September 23rd 2010

Don’t Confuse Me With the Facts!

“…some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. …‘Tell them, “His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept”. And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.’ So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.”
Matthew 28:11-15 NKJV

Have you heard the one about the NASA scientists who a few years ago were attempting to calculate the exact position of various bodies in the solar system at precise moments in the future? They came up against a consistent discrepancy of many hours which no amount of thought and recalculation could overcome.

The story goes that at the suggestion of one of their number, who remembered from his childhood the Biblical story of Joshua and his long day, the computers were recalibrated to take this into consideration. Now the difference dropped to 40 minutes. An improvement, but still not accurate enough for future space flights. Then the same engineer recalled Hezekiah’s sundial going backwards by 10 degrees—exactly equivalent to the still missing 40 minutes.  And so, continues the story, NASA’s own computers thereby prove these two biblical incidents actually happened!

It’s a wonderful story, and I’ve even had it preached to me from the pulpit.


You only have to ask the question of the NASA officials and they will confirm that IT ISN’T TRUE!  Well, they would, wouldn’t they? Conspiracy theorists abound in our day and age.  But why let a little thing like truth or accuracy interfere with a good story? The same thing happened in the Bible, and many a Jew of today and many an atheist attempting to justify their beliefs will quote the above scriptural passage as a put-down concerning the resurrection of Jesus.

Truth is, if Jesus wasn’t resurrected then the apostles wouldn’t have got away with claims that He was—too many people were still alive who had been there as witnesses at the time when they wrote down the events. In addition, as Paul puts it: “If there is no resurrection then we of all people are the most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:9) because Christians base not just this life on the truth of the resurrection but their hopes for their future eternal life.

Most merciful Father, thank you for the sure knowledge that our Saviour lives. We don’t base our belief on a dead Saviour, but on one who lives to make us like Him, resurrected to glory, in due time. Thank you for the sureness of our belief. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford 

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