The soul, not the body, matters

To the editor:

A recent letter writer said only bodies buried in the ground will be resurrected.

At the time and place where Jesus lived, a dead body would be laid out on a stone slab inside a family tomb. A year later, the family would collect the bones and place them in a stone box called an ossuary.  This ossuary would then be stored with others in a narrow crawl space within the tomb. Over the centuries, sediment deposits often fill these tombs.

This is how Jesus’ body would have been treated after his human death. Many Christians believe that Jesus’ human body did not remain on the stone slab, but rose to heaven intact.  In that case, there would be no bones left to place in an ossuary.

Modern day Israelis often find tombs when they dig for new construction.  Archaeologists come in to do a quick study. Orthodox Jews insist that the bones be buried in the ground.  The ossuaries are cataloged and stored away.

The name Jesus was a fairly common name in first century Israel. Ossuaries have been found from this time with the name Jesus inscribed upon them.  Jewish archaeologists have not reported this as noteworthy. Christians seem also to be uninterested, if they believe the Jesus of the New Testament left no bones.

Customs for handling dead bodies vary from place to place, and change over time. What is the same, is that everywhere and over time, the majority of people have believed in something called a soul. Can a soul be eaten by worms? Can it be burned? Does it stay with your bones? Probably not.  But only God has the real answer.

This talk of bodies seems to me to be irrelevant. Is it not the soul that matters?

Debra Bellman
Grey Eagle