The recent announcement of the Jesus Tomb discovery has awakened fundamentalist Christians into openly attacking the spectacular find, without even considering the evidence presented. This is due to Christianity’s corporate teaching that Jesus’ physical body literally ascended up into the earth’s atmosphere and disappeared. When one considers the magnitude of the possible evidence of his body’s burial in a stone ossuary, to some it immediately implies that traditional Christian teachings are erroneous and that Jesus’ message is being attacked. Is Jesus’ message to the world of love, hope and peace being degraded through a potential find of his remains, or is it actually being strengthened through archaeological evidence that supports Jesus did in fact exist? To me, the greatest implication of the Jesus Tomb documentary is that archaeology has most likely proven Jesus walked the earth some 2000 years ago.
It's interesting to note how the message of Christianity evolved over two millennia. Even more interesting: Consider how Jesus’ original message seems to have been changed, over time, by religious and political leaders attempting to create a state religion from his teachings. To look at all this, we must first look at Jesus’ ministry as told in the four Gospels and identify what and to whom he spoke. See: Jesus Teaching
We are told that Jesus walked through villages and countryside with people flocking to hear him speak. His words were delivered with power and amazed the common people, as he spent time with them and demonstrated love to those who were spiritually broken by religious leaders. Jesus did not attack these common people, otherwise they would most likely have never followed him. He did, however, speak against religious leaders of his day who were burdening these same people. Jesus taught in parables, so that spiritually dead, religious leaders who could only interpret, teach and lead others through literal laws found in others’ writings, would not grasp the true, hidden, spiritual message within his stories. Thus we are told in Matthew 13:13 that Jesus stated, “This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” Jesus’ message of truth was a spiritual message that needs to be heard within one’s very being. He taught (in Luke 17, for example) that the kingdom of God is within each of us and that it neither would be found outside of one’s self, nor could it be seen with the physical eyes. God would and could speak within the heart of each individual. Who needs a religion to interpret what God is saying to you, if God will speak to you directly? This very concept was an attack against religion which relies on outward buildings, programs, laws and purveyors of doctrines to control people, typically through fear. A message against dogma such as this is what eventually led Jesus to his death by crucifixion.
After Jesus’ death, we are told in accounts that many people saw him. But this begs the question, what did they see? There are numerous descriptions in the gospels of different people not recognizing Jesus’ physical appearance. This means his body looked different. If his physical body was the same as before, we could be quite certain that his followers who had spent three plus years with him would have recognized him easily. Something was very different with his appearance, as we are told he walked through walls, appeared and disappeared in the midst of his disciples. This evidence, found in the Bible’s New Testament, readily supports the idea that Jesus did not appear to followers in his old physical body after his death and resurrection. His was a body that we are simply not familiar with, and what we may assume was a newer, better, spiritual representation. Jesus simply demonstrated that death of his physical body could not destroy who he was or his message. His old body was of no importance, as it was cast aside for something better.
History shows that followers remained vigil in following Jesus’ teachings. They met in small groups, while men and women visited them trying to establish some core beliefs and teachings based upon the words of Jesus. Still, many varying beliefs existed and evolved over a few hundred years until Roman Emperor Constantine (in 325 AD) formed the first Nicene Council in a successful attempt to organize a state religion. A government led group of men decided over subsequent years what canons (laws) would be taught, what texts would be destroyed (such as the gnostic gospels), while buildings were erected and offerings collected. All of this was designed to control the people under one state formed and controlled religion. Thus, organized Christianity was born and today the many denominations and doctrines around the world can trace their roots back to this first Nicene Council.
Over time and through councils of men, the true, spiritual message that Jesus taught appears to have been forgotten. It is interesting to think that even Jesus’ tomb had also been lost until recently. Most likely, Jesus’ story from a couple thousand years ago had been re-written by the very thing he attacked: religion. Now, men such as Simcha Jacobovici, James Cameron, Dr. James Tabor and others just might be revealing the greatest truth which has been buried by more than just dirt and rocks.