"For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption." Psalm 16:10
In a television interview centered around the documentary, The Last Tomb of Jesus, James Cameron, the documentary's producer and Oscar winning director of the movie The Titanic, stated that the discovery of Jesus' bones in one of the ten (10) limestone caskets, or ossuaries found in a Jerusalem suburb in 1980, does not conflict with Christian beliefs.
Christian doctrine teaches that after His crucifixion, Jesus arose from the dead. (Matthew 28:1-10; 1-11;Luke 24:1-12;JOHN 20:1-18) Christian doctrine also teaches that after Jesus spoke with His disciples, He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. (Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9)
According to Mr. Cameron, the discovery of the bones of Jesus does not conflict with Christian beliefs because it is possible that when Jesus ascended into Heaven, He left His body on earth. Is Mr. Cameron right? Is it possible that Jesus left His body on earth at the ascension and as a result, it was reburied in one of the ten ossuaries that were found in a Jerusalem suburb in 1980? Absolutely not!
A Glorified Body
"And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, 'Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death'." Revelation 1:17-18.
When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He came forth with what is called a glorified body. This is a physical body that will never again see death. (Revelation 1:18) The fact that Jesus had a physical body after His resurrection is evidenced by His invitation to Apostle Thomas to handle His body to verify that it is real (John 20:24-29) as well His act of eating fish (John 21:10-15). The fact that Jesus' body is glorified was evidenced by His ability to appear in the midst of His disciples in a room that was shut (John 20:19) and to disappear at will (Luke 24:31). When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He did so in a glorified body. After His ascension, while His disciples were still gazing upward, two angels reminded them that the same Jesus that they saw ascend would indeed return in the same manner. (Acts 1:11) Using these scriptures it is easy to conclude that the same glorified body that went up will also return.
Again using these scriptures, it can be concluded that the none of the bones found in the ten caskets discovered in the Jerusalem suburbs in 1980 belong to Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Archeologists say the name Jesus was a very common name. Have you ever wondered why Our Lord and Savior is referred to as Jesus of Nazareth? (See Acts 3:6;10:38.) That name implies that during Our Lord's days on earth, there were other persons named Jesus but only one from Nazareth.
The Importance of Jesus' Glorified Body
"But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep....Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed -- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trummpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1 Corinthians 15:20,51,52
It is important to understand that Jesus' resurrected body was a glorified body, because we Christians also have a promise of a glorified body. When Jesus returns, we Christians will be given an incorruptible body -- a glorified body -- one over which death has no power. That is why the Apostle Paul said Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the first to rise from the dead (Acts 26:23), the first fruits of those who sleep (1 Corinthians 15:20) and the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).
The notion that when Jesus ascended to Heaven, He left his body on earth, that His body was reburied in a casket that in 1980 was found in a Jerusalem suburb is definitely contrary to Christian doctrine. It fails to take into account the promise of no decay concerning Jesus' body. It also fails to take into account the promise to those who have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord of receiving a glorified body at His return.
Using the Holy Scriptures as final authority, it must be concluded that any claim to finding the bones of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is a fraudulent one.
Christian Archeologists Have an Important Ministry
"For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them..." Romans 12:4-6a.
Christian archeologists have an important ministry. Through their training and by following the leadership of the Holy Ghost, Christian archeologists are able to prove or disprove claims concerning archeological discoveries. Their work is important because although the preaching of the Word of God produces faith, there are still those who like Apostle Thomas, need or want something else before they believe.
When Thomas doubted the other disciples' report of having seen Jesus alive after His crucifixion, Jesus responded by rebuking Thomas for his unbelief, but also inviting him to look at His hands and reach into His side. (John 20:27). In a similar manner, Christian archeologists give those who doubt the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ evidence that can help them overcome their doubts. Through their work, Christian archeologists can gently help doubters move from a place of unbelief to faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.