Answering Humanist's Accusations Against the Bible
HUMANIST ACCUSATION: In describing Jesus being led to his execution, John 19:17 recounts that he carried his own cross. But Mark 15:21-23 disagrees by saying a man called Simon carried the cross.
Do you have the answer? I think we might be able to figure out what happened without look-ing at scripture.
Jesus starts to carry the cross. He had been severely beaten. He is very weak, and He keeps stumbling. A man named Simon, stand-ing in the crowd, is "volunteered" and carries the cross the rest of the way. If we look at the details of scripture, does this answer make sense? Yes!
They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between.
After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him. They pressed into service a passerby coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross.
John states that Jesus "went out" bearing His own cross. That means He started the walk to Golgotha carrying His cross. Mark mentions that the Romans pressed Simon of Cyrene into service to bear the cross. What obviously happened was, Jesus started to carry the cross, was unable to, and Simon was pulled out of the crowd by the Romans and forced to carry the cross.
However, John does not mention Simon. Why? Because John's gospel is not about who carried the cross, nor how Jesus got to Gol-gatha. John is focused on the crucifixion. He simply writes that Jesus started out by carrying His own cross, which is true. On the other hand, Luke tells us more:
When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus. - Luke 23:26
It is clear. Simon of Cyrene was visiting Jerusalem. Being from Cyrene indicates he was from an area near Alexandria, Egypt. He was a stranger in town who was a part of the crowd outside Pilate's palace. As John reports, Jesus went out carrying His cross, but it be-came apparent He was too weak to continue to carry it. Simon, a random stranger in the crowd, was pulled out of the crowd and pressed into service.
What did we find out here? There is no contradiction.
As for the crucifixion, Matthew 27:44 tells us Jesus was taunted by both criminals who were being crucified with him. But Luke 23:39-43 relates that only one of the criminals taunted Jesus, the other criminal rebuked the one who was doing the taunting, and Jesus told the criminal who was defending him, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise."
Another easy one... but here's the answer anyway...
What you believe does not determine reality nor truth. That would make you god. But you ARE NOT god. You don't control the universe. You cannot change reality. Let's try an experiment. At about midnight stand in the middle of the road just around a corner where it is hard to be seen... at night, wearing all black. When headlights start lighting up the curve, just believe that whatever is coming does not exist. Stand firm, if you don't believe a vehicle is coming, then nothing is coming. You are perfectly safe... until reality hits.
You are now standing before Jesus. You are dead. It's judgment day. You don't want to believe it's Jesus and you will be judged. But it is. That's reality.
Judgment only takes a moment, the verdict is obvious, and you know it is correct. You are guilty. You've lied, stolen and sexually lusted after others (Matthew 5:28)... you have disobeyed God. Trusting Jesus is the only answer, but it's too late. You had your last chance just before you died.
You know it's no use to protest, but still you scream out, 'I didn't know!'
But you did know. All of creation declared God's glory, His invisible attributes, and His power. You have no excuse. You willingly rejected Jesus Christ (God).
Is this you? Are you saying, 'Hell isn't so bad, I'll be with my friends.' You know that's not true. There are no friends in hell. No beer... not even water to cool your lips. There is NOTHING good in hell.
So I beg you, consider these words. Trust Jesus as having paid your penalty for every way you've have rejected God. Trust Jeus to save you from hell and bring you into the presense of God.
Trust Jesus. Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. - Acts 16:31