Anti-missionary Arguments Against The Resurrection Answered

Q: If YAHSHUA is YAHWEH as you suggest, who brought Him back to life?

A:
Good question, and one to which Scripture provides the answer.

Jonah 2:2 I called to YAHWEH...and he answered me. From the stomach of the grave I cried and you heard my voice... [5] Waters encompassed me unto life, the deep closed around me, weeds were wrapped around my head. [6] I went down to the base of the mountains; the earth with its bars were behind me forever. But you brought up My life from the pit, O YAHWEH my Elohim... [9] And I offer to you with a word of thanksgiving, paying what I have vowed. Salvation (YAHSHUA) is of YAHWEH.

Luke 11:29 And while the crowds were thronging YAHSHUA began to say, "This generation is wicked. It seeks a sign and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet, [30] for as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Adam shall be to this generation...

Luke 12:56 Hypocrites, You know to discern the face of the heaven and of the earth, but HOW IS IT YOU DO NOT DISCERN THIS TIME?

Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the stomach of the great fish, so shall the Son of Adam be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. [41] Men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and look, a greater than Jonah is here.

John 10:18. No one takes (My life) from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. This command I have received from My Father.

John 2:19b. Destroy this Dwelling Place and in three days I SHALL RAISE IT. [20] Then the Jews said, It took forty-six years to build this Dwelling Place, and YOU are going to raise it in three days? [21] But He spoke about the dwelling place of His Body. [22] So when He was raised from the dead, His taught ones remembered that He had said this to them, and they believed the Scripture and the word which YAHSHUA had spoken.

So the answer to the question is clearly spelled out right here: First YAHSHUA says "I lay (my life) down of myself (and) I have power to take it up again", and then "destroy this dwelling place (of my body) and in three days I will raise it (to life again)". Of course with men this is impossible (see Matthew 19:26), and will surely send the anti-missionary into hysterical fits as it did the Yahudim, but remember that YAHSHUA is YAHWEH, and this was the only sign he gave an evil and adulterous generation concerning His Messiahship. A powerful sign it indeed was!

Matthew 16:1 And the Pharisees and the Sadducees came, and trying Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. [2] And he answering said to them, "When it is evening you say 'Fair weather, for the heaven is red', [3] and in the morning 'Stormy weather today, for the heaven is red and overcast'. You know how to discern the face of the heaven, but you are unable to discern the signs of the times!

Luke 19:41 And as He came near He...wept...[42] saying "If you only knew today the matters for your peace, but now they are hidden from your eyes...[44b] because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

Comparing these verses to Tanakh, we find in startling clarity that Yahshua's words were not His own, but rather a reminder to Israel of the prophetic warning voiced by Isaiah and Jeremiah many years before.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign YAHWEH is upon me, because YAHWEH has ANNOINTED me (H#4886 MASHACH, meaning "divine annointing", and the root of H#4899 MASHIYACH or "Messiah") to preach good news to the poor. [2] He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives, and release from darkness to the prisoners, to proclaim the year of YAHWEH's ACCEPTANCE, FAVOR, or GOODWILL (H#7522 RASON, from #7521 RASAH, meaning "to accept, pay for sin, receive grace, or be esteemed"), and closely related to #7523 & 24, RASACH, meaning "to be murdered, killed, put to death, or dying agony"), and the day of vengeance of our Elohim, to comfort all who mourn.

Jeremiah 8:7 Even a stork in the heavens knows her appointed times, and a turtledove and a swallow and a thrush observe the time of their coming, but my people do not discern the right ways of YAHWEH... [9b] See, they have rejected the Word of YAHWEH, so what wisdom do they have... [10b] From the prophet to the priest, all act falsely, [11] and they heal the breach of the daughter of my people slightly saying "Shalom, shalom" when there is no shalom... [12b] So they shall fall among those who fall, and they shall stumble in the time of their visitation, said YAHWEH... [13b] and WHAT I GAVE THEM SHALL PASS AWAY FROM THEM (until they say) [14a] "Why are we sitting still? Gather yourselves and let us go into the walled cities and let us be silent there... [15]We looked for peace, but there was no good, and for a time of healing, but see, fear!..". [19] Observe the voice, the cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land, saying "Is YAHWEH not in Tziyon? Is her sovereign (or kingship) not in her?... [20] The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we have not been saved." [21] For the breach of the daughter of my people I have been broken. I have grown sad, astonishment has seized me. [22] "Is their no balm in Gilead, is there no healer there? Why has the healing of the daughter of my people not come?"

