Resurrection Of Jesus: Have There Been Others Who Have Risen From The Dead?
[Adapted from The God of Miracles]
The Resurrection of Jesus puts forth a question: have there been cases where others have risen from the dead? It's an interesting thought because, like Jesus, many have exercised powers of the Spirit (from healing to deliverance).
But resurrection is in a whole different category, of course, and the quick answer is, no:
There has never been a case whereby a person who was so convincingly dead and even entombed rose and was seen in a corporeal or "bodily" apparition.
It is one miracle that has not been duplicated (walking on water and water into wine are others). St. Thomas even touched Him!
But there certainly have been claims of folks who were clinically dead and then revived. In fact, the issue of near-death experiences made the news recently when a "scientific" report found certain attributes of the sleep state that overlap with wakefulness in those who have had near-death visions. In the minds of some scientists and media outlets, this is enough to put the matter -- the claim that such folks actually saw Heaven -- to rest.
But on closer examination, the fact that folks with near-death experiences now have different brainwave modes seems of little significance.
Scientists still have a rough time explaining why those who have near-death experiences are sometimes able to possess knowledge of happenings occurring many miles away at the time of their experiences (such as what family members were doing at home while they were in the hospital); why so many of them have strikingly consistent experiences, such as seeing a tunnel, and profound conversions, whatever their previous religious orientation -- and even if they were atheists; and how it is that they report visions that are vastly more cohesive and lasting than normal dreams.
Nor can they explain how some are revived to begin with.
There is the case, for example, of Li Peng.
On the evening of January 8, 2004, he was swimming with a friend in a pool at an apartment complex in Saanich, British Colombia. They were alone with no lifeguard and Li, 19 at the time, “drowned,” sinking to the bottom of the pool as the other dashed frantically for help.
That help took four minutes to arrive and despite attempts at resuscitation, he didn't regain consciousness.
An ambulance took him to the hospital with the bleakest of prognoses.
“I probably would have said this is a non-survivable situation,” noted a doctor. “Certainly, that's how my colleagues felt. I think it is fair to say that nursing and medical expectations for Li Peng were death or vegetative state."
Medical staff generally expect that if there is going to be any signs of meaningful recovery, such will occur in the first 72 hours.
“But in Li's case,” noted a newspaper, “he was in deep coma and his condition appeared to be worsening by the day.”
As the week progressed, they nearly halted his care. His father struggled to cope. But someone remembered a man from a Christian church, and because he spoke a dialect Li’s father could understand, he was summoned.
While the initial prayers didn’t work, a subsequent prayer session led to the man’s miraculous recovery. ("We have no natural way of being able to understand why Li Peng gained what he did,” said the doctor.)
There was also the account of a toddler who was clinically dead for nearly two hours yet ended up perfectly healthy.
He hadn’t taken a breath for 105 minutes!
“I am astounded – I still can’t explain it,” said Dr. Andrew Numa, senior intensive care specialist at Children’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia -- where the incident occurred.
Axel Fischer, leader of a mission agency in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, reported that in the course of just a couple months, he heard of two people being raised from the dead through prayer. Some call these "Lazarus experiences."
“In both cases, the person had died in hospital and their deaths and resurrections were confirmed by doctors,” he was quoted as saying on an internet site.
A Mongolian Christian reported that:
One night, the desperate relatives of a man who had recently died asked us to come to the hospital. There are no doctors in our area, so we are often called on to pray for the sick. God has healed many people. I know that my God performs miracles, so I went to pray for the dead man, who was already cold when I arrived. After five minutes of prayer, he opened his eyes. His resurrection was the talk of the village. All the relatives gave their lives to Christ on the spot."
Reported another pastor: "A young girl in our church died, but her Christian friends didn't want to accept her death. They believed that God could do wonders, so they prayed and praised God at her bedside for ten hours, until she returned to life. The doctors and other witnesses were astonished and could hardly comprehend that Jesus is also Lord over life and death.'"
Of course, there is strong emphasis on the word "alleged."
Many are those who have near-death brushes and say that they were pulled back by the prayers of loved ones – returned from what seemed like entry into eternity. Often such is at the behest of angels and saints, especially the Blessed Mother.
Can we really call people back from the dead?
Do some actually return from the other side?
Jesus did, and told us that if we had faith we can do what He did -- to a certain astonishing extent, at any rate.
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