How can we know what’s true?
There’s a real story of a Father who confessed to killing his 3 year old daughter, Riley. On face value this appears to be true. But dig a little deeper and we can find the start of this tragedy of justice.
Riley was found to be missing when the Father was woken on June 6 2004, by his 5 year old son. He immediately called the police and a huge search was organised. Later that day she was spotted, face down, in a creek. Her arms were tied together with tape and she had signs of being sexually assaulted.
From here, the police should be collating all the evidence and have an open mind to find the killer of this little girl. Not so, this is where the lead investigator, Swearengen, makes his first mistake. He spots the tape on the little girl and decides intuitively that this is a staged killing and not a kidnap/murder. He is reported to have said, ‘he knew what had happened’ (he suspected the father).
Now the focus of the investigation was on the father, and not other suspects. They had assumed and were looking for evidence to corroborate their assumptions. While they did that, they overlooked a pair of shoes not 100 metres from the body which had the killers name written on. They didn’t look in nearby toilets to find the little girls undies, or connect a burglary in a neighbours home on the same night.
But what they did do was put words in a fathers mouth, show him pictures of his dead little girl, lied and intimidated the man for 14 hours straight. He was told if he pleaded guilty, he would get 3-4 years on manslaughter rather than 30 years for murder. Yeah, nice work. Hardly fair.
Then in walks truth-seeker, wrapped up in a navy suit, arch eyebrows and piercing eyes. Kathleen Zellner. Kathleen is a lion unleashed, pouncing on her prey. Lies, laziness and ineptitude are the victims of her assault. She rips open the prosecutor’s case with razor sharp accuracy to expose the truth. And then delights like she’s just eaten a good ol’ Sunday roast.
But where am I going with this story?
Back in Jesus’ day people couldn’t see the truth either. They overlooked the obvious to be duped by the devil. (raising dead people would have been a dead giveaway, pun intentional)
I guess they didn’t really want Jesus to be the Messiah; with Him in charge they would lose their power. So they went about trying to discredit Jesus, setting him up with scenarios designed to trap him. Eventually they did bring Jesus to ‘justice’ and coerced their Roman friends to kill him on a cross. Apparent success? Clearly not.
You see, they wouldn’t see the truth, it was staring them smack in the eyeballs, but like a rock on a pavement they tripped over him- and ended up falling flat on their face.
“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.” 1 Peter 2:8
We need to see that rock and use it as our cornerstone, the one that we line up the rest of our building with.
“I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem,
chosen for great honour,
and anyone who trusts in him
will never be disgraced.” 1 Peter 2:6
What’s the point I’m trying to say? Let’s make sure when we are investigating the truth, that we bring open minds and look at what’s written in the bible and try and line ourselves with that. Not, have some great theory and then work out how we can manipulate scripture to back us up.
Pretty sure that’s what Ross Clifford did in his book, Leading Lawyers look at the Resurrection, and more recently Lee Strobel in his book/movie The Case for Christ.