If Jesus of Nazareth was truly resurrected in the body he had before death or even in any body recognizable by human beings, there would be no need for faith in him. The world would have believed he was God at once, even those who killed him. In fact, Christians would not have been persecuted for believing he was God.
But the sad thing about the “bodily” resurrection of Jesus as recorded in the Bible is that it proves that there was no real, human Jesus after his death and burial. For sure, why would Mary Magdalene of all the people fail to recognize him the minute she sees him after resurrection. Why does Mary think he is someone else, the gardener on whose yard he was buried?
No to Empty Graves, Show Me the Resurrected Jesus
If Jesus truly lived again in any bodily form after his death and burial, there would be no need for the gospel writers to point us to the empty grave. We don’t need the empty grave; we need to see the resurrected Jesus.
We need him in Galilee to confirm he is a live again.
We need him in the temple to prove his enemies wrong.
We need him in the dens of sins to compel hardcore sinners to repent.
The multitudes need to see him to reject the lies spread around about him by his enemies.
But what do we get? He appeared and said we go to Galilee. Shining angels by his grave, not him. A stranger on the road to Emmaus who disappears as soon as he is known. A ghost who enters closed rooms without notice, suddenly in the presence of his acquaintances.
We don’t need these. There is no proof in these stories. We want his enemies to know he is alive. We want to see his disciples excited enough to tell people to come and see their master alive again. We want him to go home, to enter the synagogues, to give the best assurance of life after death to multitudes of hopeless people.
He fails to do this, even when he is said to be alive for 40 or so days. He is hiding in order to ascend to heaven without being seen. And even at his ascension to heaven, though occurring skywards, is sadly not visible to people in the neighborhood. He is no eclipse!
We Only Find a Ghost, Like the Stories of the Heathens
Unfortunately, even the gospel writers can’t point the world to that resurrected Jesus. Instead, they tell us of Jesus who appears to those he chooses to appear to. Well and good. Jesus has the right to appear to people as he so chooses. But doesn’t he create unnecessary doubts? Is it possible that any living person can completely restrict those who can see him? Is it possible that a resurrected Jesus walking on earth in any material body or any other visible body can’t walk in the streets of Jerusalem again, can’t be noticed as he walks on the road to Emmaus and can go with his disciples to the shore without being seen by other people? Isn’t that impossible? Absurd?
Why did a resurrected Jesus whom we are told lived for many days on earth after his “bodily” resurrection fail to visit the temple even once? Why is he not seen by his opponents, those who wanted him dead, even once? Why is he not seen in the villages where he had preached or by the multitudes that had cherished and followed him? And even if he chose not to be seen by his opponents, why did he not appear to other people who weren’t his followers?
The answer is simple. There was no “bodily” resurrection. He did not walk the surface of the earth again as he did before and could no longer be seen. If he was seen, he was now a spirit, a ghost. Only a ghost picks those he can appear to, those to haunt or charm. A true human body existing in any place at any given time can’t restrict those he appears to, particularly when walking on the road to Emmaus or when going back fishing with Peter and other disciples. A true human body does not break through walls or just appear and disappear suddenly from a room.
I know Christian apologetics can fiercely defend the “bodily” resurrection using well-reasoned arguments. But all arguments ever advanced about the resurrection will never show us where Jesus was each day of all the 40 days he is said to have lived on earth before “ascending” to heaven. Point us to Jesus, friends, don’t show us empty tombs and ghostly appearances!
And since the High Priest, the priests, Teachers of the Law, Pharisees, Sadducees and the multitudes that knew Jesus before his death never again saw him, I am sure there is no resurrected Jesus to point to.
Why We Believe Ondeto Is God
I am only bringing up the issue of the resurrection here because that is what honorable pastors tell me about Jesus each time we discuss. Oh, our Jesus was resurrected but your Ondeto could not resurrect. I have no qualms with belief in Jesus’ resurrection. After all, every person has a right to believe as he/she chooses.
But let me turn to Simeo Ondeto.
We never claim that Ondeto is God because he resurrected. We have never made up such lies. Ondeto himself knew he would die and started building his sepulcher while still alive and teaching us. His followers contributed money for his grave when he was alive, knowing so well that he would be buried there. And he went further to state that his body was dust and would return to the dust of the earth, buried at Got Kwer, Migori.
How can something be clearer?
Yet you find someone spreading “pious” propaganda that his followers waited for several days for his resurrection. Ok. You can say what you want.
We believe Simeo Ondeto is God because the spirit came in a chorus, like a huge multitude, singing familiar songs heard by a multitude of Ondeto’s followers camped at John Baru’s home. It is this group of over 1000 people whose eyes were opened to see Ondeto seated in his throne in heaven, with the hosts of heaven worshipping him. It is this group that had their eyes opened to see the hosts of heaven in their midst worshipping Ondeto. It is this group that heard the spirit speak through one of them, Siprianus Ochieng, declaring Simeo Ondeto as the Son of God.
This is the event that led to the worship of Ondeto.
You can choose to deny this event as untrue. That is up to you. But the standards you use to evaluate the truthfulness and trustworthiness of this event must be the same standards you use to test the “bodily” resurrection of Jesus.
