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Did Jesus Survive the Crucifixion (Www.markmason.net)

Did Jesus Survive the Crucifixion (Www.markmason.net)

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Did Jesus Survive the Crucifixion?
Did he live in India to age 100?From Ch. 4 of 
 In Search of the Loving God 
by Mark Mason
. . .Extraordinary as this story of Jesus visiting India is, some have taken it even further.Holger Kersten, in his book 
 Jesus Lived in India
, extends the story to even moreincredible heights, backed up by even more sketchy evidence. We will just very briefly look at his theory, before moving on to better established knowledge aboutJesus.Kersten uses evidence from the Shroud of Turin (of much challenged authenticity) tomaintain that Jesus was not dead, in the modern sense of the word, when taken fromthe cross, but just in a deep coma, and that, in the tomb, he rose from the teeth of death and made a remarkably quick recovery. If he could miraculously heal others, itseems reasonable to suppose he could do the same for himself. Indeed, Jesus inferredhe would do this, when he said, referring to his body, "Destroy this temple, and I willraise it again in three days." (John 2:19). After this Jesus appeared to his disciples afew times, then left with his mother Mary to travel gradually, over a period of sixteenyears, back to India. The by now elderly Mary died on the way, but Jesus continuedon to Kashmir, and lived and taught there till he was about a hundred years old. Thereis even speculation that he attended the Fourth Buddhist Council, held in Kashmir toward the end of the first century A.D., and helped inspire the important reformsmade to Buddhism at this council.The second century Church Father Irenaeus wrote a celebrated book called
 Against  Heresies
, which was crucial in establishing church orthodoxy. In this book he claimedJesus lived to be an old man, and remained in "Asia" with his disciple John, andothers, up to the times of the Emperor Trajan, before finally dying. Trajan's reign began in 98 A.D., at which time Jesus would have been just over one hundred yearsold.
[22]
This is support, from a most unexpected quarter, for Kirsten's theory.Kirsten himself uses place names, age-old traditions, and claims in certain documents,to give credence to this theory. The story is that after Jesus appeared to his disciples,he went to Damascus in Syria, where the Jews had been disliked since the Maccabeanwars, but where the Essenes had a spiritual center, and where he would be safer thanin Palestine. He was still there about two years later when he dramatically appeared toSaul on the road to Damascus, in order to win him over from being the main persecutor of the Way to being the main proponent of it (Acts 9:1-31).
About fivekilometers outside Damascus there is to this day a place called
 Mayuam-i-isa
,which means "The place where Jesus lived," and the Persian historian MirKawand has cited several sources claiming Jesus lived and taught in Damascusafter his crucifixion
.
[23]
These Persian sources claim that Jesus, while in Damascus,received a letter from the King of Nisibis (now Nusaybin near Edessa in Turkey),asking Jesus to cure him of a disease. He sent Thomas to cure him, and later visitedthere himself, before leaving to travel north west into the Kurdish territory in thenorth of Anotolia. The apocryphal
 Acts of Thomas
relates how Jesus suddenlyappeared there at the marriage festivities of a princess at the court of the King of Andrapa. From there Jesus and Mary apparently journeyed eastward over the old Silk Road, where certain place names such as "House of Mary" (near Ephesos on the westcoast of modern Turkey), supposedly suggest their stay. As Jesus gradually movedthrough Persia, he increasingly became known as "Yuz Asaf," meaning "leader of thehealed." Tradition says he preached throughout Persia, and converted vast numbers to
 
his creed. Accounts such as Agha Mustafai's
 Jami-uf-Tawarik 
(Vol II) claim YuzAsaf and Jesus were one and the same man, and the court poet of Emperor Akbar of India later backed this up when he called Jesus
 Ai Ki Nam-i to: Yus o Kristo
, or "Thouwhose name is Yuz or Christ."
[24]
 The Acts of Thomas describe the stay of Jesus and Thomas in Taxila (now inPakistan) at the court of King Gundafor in the twenty-sixth year of his rule (47 A.D.).East of Taxila is a small town called Mari ("Murree" in English) near the modern border with Kashmir. In Mari there is a grave which has been maintained and honoredas far back as anyone can remember, called
 Mai Mari da Asthan
, "The Final RestingPlace of Mother Mary." The grave is orientated east-west in Jewish fashion, rather than the Muslim north-south. Moreover, the area was under Hindu rule in Jesus' time,and the Hindus cremated their dead and scattered their ashes, so had no need for graves. When Islam took over this area in the seventh century A.D., all "infidel"monuments were destroyed, but they recognized this grave as being a relic of a"People of the Book," Christian or Israelite, and respected it. The grave continues to be honored as the final resting-place of Jesus' mother by Muslims, who consider Jesusone of the most important prophets of Islam.
[25]
The Qur'an states that Jesus (Issa or Isa) was saved from dying on the cross, which it considered an accursed death,unworthy of him (Deut 21:23), and has many other references to the "prophet Issa,"supposedly to correct the distorted image in the writings of his followers. The mostincredible of these is that Muhammad believed Jesus' prophecy of the coming of the"Spirit of truth" (John 16:12-14) referred to him.After this Jesus supposedly traveled on to Kashmir, from where he made periodic journeys to other parts of India. There is a grave in the middle of Srinagar's old townwhich many people believe to be the grave of Jesus himself. The building later erected around the grave stone is called
 Rozabal 
, meaning "tomb of a prophet."Above the passage to the actual burial chamber is an inscription explaining that YuzAsaf entered the valley of Kashmir many centuries before, and that his life wasdedicated to the search for the truth. Within the inner burial chamber there are twolong gravestones, the larger for Yuz Asaf, the smaller for an Islamic saint of thefifteenth century. Both gravestones point north-south in keeping with Muslim custom, but they are in fact only covers: the actual graves are in a crypt under the floor of the building. There is a tiny opening through which one can look into the true burialchamber below, and see that the sarcophagus containing the earthly remains of YuzAsaf points east-west in keeping with Jewish custom. This clearly indicates Yuz Asaf was neither an Islamic saint nor a Hindu.
[26]
 The Indian Mogul emperor Akbar, in the sixteenth century, planned to unite India,then split into religious factions, with a single religion that would contain thequintessence of all the various faiths as its one "Truth." Akbar evidently selected atleast one saying of Jesus to inscribe on the wall of his Victory Gate to the centralmosque of the city he built for himself, for (in 1900) this saying, unknown in the west,and supposedly deriving from Jesus' stay in India, was found on a piece of wall amidthe ruins of Fatehpur Sikri, the city he built 25 km from Agra:
Said Jesus, on whom be peace! The world is a bridge, pass over it but build no house there. He whohopeth for an hour, hope for eternity; the world is but an hour, spend it in devotion; the rest is worthnothing.
[27]
 
Since Akbar had in common with Jesus a vision of one religion uniting the best fromall religions, perhaps, if he had known about it, he would also have had Jesus'statement of this vision inscribed where the public could read it:
I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bringthem also. They too will hear my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. (John 10:16 AT)
The Prophet Isaiah, we saw earlier, also had this vision of the whole earth united andat peace under one God (Isa 2:1-5). It is worth noting that this verse of Jesus', apart

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