Recently, there have been claims made by Director James Cameron, who has produced a documentary called The Lost Tomb of Christ, that the real tomb of Jesus has been found, and that it contains the bones not only of Jesus, but also of Mary Magdelene, who was apparently brought into the family by marriage to Jesus.
I was taught that Jesus was lifted up into heaven after he was resurrected. If that’s true, how could his bones still be in a tomb in Jerusalem?
Which story should I believe?
Believe neither story, at least not the way that they’re told.
Jesus did indeed ascend to heaven, as ashes rising from a fire. Jesus was cremated after he died.
However, his bones did survive the cremation, because the crematoriums in Jerusalem that year didn’t have much firewood to spare because of an unusual cold snap. They had just enough heat to make the flesh into charcoal.
The bones that James Cameron says belonged to Jesus actually belonged to a man named Lars, an early Buddhist pilgrim from Sweden who was just passing through Jerusalem on his way to India when he got a bad stomach bug and died.
The actual bones of Jesus were given to a tradesman to be carved into beads. Some of those beads were added to a set of necklaces. Others were used in a beaded curtain for the booth of a travelling fortune teller who ended up getting lost in the sands of the Sinai Pennisula.
Look for them there, if you want to find Jesus.
You need not fear, however, that Jesus was lost forever. Jesus was indeed reborn, as the son of a shaman in northern Mongolia.
From there, when the reborn Jesus became an old man, I had him officially ascend into heaven, on the back of a reindeer during a winter solstice festival. Your culture now knows this incarnation of Jesus as Santa Claus.
Now do you understand why the story of Santa Claus is always told at Christmas time? Jesus returns to Earth every Christmas Eve, dressed in red and white, giving toys to all the good girls and boys, and drinking Coca-Cola.