For me, I find the event convincing. Some of those who experienced it are still alive to date and I find their testimony both credible and impressive.
I am not arguing that everyone must believe this event to be true. But just as one can disbelieve this event so can one doubt the resurrection of Jesus; just as this event requires faith to believe so does the resurrection of Jesus.
But why do I believe Ondeto even more strongly?
He was worshipped as God while alive as a human being. Well, you can argue that so many other founders of religions were worshipped in their lifetime. That is not my problem. I was only comparing him to Jesus who was considered a reincarnated prophet, servant of God or some sort of Messiah during his life. Ondeto was actually worshipped for more than 3 decades when alive as a human being.
Secondly, the ministry of Jesus just took a few exciting years before Jesus was arrested and killed. This means that he was not around on earth long enough for his divinity to face the tests that Ondeto’s divinity faced for the decades his mission took. So, if for over 3 decades Ondeto could sustain worship as God yet living as a man here on earth, I believe him strongly.
Thirdly, I believe Simeo Ondeto more strongly because I was born when he was alive, grew up in a household where he was worshipped and know the arguments for his divinity from experience. I don’t need to be told fantastic things about him to believe.
The bible says Jesus raised the dead. Ondeto’s followers saw him raise the dead.
The bible says Jesus healed the sick and the paralyzed. Ondeto’s followers saw him heal the sick and the paralyzed.
The bible says Jesus’ followers saw him alive after death. Ondeto’s followers too saw him alive after death.
The bible says Jesus lives. Ondeto’s followers attest that he is alive today.
There is no special claim in the bible that I have never heard stated about Ondeto.
Where Is Jesus If He Is More Alive Than Ondeto
Try praying today for Jesus to appear to you. He will not. Well, maybe you will see him in a dream or in some fantastic vision. That is not what I am saying. I mean the real Jesus appearing, the real man who died on the cross. He will not, my friend. If you think I am lying, try it now, this minute. After all, Jesus has promised through scripture that whatsoever you shall ask in his name he shall give.
But why doesn’t he appear if he is more alive than Ondeto? Why does a resurrected Jesus fail appear just as a “dead” Ondeto? Because of impossible narratives that have been cooked in his name. Because he is just like Ondeto, living only as a spirit.
I know you may now be asking yourself, why can’t he call Ondeto to appear if he thinks Ondeto is superior. I have never claimed Ondeto re-existed in a human body after dying. His body is buried and rests in his grave. He is now a spirit. I don’t want to call a spirit to appear because I can experience him spiritually. It is those who claim Jesus actually ascended to heaven in a material body that had same eyes and legs and mouth as that born by Mary that should take this test. After all, he was appearing and disappearing in the same body soon after his “bodily” resurrection.
Whereas Jesus had to “leave the tomb empty” to be believed to be alive again, Ondeto is believed to be alive without having his body leave his tomb. Ondeto’s followers experienced him enough to know he was God to the extent that they needed no evidence of resurrection to believe him.
Ondeto’s followers believe in a spiritual God who remained God even when existing in a human body. We believe religious things aren’t material but spiritual. We don’t have to create stories about resurrection to trust our God. He was God when existing in the flesh, God when his human brain was dead, God when his body was buried, God when his human body decays, and God forever.
Our spiritual God took up flesh without losing his divinity. He took up flesh by choice and dumped that flesh when time came for him to return to heaven. His true nature is spirit. He does not have to be a human being again after the body he took up is dead. God does not die when his human brain is dead. God is life, he lives.
No Need for Bodily Resurrection
This is why I don’t really care about “bodily” resurrection. The God I know, Simeo Ondeto, taught us that God is spirit, heaven is spiritual, religion is spiritual, and we must leave behind material nature and material things before we enter into God’s presence, the mansions prepared for us.
Well, I believe in spiritual resurrection. I believe that the righteous that die are admitted in the presence of God in a spiritual realm. Whether you consider my beliefs biblical or not, I don’t care. I believe God is spirit and we live eternally with him in his nature.
I know that Christian “correctness” requires us to admit “bodily” resurrection so that we accept that there is no afterlife without “bodily” resurrection. After all, Christianity has always been a competition between those who think they are correct interpreters versus those who believe they are wrong. I don’t care for such naïve competitions. But I care about the nature of God, the spiritual nature of the Almighty God, and believe that for there to be complete redemption, our human nature must become incorruptible. And to be incorruptible, we must take the nature of God and become as he is. So, I believe in spiritual resurrection because that is what turns me into the very nature of God.
I also believe in spiritual resurrection because that is what my lord and God, Simeo Ondeto, taught. He made his followers saints when he was still alive here on earth. He said openly that they were in heaven. In his teaching, there is no room for sleeping for centuries after death. He taught that we die to be with God. We die to take up an incorruptible, eternal nature. I trust him and so I believe that only the resurrection he has taught is true.
Like I said before, it is not that I oppose belief in “bodily” resurrection. Friend, believe what you may. Believe and let others believe. If “bodily” resurrection is what makes you sleep soundly, believe with all your might. Just don’t throw it at others as if believing differently makes other people lesser human beings. Remember, just as other people consider your beliefs irrational (even full of myths) but tolerate you, that is how you should tolerate those you consider their beliefs irrational.