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Easter among the dead and the living April 8, 2007

Posted by Daniel Downs in Chrisitanity, Easter, holidays, life, news, religion.

SunriseIn the Midwest, Easter may not be celebrated under a blue sky brightened by yellow sunshine. Laughing and giggling will most certainly be heard while children hunt for those multi-colored eggs laid by the mythical Easter bunny. Unfortunately, bright eyed frolicking kids will not like enjoy the fun in green grass, but rather in white cold.

Like the children, religious men and women, young and old, will celebrate a more serious part of the Easter season. Resounding in holy sanctuaries they will remember what every child expects—eternal life. Of course, it is a very narrow view of reality. To some, life unending is mere youthful fantasy. Millions of adults seem to hope otherwise. For those who consider themselves, Catholic or Protestant or Messianic or some other form of Christianity, they will all honor the one who rose from the dead.

Can such an outrageous belief be even remotely true? Could Jesus of Nazareth really have risen from the dead?

Consider the following facts before answering that question. Jesus’ disciples–Andrew, Peter, Paul, and the other 12–all died because of Jesus’ resurrection. Most were executed by the Romans for not renouncing their own testimony about seeing Jesus crucified, buried and then alive from the dead. Not only did they claim to have seen him, but to have talked with him, ate fish with him, and touched his bone covering flesh.

The presumed testimony of 12 ancient men is not all that convincing. It could be argued, as some do, that the 12 were straw men of the church. Jesus may have had followers, even followers with Hebrew versions of those Greek names, but their gospels are not their actual writings. It could have been the fabrication of later leaders of Christianity. That is the jest of those who critically doubt the veracity of the gospels.

In contrast to this argument of disbelief, consider those who have been resurrected in modern times. That is those who have been resurrected as a result of the gospel witness, which is Jesus as the living Savior and Lord. One such man is Athet Pyan Shintaw Paulu. The following is a summary of this Buddhist monk’s experience as report by Dawn FridayFax in 2000.

“In 1998, a Buddhist monk died. A few days later, his funeral was held, at which he was to be cremated. From the smell, it was obvious that his body had already started to decompose – he was very clearly dead!” according to the report from missions agency Asian Minorities Outreach. “We have attempted to verify this report which reached us from a number of sources, and are now convinced that it is accurate,” they write. “Hundreds of monks and relatives of the dead man attended the funeral. Just as the body was about to be burned, the dead monk suddenly sat up, shouting ‘It’s all a lie! I saw our ancestors burning and being tortured in some sort of fire. I also saw Buddha and many other Buddhist holy men. They were all in a sea of fire!’ ‘We must listen to the Christians,’ he continued emphatically, ‘they’re the only ones who know the truth!’ The events shocked the whole region. Over 300 monks became Christians and started to study the Bible. The resurrected man continued to warn everyone to believe in Jesus, because he is the only true God. Tapes of the monk’s report were distributed throughout Myanmar. The Buddhist hierarchy and the government were soon alarmed, and they arrested the monk. He has not been seen since, and it is feared that he was killed to keep him silent. It is now a serious crime to listen to the tapes, because the government wants to dampen the sensation.” (For a full report go to FridayFax. Visit Web Archive to read a translated copy of the monk’s own testimony.)

In Onitsha Nigeria, Daniel Ekechukwu, pastor of Power Chapel Evangelical Church, was in a fatal car accident on Friday, November 30, 2001. He was rushed to St. Charles Borromeo hospital. Later that night he was taken to Eunice Clinic in Owerri where he was later pronounced dead by Doctor Jossy Anuebunwa. Daniel’s death certificate was issued at 11:30 pm. Saturday morning around 1:00 am his corpse was taken to the Ikeduru General Hospital Mortuary (now known as Inyishi Community Hospital mortuary) not far away. The resident mortician, Mr. Darlington Manu, attempted to embalm Daniel’s body right away because no refrigerated system existed at the time, but he could not complete it. Because of some unusual circumstances, the mortician requested the family come and the remove the body from his mortuary.

By Saturday night, rigor mortis had set in and the family had purchased a coffin. At the same time, Daniel’s wife had seen a vision ensuring her that her husband was not meant to die but live. In her vision, she was told to take Daniel’s body to Grace of God Mission (a large church) in Onitsha, about one and half hours away, where evangelist Reinhard Bonnke was preaching at an afternoon church dedication service. Having convinced the rest of the family, an ambulance was hired to transport Daniel corpse to the church. They arrived at the church around 1:00 P.M.

Only a few people were aware that a dead corpse was in the basement of this new church. Those who were gathered around Daniel’s body and prayed while Reinhard Bonnke, who knew nothing of the dead body in the basement, preached and prayed. Eventually, it was noticed that Daniel’s corpse twitched, and then irregular breathing started. (By this time, Reinhard Bonnke had left the premises entirely.) The attendant believers began praying fervently, and because his body was stiff and cold, they began massaging his neck, arms and legs. When those in the sanctuary got word that a dead man below was coming back to life, the basement room was soon jammed with people. Suddenly Daniel sneezed and arose with a jump. It was somewhere between 3:50 and 5:15 PM on Sunday afternoon. (See the complete report entitled The Resurrection of Pastor Daniel Ekechukwu by David Servant.)

Here are two modern day resurrections that affirm the true meaning of Easter. Yet, there are other reports supporting the veracity of the gospel of the resurrected Jesus. In January 2002, both ABC World News and the Philadelphia Inquirer, reported the finding of a medical study of patients’ near-death experiences. The results of the study were published in the medical journal Lancet. The research provided scientific evidence that life continues after death. The finding of those Dutch physicians confirms what Dr. Maurice Rawlings, a heart specialist, discovered in the 1970s. Some of his findings were written in his book entitled “Beyond Death’s Door,” which was published in 1978. Contrary what many scientists want to believe and postulate theories to justify them, medical doctors and researchers have been finding that their resuscitated patients consistently report life after death experiences. When these empirical facts are considered in light of Sir John Eccles neuro-medical research and his brain-mind theory, the hope of eternal life becomes more than blind faith but hopefully reality, a reality that our human souls survive death and a hope of physical resurrection.

There is one catch though. As Dr. Rawlings’ research shows heaven and hell are real. The ticket to heaven is by living in right relationship with God. Such a relationship is not complete without Jesus of Nazareth. Because of what he witnessed in death, Buddhist Paulu verifies that Jesus is the only real way to heaven as well as to resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus is the reason all believers have a solid assurance of a good eternal life after death.

The witness to the death and resurrection of Jesus is that faith in Jesus’ atoning death is the only reason God will forgive and accept anyone into the heaven. It is not so much religious exclusiveness, but rather the divine means to fulfilling God’s eternal law. Only a sinless and unblemished blood atoning sacrifice has ever been accepted by God. However distorted, the history of all cultures reveals this universal moral law. Although salvation is a gift not earned by good deeds, the rewards of a life lived righteously and mercifully are those fully enjoyed in the after life.

Therefore, I can only pray you make the risen Jesus the Lord of your eternal life. All you can do is ask him to forgive and to accept your life. All he can do is say yes. The consequence is the glorification of God and the accomplishment of His redemption plan.

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1. Jacinta - April 16, 2009

what site do i go to for the testamony of the monk dude?

Daniel Downs - April 18, 2009

Click on the links in the post.

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