Resurrection and ascension of Jesus
Posted on April 5th, 2015

By A. Abdul Aziz

Credulous imagination built up the theory of the so-called resurrection and physical ascension of Jesus to the sky, which, however, belongs entirely to the realm of fiction. Renan says:

The glory of the Resurrection is accordingly due to Mary Magdalene. The image created by her vivid susceptibility still hovers before the world. She, as chief and princess among visionaries, has better than any other made the vision of her impassioned soul a real thing to the world’s conviction. That grand cry from her woman’s heart, He is risen!” has become the mainspring of a faith to mankind. Hence, feeble reason! Test not by cold analysis this masterpiece of ideality and love! If wisdom despairs of consolation to the unhappy race of man, abandoned by destiny, let unreason attempt the venture! Where is the wise man who has bestowed upon the world so exalted joy as this visionary Mary Magdalene?” (E.Renan,Les Apotres Histoire des Orignes du Christianisne, livre 2-eme, Paris 1866, p.13. Translated by J.H. Allen, Boston, 1898, p.49.)

It must be noted that Mary Magdalene, the author of the Resurrection story was possessed by seven demons. In other words, she was hysterical to the point of madness. (Luke: 8;2.)

We find ourselves in complete agreement with the noted Oxonian who maintains that the ordinary view of the resurrection of Jesus and his ascension to heaven with his physical body cannot be substantiated.” (Bernard M. Allen, Story behind the Gospels, pp. 107, 108.) The writer in the Ency. Biblica remarks about the so-called resurrection of Jesus and his ascension to heaven: Nothing can be conjectured with any certainty, except that it described an appearance of Jesus to the disciples.” (Encyclopedia Biblica, vol. II, p. 1881.) According to Kirsopp Lake: In the earliest tradition there was no account of the actual Resurrection, but only statements as to the grave and the appearances of the risen Lord; there was therefore no account of actual ascension to heaven, but the statement of the implication of the fact the Lord was the heavenly being.” (Kirsopp Lake, The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ , 1907, p 231.)

S.V. McCasland bears him out in the view just mentioned: The earliest record which has come down to us from the beginning, Christian Movement, apparently, is that body of material represented in the common non-Markan sources of Matthew and Luke is a very surprising fact that there is not a single reference to the resurrection of Jesus in all that material.” (S.V. McCasland, The Resurrection of Jesus, 1932, p.131.)

In short, there were no eyewitnesses of the alleged resurrection of Jesus. Nobody saw him to be actually dead and coming back to life. The mere fact that the tomb was empty was capable of other explanations. It does not follow therefrom that he was really dead and came back to life. Likewise, the fact that nobody knew where Jesus went after his post-resurrection appearances, does not lead to the conclusion that he ascended to heaven.

Physical absurdities

It is noteworthy that faith in the physical resurrection of Jesus and in his ascension to the sky in the sense in which the Christians would have us believe involve three things: First, the actually dead person came back to life. Second, the physical body was lifted up to the sky. And the third, the assumption that the sky is a physical locality like this earth where the inhabitants of this planet can live as they do here in this world. It is obvious that all these are physical absurdities.

The physical ascension of Jesus to heaven has never been and never will be proved. Jesus, himself, says, that one who does not come from heaven, cannot go to heaven (John: 3;13).

St. Paul, whose account is supposed to be earliest of all, vigorously opposes the idea of Jesus’ physical ascension to heaven. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.” (I Cor: 15;50)

According to unanimous testimony of the Gospel records, Jesus was seen by his disciples in flesh and blood.” His mother saw him and took him for a gardener (John: 20;15). His disciples saw him in his physical body:

Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”

And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet.”
And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?”

And they gave him a piece of boiled fish, and of an honeycomb.”
And he took it, and did eat before them.”(Luke: 24; 39 – 43).

The above verses settle the question decisively that Jesus came out of the tomb alive.
H. Spencer Lewis writes: Just before sunrise, Yousef of Arimathaea and other Essenes who had been hiding nearby approached the tomb when the guards were trying to protect themselves from the rain under the shelter of some cattle houses which were slightly distant. Using the means they had previously provided, and taking advantage of the laxity of the officials in sealing the doorway properly, they caused this great stone to be thrown over, and the doorway to be opened. When they entered the tomb, they found Jesus resting easily, and rapidly regaining strength and vitality. After an hour the storm ceased sufficiently for the Essenes to escort Him from the Tomb.” (H. Spencer Lewis, Mystical Life of Jesus, p. 269.)