Jeremiah 23:9 My heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake, I am like a drunken man, and like a man overcome by wine, because of YAHWEH and His set-apart Word. [10] For the land is filled with adulterers, for the land mourns because of a curse... [11] for both prophet and priest have become defiled. [12] Therefore their way is to them like slippery ways in the dark. They are driven on and they shall fall in them for I bring evil on them in the year of their visitation, declares YAHWEH... [17] They keep on saying to those who despise Me, "YAHWEH has said you shall have shalom"... [18] But who has stood in the counsel of YAHWEH, and has SEEN AND HEARD HIS WORD, AND LISTENED TO HIS WORD, AND OBEYED IT?

The lament of "the daughter of my people" was, in startling and heartbreaking clarity, also fulfilled by the "elders of the people" in due turn.

"When the members of the Sanhedrin found themselves deprived of their right over life and death, a general consternation took possession of them: they covered their heads with ashes, and their bodies with sackcloth, exclaiming:'Woe unto us for the scepter (or Kingship) has departed from Judah and the Messiah has not come'." (1)

"The Sanhedrin wept and said, 'Woe to us! Where is the Messiah? He had to have come by now.....Perish all those who calculate the end, for men will say, since the predicted end is here and the Messiah has not come, he will never come!.....All the calculated ends have already passed, and now it depends entirely on repentance and good deeds'." (2)

Now keeping in mind that YAHSHUA was the aspect of YAHWEH which appeared to men in the Tanakh, in Genesis 18 YAHWEH appears to Abraham and promises that Sarah will have a son.

Genesis 18:14. "Is any matter too hard for YAHWEH? At the appointed time I am going to return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah is to have a Son."

In the literal PASHAT, this is a prophecy of Isaac's miraculous birth to Sarah who, like Miriam the mother of YAHSHUA, is unable to conceive without divine interception. Keep in mind, however, that Isaac is a type of the Messiah, because YAHSHUA said:

John 8:56. Your Father Abraham was glad that he should see My day, and HE SAW IT and did rejoice.

Re-examining the prophecy of Isaac's birth now in the REMEZ or secondary level of Scriptural interpretation, we find it to also be a Messianic prophecy of YAHSHUA's miraculous birth, such as we also find in the book of Ruth, concerning the conception of Yahshua and his role as the Kinsman Redeemer of Israel.

Ruth 4:11b. Prove your worth in Ephratha, and PROCLAIM THE NAME IN BETHLEHEM...[12] And let your house be like the house of Peretz, whom Tamar bore to Yahudah, of the SEED which YAHWEH does give you from THIS YOUNG WOMAN. [13]And Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her and YAHWEH GRANTED HER CONCEPTION and she BORE A SON. [14] and the women said to Naomi, "Blessed be YAHWEH who has not left you this day WITHOUT A REDEEMER. And let HIS NAME BE PROCLAIMED this day in Israel! [15] And He shall be to you A RESTORER OF LIFE... [17b] and they called his name "Obed" (i.e. "Servant") and he was the father of Jesse, the father of David, (the ancestor of Messiah).Skipping back now to Genesis and proceeding to more of a SODE or hidden meaning of YAHWEH's promise to Abraham, we find it also to be a prophecy of the final phase in this redemptive process; that is YAHSHUA's miraculous resurrection!

Genesis 18:14. Is any matter too hard for YAHWEH? At the appointed time I (YAHSHUA is speaking) am going to return to you (be resurrected), according to the time of life (three days and nights), and Sarah (Abraham's wife, therefore Abraham/Israel) is to have a Son (which in the REMEZ is the Messiah)."

Q: Seeing that the sign of Jonah was the only sign which YAHSHUA gave, why does Miriam go to the tomb on the 'morning of the resurrection' and we get different accounts from each of the four gospels?  Was the tomb open or wasn't it?  Was there no one there, or one or two angels?  Did she see YAHSHUA there or somewhere else?  Why, if this was the confirming sign of His Messiahship, do we get mixed accounts from each gospel concerning it, that IN ANY COURT OF LAW WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO STAND AS A WITNESS?

A: Good question, at least if the scenario portrayed by the questioner is correct. To find out, let's take a look at the facts.




  • Matthew -- Joseph lays YAHSHUA in his new tomb which he had hewn out of rock, and rolled a large stone against the door, with Miriam of Magdala and the other Miriam sitting opposite the tomb.  (27:58-61)

  • Mark   --  Joseph lays YAHSHUA in a tomb hewn out of rock, and rolls a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Miriam of Magdala and Miriam (the wife) of Joseph see where he was laid. (15:45-47)

  • Luke   --  Joseph lays YAHSHUA in a tomb hewn out of the rock where no one was yet laid and the women who had come with Him from Galil saw the tomb and how his body was laid. (25:52-55)

  • John    --  Joseph asks for YAHSHUA's body, lays it in a fresh tomb in a garden at the place He was impaled, as it was the preparation day of the Yahudim and the tomb was near (19:38-42).    
FACTS:
YAHSHUA is laid by Joseph in a new tomb.
Luke omits the sealing of the tomb.
Yahchanan omits the women watching.
There is no discrephancy.

