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The empty tomb of Jesus the crucified was there for all to see. Several women, drawn by love, returned to the tomb two days later, unable still to accept the unacceptable. They had no doubt about where the tomb was, for they had followed the burial party on the evening of the crucifixion. They still had no clue as to how they would get into the tomb to anoint His body. The problem, however resolved itself. When they arrived at the tomb just after sunrise Sunday, the stone was rolled back, and the tomb was empty.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the Christian church. Our faith stands on this one, essential truth: Jesus Christ arose from the dead. The tomb was empty! So critical is this truth to the Christian faith, it demands an explanation.
Theories abound about what really happened. The disciples, the skeptics say, stole the body. No way! Every one of the disciples – except for the Apostle John – died defending this truth. A man may give his life advocating a lie he believes to be true. No man, however, will die in defense of a “truth” he knows to be a lie. Even the most convinced skeptic must admit that the disciples believed in the literal, bodily resurrection of their Lord.
For the women and those who followed, the unbelievable had happened, and it was too good to be true: the tomb was empty! What happened? That is the question.
“We are left, therefore, with the suggestion that Joseph came with a working party, choosing, perhaps the dark hours to avoid the curious attentions of the crowd, and with the express object of removing the body to a more suitable resting place. … It explains why the women found the tomb open. It also explains why we cannot locate the body. … If it is true that Joseph acted in a sense on behalf of the Jewish authorities in fulfilling the law by burying the body before sunset [on Friday], what possible reason could there be for concealing this perfectly natural and legal proceeding [Saturday night]? … Annas and Caiaphas and the other leaders behind the prosecution must have been aware of it. If so, why their silence? (Frank Morrison, Who Moved the Stone?, p. 79-80).
When the women arrived at the tomb, they found a “young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here’” (Mark 16:5-6).
Is it not curious that none of the parties involved – the soldiers, the women, the young man – were ever interrogated by the authorities. Why was that? The reason is simple: they knew the truth!
There is no explanation for the resurrection that is more believable than that given us in the Gospels. Skeptics reject the resurrection, not because it defies logic, but because one must also accept the God of the supernatural. This truth, in turn, would demand life-style changes, and this they are not ready to make.
My purpose in this blog is to challenge the skeptics and defend the truth. The tomb was empty. The simplest explanation, the one most consistent with reality. is that Jesus did, indeed, arise from the dead. That, my friend, is the truth! Jesus victory was complete; He was triumphant even over death! Thank God Almighty! Jesus is alive!