I know Easter is over, but I’m still reflecting on Sunday’s theme of the Resurrection and what it means to us as Christians. The following is a blog from a few years back which I posted on www.faithapostolic.us about infallible proofs of His Resurrection:
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a cornerstone of our Faith. The apostle Paul said if Christ is not risen from the dead, then our faith is vain and we are still in our sins.
Jesus showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs – proofs of His resurrection! There is not sufficient space in this short blog to discuss the enormous amount of evidence of Christ’s resurrection. If you’re interested in a thorough discussion of the subject, I recommend Josh McDowell’s book, “The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict.” http://www.josh.org/. I would, however, like to discuss just one fact that points to the Risen Savior: His enemies never found a body!
The Jewish religious leaders viciously opposed Jesus throughout His ministry. After His death they reminded Pilate that Jesus had spoken of a resurrection. They asked Pilate to place a guard at the tomb and seal the entrance so His disciples couldn’t come and steal His body then say He had resurrected. Pilate agreed to their request.
The Jewish leaders knew where the tomb was. Their watchful temple guard knew exactly where Jesus was laid. They were prepared to go to any lengths to suppress Christianity. All they had to do was produce a body! All they had to do to put an end to the Jesus movement was produce His body. All they had to do was put Jesus’ corpse on a cart and parade it through the streets of Jerusalem and Christianity would have died with its Christ.
But there was no body. The tomb was empty. He arose on the third day!
The Romans persecuted the Christians. They tried to rid them from their society. All the Romans had to do was show Jesus’ body in a tomb and that would have ended it. Are you telling me that the Emperors of Rome did not have the means to produce the corpse of Jesus if there was a corpse? Augustus? Tiberius? Claudius? Nero? The only thing these Caesars had to do to expunge Christianity was produce a body. Find His resting place. Find His body. Display His corpse in the public square with this inscription:
“Here lies Jesus of Nazareth – impostor who claimed to be God – who said He would RISE again. Here lies His body!”
That would have sealed the fate of Christianity.
But the Jews and Romans – enemies of the Church – are throughout all history strangely silent! They never claim a body. Why is that? There was no body. He got up! Jesus resurrected on the third day just as He had said.
Some skeptics say, “The disciples stole His body!” But what of the Roman guard? What of the watchful Jewish leaders and the temple guard? History makes it plain – an official Roman guard would number between ten and thirty trained soldiers. Due to the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ death, the number of the guard assigned to this tomb was undoubtedly larger!
The greatest proof of the Resurrection is that the greatest enemies of Christ could never find His body.
The tomb was sealed with the imperial seal of Rome, which would have been a high crime to deface. Roman history is clear that the punishment for quitting a post was death! Fear of punishment produced faultless attention to duty – especially in the night watches.
And what about the stone? The stone was so enormous that it would require up to twenty men to move it. How could the disciples have stolen His body?
The greatest proof of the Resurrection is that the greatest enemies of Christ could never find His body. If Jesus had not risen, the Jews or the Romans would have found His body, paraded it through the streets and sealed the fate of Christianity. But they never found a body. The reason is simple. On the third day Jesus came out of the grave, victorious over death and hell, and is alive forevermore!