele itself lends to mythology more than anything else. A great leader, condemned to death, rising from the grave, finally ascending to heaven. It solves a l of of problems for the adherents in that they don’t have to prove any of the message they are spreading. Doubters have nothing to argue because the entire story is just one giant miracle and no one is forced to provide any evidence that any of of it is real.
That’s how belief works though: no evidence of what occurred ever need be presented.