  • Matthew -- Toward dawn on the first day of the week, Miriam of Magdala and the other Miriam come to see the tomb after the earthquake and find the stone rolled back from the door. (28:1,2)

  • Mark   --  Very early on the first day of the week when the sun was risen, Miriam of Magdala and Miriam, the mother of Ya'aqob and Shelomah (YAHSHUA's half-brothers) come to the tomb with spices, wondering who will roll the stone from the entrance of the tomb, and looking up, they see the stone has been rolled away. (16:2-4)

  • Luke   --  On the first day of the week at early dawn, Miriam of Magdala, Yohanah, and Miriam, the mother of Ya'aqob come to the tomb with spices and find the stone rolled away. (24:1-2,10)

  • John    --  Early on the first day of the week while it was still dark, Miriam of Magdala comes to the tomb and finds the stone removed from the entrance, runs in a panic and tells Kepha/Peter and Yahchanan "They have taken the Master out of the tomb and we do not know where they laid him" (20:1-2) -- then later returns (20:11).

    FACTS:
Miriam of Magdala comes early the first day while still dark and leaves in a panic at not finding YAHSHUA's body.
She returns when the sun is risen with YAHSHUA's mother, and Yohanah, who question amongst themselves who will roll the stone away.

All accounts confirm that the stone was rolled away when the women arrived.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke omit Miriam of Magdala's first visit to the tomb.

Luke includes Yohanah (and possibly others) among the women visiting the tomb.

Yahchanan only mentions Miriam of Magdala.

Although only Luke records Yohanah's presence with the two Miryams, we conclude by necessary inference that it was YAHSHUA's mother and Yohanah (disbelieving Miryam's report that the body has been stolen), who question who will roll the stone away in Mark's account, as Miryam of Magdala had already visited and found the tomb open and empty.


  • Matthew -- Women see a messenger of YAHWEH who came down from heaven, with an appearance like lightening and clothes white as snow, sitting on the stone terrifying the guards, who says, "Do not be afraid for I know that you seek YAHSHUA who was impaled.  He is not here for He was raised as he said.  Come see the place where he lay and quickly tell his taught ones they will see him in Galilee as I have told you. (28:2-7)

  • Mark   --  Entering the tomb, the women see a young man sitting on the right wearing a white robe who says "Do not be astonished.  You seek YAHSHUA of Nazareth who was impaled.  He was raised and is not here.  See the place where they laid him, and go say to his taught ones and Kepha that He is going before you into Galil; you shall see him there as He said to you. (16:5-7)

  • Luke   --  The women enter tomb, perplexed at not finding his body, and are frightened by two men standing by them in glittering garments, who say "Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here but has been raised up as he said. (24:3-6) 

  • John  nbsp;  --  Miriam of Magdala, standing outside the tomb weeping (returned) stoops down and sees two messengers in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet where YAHSHUA's body had been laid, who ask "Woman, why do you weep?"  Miriam answers, "Because they took away my Master and I do not know where they laid him" (20:11-13).

FACTS:
Matthew and Mark record one messenger dressed in white, who appears  as a young man sitting on the stone on the right side of the tomb.
Luke records two men in glittering garments who stand by the women in the tomb.
Yahchanan records two messengers in white sitting, one at the head and one at the foot of the tomb.
In Matthew and Mark's account the women see one man sitting on the stone at the head of the tomb where YAHSHUA was laid.  John records a second messenger at the foot of the tomb who is only seen by Miriam of Magdala through her tears upon stooping down.  Both men / messengers presumably arise from their seated positing upon the appearance of the women, reconciling Luke with the other three  accounts.   
No discrepancies or contradictions exist which cannot be reconciled by comparative analysis of the accounts.



  • Matthew --  The women leave quickly with fear and great joy to report to His taught ones.  (28:8)

  • Mark --  The women flee from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, speaking to no one for they were afraid, and even after His appearance, Miriam of Magdala reports to the others mourning and weeping, and is not believed (16:8-11)

  • Luke --  Returning from the tomb they report to the others, who account their words as nonsense and do not believe.  (24:9,11)
FACTS:
There are no discrepancies.  the women are both joyful at the news, and yet remain doubtful, like the other disciples, that YAHSHUA is risen. Additionally, they are still overcoming their fear and unexpected surprise at being confronted by the messengers and finding YAHSHUA's body missing from the tomb, which means that, if He isn't risen, His body has been stolen as Miriam of Magdala was first to suspect.



