I appreciate the archaeological discoveries and how this science help prove the Bible story. I don’t feel that the discoveries mentioned in the lesson have necessarily influenced my understanding of the biblical text. For example, the excavations of Sepphoris which determined that Jesus may not have grown up in a rural area, but a more sophisticated urban city and this takes away from how Jesus is often pictured as a “rural carpenter.” This “fact” does not change who Jesus is and how he was raised. Some of the most rural people I met live in the sophisticated urban city of Atlanta.
It is certainly faith-strengthening to know that, contrary to popular belief, the Bible is not simply a collection of made-up stories with no historical connections! The world of Jesus was a real, living, breathing place with everyday people going about their everyday lives, only to find their lives interrupted by the visit to their environment by the Son of God Himself who, as the Scripture said, “became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14). Imagining Jesus living an ordinary life despite his Divine purpose gives new meaning to Paul admonition that we live holy lives as ordinary people (Romans 12:1).
I think it is amazing that having proof that He indeed lived and died under the punishment of crucifixion. That many people saw Jesus after the resurrection and many people gave their lives for the cause of sharing the Gospel, I think is amazing people still do not believe.
To me, seeing the heel bone and the nail on it, gives me more pause of the pain Christ must have suffer. Emotional pain (His friend left him), physical pain (torture that is beyond what a body can endure) and Spiritual pain (as Jesus was separated from God for a moment, so God could inflict His righteous wrath on Him, this is the worst pain).
Weight and Value is right! I have found new discoveries very interesting to watch on the television and to read in articles. What a blessing it is to have more and more discoveries of Christ’s existence at a time when this enlightenment is needed the most. They (the articles) do put new light on the time line of Jesus and on the background of the people around him. My imagination never included such influential and extravagant cities that Jesus should have most assuredly encountered. Roman pomp and circumstance were always on my mind and these archeological discoveries substantiate the political importance of carrying out documentation on coinage, edifices, and ceremonial parades as well as the machinations of human policing actions. There was no way to avoid these actions but to fight or flee and Jesus did flee from some situations but, in the end, did what God intended that He do which was to submit himself to Golgotha.
I have a simple faith in Christ. I have seen Him work in my own life in powerful ways so I haven’t really questioned His existence but I’m thrilled that we have these archaeological discoveries to add weight and value to the Bible’s teaching. I know there are those who NEED these in order to find Him.