Sunday, April 12, 2009

Multiple Resurrection Day

"Jesus Christ is risen today, alleluia!" This stirring anthem is being sung all across the Christian world today as these believers find hope that, they too, will be raised in a similar manner after their earthly death. Surely, this earthly life can't be all there is.

Others were similarly 'raised' from the dead on that Resurrection Day, so says Matthew 27.

27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Lots of ghosts floating around Jerusalem on that day. One wonders who they were and why their graves were opened and not others? Some early apocryphal texts identified the two sons of the high-priest Simeon, Charinus and Lenthius. Here is the account:

The Book of Nicodemus contains the record of two of the people who arose from the dead at Christ's resurrection. They are identified as Charinus and Lenthius, the two sons of Simeon, the high priest. Annas and Caiaphas, being addressed by Joseph of Arimathaea at a crisis meeting of the Jews, were told, "we all knew
the blessed Simeon, the high-priest, who took Jesus when an infant into his arms in the temple. This same Simeon had two sons of his own, and we were all present at their death and funeral. Go therefore and see their tombs, for these are open, and they are risen: and behold, they are in the ciy of Arimathaea, spending their time together in offices of devotion. Some, indeed, have heard the sound of their voices in prayer, but they will not discourse with anyone, but they continue as mute as dead men. But come, let us go to them ...perhaps they will tell us some of the mysteries of their resurrection." (Nic.12:15-19)

A delegation composed of Annas, Caiaphas, Nicodemus, Joseph and Gamaliel found Charinus and Lenthius in the city of Arimathaea and took them to the
synagogue at Jerusalem, and shut the gates. Charinus and Lenthius were requested to "tell us what ye have seen, and how ye were raised from the dead." (Nic.
12:23) They first had to seek divine leave to do so because they had been forbidden to declare "... the secret things, which were wrought by thy divine power in hell" (Nic.13:2) So they asked for some paper and wrote down all the things they had seen, because they had been instructed, "ye shall not talk with any man, but sit as dumb persons till the time come when the Lord will allow you to relate the mysteries of his divinity. The archangel Michael further commanded us to go beyond Jordan, to an excellent and fat country, where there are many who rose from the dead along with us for the proof of the resurrection of Christ. For we have only three days allowed us from the dead ..." (Nic. 21:3-5)

After they had finished writing, Charinus handed his paper to Annas, Caiaphas and Gamaliel and Lenthius handed his paper to Nicodemus and Joseph. "...
immediately they were changed into exceeding white forms and were seen no more." (Nic. 21:7-8)

When the two papers were compared they were "... found perfectly to agree, the one not containing one letter more or less than the other." (Nic.21:9)


Whoa! I wonder why most Christians don't know of this 'resurrection' story? Why has the church kept it under wraps? Curious.

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