  • Matthew -- As the women were going (leaving the tomb) YAHSHUA met them saying "Do not be afraid.  Go report to my brothers and go to Galilee and they shall see me there."  They hold him by the feet and do obeisance.  (28:9,10)

  • Mark   --   YAHSHUA appears first to Miriam of Magdala, from whom he had cast out seven demons, and she reports to those who had been with him that he was alive and had been seen of her. (16:9,10)

  • Luke   --  The women report seeing a "vision of messengers" saying He is alive (24:22-23)

  • John    --   Turning from the two messengers in white at the entrance of the tomb, Miriam of Magdala sees YAHSHUA standing, asking "Why do you weep? Whom do you seek?"  Supposing him to be the gardener Miriam replies "If you have taken Him away say to me where you put him." (20:14-15)  She recognizes YAHSHUA, however, as her "Rabboni" when he calls her name, and says "Do not hold on to Me, but go to My brothers and say "I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My Elohim and your Elohim. (20:16-17)  Miryam therefore comes announcing this to the taught ones (20:18)
FACTS:
There are no discrepancies.  YAHSHUA meets the women as they turn and begin leaving the tomb, appearing to Miryam of Magdala first.  They hold him by the feet and do obeisance, but are told "do not hold on (or cling) to me, but go announce what I have told you to my brothers.  As Luke records, they still account it as a vision, and doubt the reality of it themselves.



  • Luke --  Kepha/Peter runs to tomb (after being told by the women that YAHSHUA is risen) and stooping down sees linen wrappings laying by themselves and returns home marveling at what took place.  (24:11-12,24)

  • John --  Kepha and Yahchanan run to the tomb (recorded between Miriam of Magdala's first and second visit) and find the linen wrappings laying and the cloth that was on his head by itself.  They see and believe, for they did not yet know the Scripture that he has to rise from the dead, therefore they went away again by themselves (20:3-10).
FACTS:
Luke places Kepha's visit to the tomb after being told that YAHSHUA is risen.
John records Kepha and Yahchanan's visit in between Miriam of Magdala's first and second visit, and before she bears witness of his appearance and resurrection.
The seeming discrepancy between the order of events is resolved by realizing John records that upon seeing the wrappings laying and the cloth that was on his head neatly folded by itself, "Kepha and the disciple whom YAHSHUA loved believed" for "they had not yet known the Scripture that he has to rise from the dead."  Clearly verses 3-10 of John chapter 20 are an inset (i.e. not written in chronological order, as we see all throughout, and even in entire chapters of Tanakh), for it was YAHSHUA's rising at which Kepha marveled, and the report of which by Miriam that they believed.



  • Matthew -- The eleven went away into Galil, and when they saw YAHSHUA they bowed to Him, but some doubted.  (28:16,17)

  • Mark   --   YAHSHUA appears in another form to two of the disciples as they walked in the field (16:12), who in turn reported to the rest which doubted (16:13).  Afterwards He appears to the eleven as they sat at a table, and rebukes their unbelief (16:14).

  • John   --   YAHSHUA appears to the disciples in an inner room (20:19), and after eight days appears again, this time also to Thomas (20:26), and afterwards again to the taught ones on the sea of Kinnereth (21:1,2).

  • Luke   --   YAHSHUA meets two of the disciples walking to Emmaeus, but restrains their eyes so they did not recognize Him.  Beginning at Mosheh and the prophets, he expounds in all the Scriptures the matters concerning Himself as they travel, saying "O thoughtless ones and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken.  Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these and to enter into His esteem?"  They recognize him as he breaks bread at the end of their journey, and then obscures himself from their sight (24:13-31).  He then appears to the eleven saying "Shalom Aleichem" as they related this that night to their brethren (24:33-36).  Being startled and frightened, they think to have seen a spirit (24:37), and while they were still not believing for joy and marveling, He said:
"These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all have to be filled that were written in the Torah of Mosheh, and the Prophets, and the Psalms concerning me."  then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it has been written, and so it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His Name in all nations, beginning at Yahrushalem, and you are witnesses of these things. (24:44-48)

FACTS:
Rather than raising question as to the validity of the resurrection account, the easily reconcilable variations in perspective and writing style of the disciples actually further confirms the resurrection account's validity, as recorded by individual, accurate eye-witnesses, at different times,  HUMBLY ADMITTING THEIR OWN LACK OF FAITH AND LACK OF UNDERSTANDING, rather than being "authored by the hand of the Church under pseudo-names of make-believe disciples with a glossed over, artificial, 'too-good-to-be-true' finish".  Additionally, the Apostolic accounts stand up to the test of two or three witnesses each independently establishing a word, as prescribed by Tanakh, which in a Scriptural, or any just court of law, WOULD be allowed to stand as witness. 

Indeed, "The displeasure of YAHWEH shall not turn back until He has done and established the purposes of His heart.  In the latter days you shall understand it perfectly!" (Jeremiah 23:20)
Footnotes:

1. Babylonian Talmud, chapter 4 folio 37
2. Sanhedrin 97b

This article was published on Friday 16 December, 2016.
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