Jesus' Twin Brother and the Truth About Easter

By Robin Schumacher

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This line of reasoning is somewhat akin to the Scottish skeptic David Hume who wrote, "When anyone tells me, that he saw a dead man restored to life, I immediately consider with myself, whether it be more probable, that this person should either deceive or be deceived, or that the fact, which he relates, should really have happened. I weigh the one miracle against the other; and according to the superiority, which I discover, I pronounce my decision, and always reject the greater miracle."[6]

Although Cavin may say he is not a naturalist thinker like Hume, his reasoning against God raising Jesus from the dead traverses down much the same path as the Scottish philosopher.

Why Not a Resurrection?

Since Cavin says he believes in God, why rule out a supernatural event like the resurrection of Jesus? As C. S. Lewis said decades ago: "But if we admit God, must we admit Miracle? Indeed, indeed, you have no security against it. That is the bargain." [7]

What Cavin and skeptics/atheists miss about the incredible nature of Christ's resurrection is this: That's the whole point of the event!

Think about it. A carpenter from a nowhere town begins to make some pretty spectacular claims about himself. While his teaching is weighty and meaningful, and some eyewitnesses claim he performed miracles, the things he said concerning himself are still very out of the ordinary.

He puts himself on par with God (John 8:58), forgives sins (Mark 2:5), accepts worship (Luke 24:52), says he is not just a teacher of truth but truth itself (John 14:6), claims that those who believe in him will never die (John 11:25), and much more. How do you verify/falsify such claims?

Paul tells us in the opening chapter of Romans. He says that Jesus "was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom. 1:4). Jesus had said the same thing years earlier when His detractors asked for a sign. He would give them the sign of all signs, which was the sign of Jonah (His resurrection, see Matt. 16:4).

The resurrection is the single event in history that validates everything Jesus said and His identity. It alone bridges the gap between the historical Jesus that both Christians and non-Christians accept and the God-Man Jesus. It is what brings together philosopher Immanuel Kant's noumenal (certainty) and phenomenal (experience/faith) worlds, which he claimed could not be joined.

But it does even more than that.

The Victories of the Resurrection

Without the resurrection of Jesus, as Paul says, our faith would be in vain (1 Cor. 15:14). Despite what skeptics say about there being nothing that could prove to a Christian that his/her faith was invalid, finding the body of that Jewish carpenter is all that's needed to put Christianity down for the count.

It's the resurrection of Jesus that is the cornerstone of the Christian faith and the single event in human history that provides all of the following victories to Jesus and those who put their trust in Him:

1. Victory of Christ's person — He is who He claimed to be (Rom. 1:4).
2. Victory of Christ's word — Everything He said was true (Matt. 12:38-40; John 2:18-22).
3. Victory over death — Christ's resurrection proves life beyond the grave (1 Cor. 15:20-26).
4. Victory over Satan — Jesus' resurrection robs Satan of his power (1 John 3:8; Heb. 2:14).
5. Victory over sin — Jesus' work breaks the bondage we have to sin (Rom. 6:8-10).
6. Victory of eternity — Christ's resurrection assures us of everlasting life (John 6:39-40).

If Dr. Cavin is right about the resurrection of Jesus being nothing more than a scam pulled off by some unknown twin brother of Jesus, then none of the above are true and every person who has put their trust in Jesus actually has no hope for today or the future.

However because God exists, and because He is more than able to intervene in His creation and bring about true miracles, "Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep" (1 Cor. 15:20).

I hope you will join me today in thanking and praising God that this is the "true truth" behind Easter.

1. Robert Greg Cavin. "Miracles, Probability, and the Resurrection of Jesus". Ph.D dissertation. (University of California-Irvine, 1993), 389 pages.
2. Beyond Cavin's arguments are those who reference the Gnostic writing "The Book of Thomas the Contender" where Jesus calls Thomas his twin: "Now, since it has been said that you are my twin and true Companionů" See: "The Book of Thomas the Contender".
3. For my short rebuttal against this theory, see: "The Resurrection of Jesus — A Miracle in One of Three Ways".
4. The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave, pg. 184.
5. See statements from Cavin in this collection of email exchanges.
6. David Hume; "Of Miracles".
7. C. S. Lewis, Miracles, Harper Collins, 1974, pg. 169

TagsBiblical-Truth  |  Controversial-Issues  |  False-Teaching  |  Jesus-Christ

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Published 4-18-14