Resurrection a Hoax?
Let us assume for a moment that the critics of the Bible are correct and Jesus was not raised from the dead. How then did His body leave the tomb?
Did the disciples take it? This was impossible because of the extensive security in place as requested by the Jews. See Matthew 27:62-66. Notice, “So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.” Plus, it seems unlikely that so many of the apostles and first Christians would have died for preaching and believing in the resurrection if they knew the story was a hoax.
Did the Jews take it? The very thing the chief priests and Pharisees were trying to avoid was Jesus’ body leaving the tomb. “Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first” (Matthew 27:64). Ironically, since no one could enter the tomb, the security they demanded actually gives further evidence of the resurrection. Plus, since they were bothered by the apostles’ message of the resurrection, all they had to do to silence their Christian enemies was produce the body of Christ. Can you imagine the thrill they would have had in proving the apostles were lying than to display the body of Christ? The Bible says “the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead” (Acts 4:1-2). Yet, they could not do anything about it because they did not have the body of Christ.
Did the Romans take it? This is not even plausible since this would have meant an immediate death sentence for the guards.
No, friends, the only reasonable conclusion regarding Jesus’ empty tomb is that He was raised from the dead, as the Bible states. The apostles were eyewitnesses of it. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life” (1 John 1:1).
Because of Jesus’ resurrection, we can know several things:
1. Jesus is truly God’s Son. He is “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4).
2. A judgment awaits us in the afterlife. “He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
3. We have legitimate hope of eternal life with God. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
Are you ready to meet this risen Savior? Is your faith rooted in the evidence He has given of His deity? Have you obeyed His gospel? (Mark 16:15-16).