Relics

“We’re not saying these are the nails… We’re saying these could be the nails.” (That is, the nails allegedly used to crucify our Lord Jesus.) Such is the bold claim of award-winning Israeli film director, Simcha Jacobovici, as he presented two rusted iron spikes in his “The Nails of the Cross” documentary made for the History Channel (Source: www.time.com). A few years ago, Jacobovici produced “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” for the Discovery Channel where he claimed that the graves of Jesus and Mary Magdalene were found. Dr. Paul Maier, ancient history professor at Western Michigan University, criticized Jacobovici’s works: “The guy is a showman, an Indiana Jones wannabe.” (Christian Science Monitor)

In 1990, archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) found in a cave the ossuary or the bone box that purportedly contains the remains of Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest who had Jesus arrested. They also found, among other things, Roman nails. Yet it appears that no one’s even sure that the nails that Jacobovici focused on in his documentary were the very same nails found in that cave. “But unlike everything else in the grave, the nails were otherwise unaccounted for. They were not measured, sketched or photographed, and nowhere to be found in the IAA’s vast collection… there were 12 ossuaries in the tomb, and there is no record of which one it was in. Nor is it clear which box most likely contained the bones of the priest the Gospels say pushed Jesus toward death.”(www.time.com) So, to connect the nails with the crucifixion of Jesus seems to be more speculation than science. Professor Gary Barkay of Bar Ilan University “and probably the most prominent archeologist in Israel” (Ibid) admitted, “This is not the way to draw conclusions in science, but it is nonetheless interesting.”

This is also not the way to draw conclusions for our belief. Faith does not need relics. After giving him proof enough to convince him of the resurrection, our Lord Jesus told Thomas, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29, ESV) Yes, our faith is based on facts. But, as someone wrote, “To him who has faith, no evidence is necessary. To him who doubts, no evidence is enough.” Our Lord Jesus really died on the cross whether we can find the nails or not. After all, it was not really those nails but His love for us that held Him there.

Brethren, rely on the sure Word, not on shaky relics.

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