The afternoon sun lowered as the game came to an end. Several of the boys headed for Nannygranne, who opened her ice chest brimming with ice cream sandwiches.
“Hey! Guys! She’s got enough for everybody,” Leon shouted. A few others came over to grab a couple.
“Thanks, Ms. NG! You’re the best!” Nate said as he and his buddies plopped down in the shade to enjoy theirs.
Nannygranne picked up where they’d left off the week before. “Okay, boys. The ice cream’s cheap, but not free. What do you have for me?”
The new boys froze in their tracks, unsure of what she was wanting.
Dewayne said, “Leon had some ideas. Go ahead, Leon. Tell her what we talked about.”
Popping the last piece of his sandwich in his mouth, Leon wiped his hands on his shirt and leaned forward. “Well, Ms. NG, We were wondering if maybe he had a twin or something. When he first talked to Mary Magdalene, she didn’t recognize him. And those people he talked to on the road to Emmaus didn’t recognize him. I Googled it, and some people say he had a twin or a look-alike, and that’s who everybody saw.”
“Who had a twin?” Adrian, one of the newcomers, was wondering what this had to do with ice cream sandwiches.
“Hey, half-ear! Ms. NG is doing an article on what could have happened to Jesus’ body if he didn’t rise from the dead. Sit here, Adrian.” Nate waved him to sit down with them and handed him another sandwich.
Nannygranne smiled and said, “Adrian, I’m glad you joined us. Yes, the boys are doing some brainstorming with me about other possible explanations of what happened to Jesus’ body since history says He lived and died, was buried, and His body disappeared.”
Looking around, she added, “And, all of you, help yourself to the ice cream as long as it lasts.” Returning to the subject at hand, she asked, “So, how would you respond to the idea of Jesus having a twin or a look-alike. Does that answer our question?”
Dewayne shook his head. “Mmmm, no way.”
“How so?” Nannygranne encouraged.
“Well, something still had to be done with his body, and nobody ever found it. And somebody went to a lot of trouble unwrapping it and all. There were still all those soldiers to get around. Also, his disciples knew him pretty well—really well, actually—and they all died, sure it was Jesus …” Dewayne’s voice trailed off as if searching for more.
Bart, usually quiet, ventured, “And what happened to the twin if that was who it was? He just disappeared? Wouldn’t he be recognized in other places, too? Besides, a twin or look-alike could never have fooled his mother and brothers, for sure.” He was obviously now captivated by this conversation. 1
Quiet fell over the group. Finally Leon spoke up. “So, Ms. NG. Was that enough for free ice-cream sandwiches?”
Laughing, she answered, “You guys are doing great. But surely there are more ideas. Did anyone else hear, read, or think of any other options?”
Leon nodded. “Ms. NG, I saw a video on Youtube that said the same aliens that came and helped the Egyptians build the pyramids came and raised Jesus from the dead!” Nate good-naturedly slapped the back of Leon’s head while the other boys needled him.
Adrian spoke up. “Well, in our English Lit class, we read about the Greek gods, and the book said that the story of Jesus was the Jewish version of another god. Some of the Greek gods rose from the dead, and they said that the idea of Jesus’ resurrection came from that. I don’t know. That’s just what we read in class.” 3
Nannygranne smiled and thanked Adrian for his input, sensing he wasn’t sure if he’d offended her. “That’s an interesting observation, Adrian. Thank you for that, and I hope you’ll join us next time so we can discuss it further. You’ve inspired me to research that issue myself.”
Bart stood, tossed his wrapper in the trash bag, and announced, “Well, my dad says there’s no such thing as miracles, and the resurrection would be a miracle. So unless miracles are real, the resurrection can’t be real.”
Bart’s words indicated to Nannygranne he’d grown uncomfortable with the discussion. She nodded thoughtfully, “Bart, you’ve been open and honest, and I appreciate an honest thinker. Will you come next time so we can honestly discuss your thought, too? It would be a good addition to my article.”
Bart didn’t say anything for a moment . Then a little grin appeared on his face. “So what’s on the menu?”
Everybody laughed as they got to their feet.
“I’ve got a new recipe for pizza bites,” Nannygranne said. “Anyone here like pizza?”
“Works for me,” Leon said, grabbing his duffle bag.
“See you next practice.”
As the young men made their way to cars, Nannygranne prayed for wisdom and love worthy of this time they were giving her. There was an unseen war going on here, and these young minds had no idea they were in the thick of it.
1 More on the twin theory: https://tentmakingchristianity.com/does-the-twin-theory-explain-the-resurrection/
2 Dr. Layne Craig addresses the question of Jesus’ abduction by aliens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QW97epVeN7Y
3 Jesus’s resurrection like the Greek god myths: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrCYVk6xrXg
4 No miracles. No resurrection. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/videos/short-videos/is-it-possible-to-evaluate-the-resurrection-without-believing-in-god-or-mir/
” For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” Eph 6:12