If we make a close scrutiny and a thorough retrospect of the whole story in the light of the foregoing premises, Jesus’ prophecy of coming out of the bowels of the earth alive; his fervent prayers to be saved from death on the cross; the hideousness of the idea of his being subjected to accursed death; the flowing of blood from his wound; the shortness of the time of his suspension and the consequent doubts of all concerned at such an unexpectedly early death; the pronounced sympathetic attitude of Pilate and his delivery of Jesus’ body to his close friends and followers; and Jesus’ subsequent physical appearance to his mother and disciples – then we can easily understand that he was only apparently dead, in a state of unconsciousness. It becomes clear that a secret plot was designed by Jesus’ disciples for his rescue, in which Pilate himself played an important role. After his escape from the tomb, Jesus had to take recourse to disguise for fear of again being arrested.

The passages upon which the ascension theory is based are not reliable. Matthew says nothing about the ascension; he merely states that after coming out from the sepulchre Jesus went to Galilee and met his disciples at a mountain which he had appointed for them (Matt: 28;16).

Message

Mark asserts that Jesus sent a message to his disciples telling them to meet him in Galilee, and then without any connection with what he has mentioned before and without giving details as to the place he makes this statement:
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them he was received up into heaven and sat at the right hand of God” (Mark: 16;19).

The last sentence, and sat at the right hand of God”, weakens the whole statement as it is not conceivable that the writer also went up to heaven and saw Jesus sitting on the right hand of God. The truth concerning the last twelve verses of Mark is that they were added (to the original account) later still, probably early in the second century, probably to take the place of the ending which had been lost, or which was regarded as defective” (Encyclopedia Britannica, Ed.11, Vol. 17 p 730) Mark’s account therefore, cannot be taken as a basis for this dogma.

St. Luke’s account is:-

He led them out as far as Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass that while he blessed them, he was parted from them and carried up into heaven” (Luke: 24; 50,51).
Thus, according to St. Luke, he became separated from his companions which is far from meaning that they saw him ascending to heaven.

Again we read in the Acts:

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight” (The Acts: 1;9).

Now to be hidden from sight does not mean that he went up into the sky. It is very possible that he went to the top of the mountain, and the peak being obscured by clouds or mist, he was hidden from them; then from the top of the mountain, he proceeded on his way down the other side, leaving the country for some other land where he would be safe from the enmity and machinations of the Jews.

John confirms this by saying that Jesus met his disciples for the last time at the sea of Tiberias, and said to Peter, Feed my sheep” and he also said, Follow me”, and Peter saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following him” (John: 21; 16 – 20). There is no doubt these last few lines of John clearly indicate that Jesus did not ascend to heaven, but migrated to another country.

It is clear, therefore, that the accounts of both Mathew and John support this theory very strongly, whilst both are silent regarding the ascension.

Mark’s account concerning the ascension is an addition to the original account by some unknown person. Luke who refers in a vague way to his ascending to heaven, was not present with the disciples when Jesus parted from them and bade them farewell.

6 Responses to “Resurrection and ascension of Jesus”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    This is twisting FACTS.

    The bottom line is JESUS IS GOD.

    As long as Islamic fail to come to terms with this FACT they will kill each other. The religion of pieces!

  2. Independent Says:

    Let us assume Jesus is human (similar to Mohamud) .

    Bottom line is

    Jesus spent mostly a good moral life.

  3. Nesta Says:

    What aziz writes, are based on truth and authenticated. No one dare to challenge with clear cut evidence. All of his writings are, only for those who are seekers after truth. I am the one reading the bible well. I check all quotations what aziz put in his articles related to bible and Christians. I think he has the right to write about Jesus, as he himself believes in him according to his belief based on Koran. JESUS NOT GOD. HE TRULY NEVER CLAIMED SO.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    Jesus is the GOD. Shiva and Krishna are also gods like Allah. Equal in status. So is Buddha.

    Until Islamics accept this reality, they will kill each other Shia-Sunni-Kurdish-Ahmedi.

  5. Independent Says:

    Lorenzo,
    Buddha is no God. Please don’t insult Buddhists.

    සත්ථා දේව මනුස්සානං = Buddha is the supreme teacher for Gods and Humans.

  6. Leela Says:

    Lorenzo,
    From where have you learned that Buddha is a God, stupid.

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