Over the years people have tried to explain what happened to the body of Jesus. It is probably one of the most important questions for anyone to seek an answer to. If Jesus rose from the dead then we need to take who he is seriously but if he is still dead in the ground then everything Christians stand for is a waste of time. (1 Corinthians 15: 9-13 points this out very clearly).
Last week we saw how implausible it is that the disciples would steal the body of Jesus and then be prepared to die for something they knew was a lie.
But maybe they were all deceived? May be it was a mass hallucination? Maybe it was a story that was embellished as time went on like a the proverbial fishing story? May be the disciples, the Jewish leaders, the Roman guard and even Joseph of Arimathea forgot where Jesus was buried? May be the disciples copied the myths of other religions? May be Jesus was not really dead and he revived and escaped and convinced his disciples he had risen? May be all the followers of Jesus were delusional? Or maybe they all had visions of the risen Jesus?
The number of attempted explanations for the empty tomb are many, people are certainly always going to be looking for a way to explain away this reality. But each attempted explanation fails to deal with what we know to be the indisputable facts. Almost every expert in the field, whether Christian, agnostic or atheist agrees to the following facts:
- Jesus died by crucifixion
- Jesus disciples believed that he rose and appeared to them
- The church persecutor Paul was suddenly changed
- The sceptic James, brother of Jesus was suddenly changed
- The tomb was empty (at present about 75 % of the experts agree to this fact)
The only plausible explanation that accounts for these 5 known facts is that Jesus really did rise physically from the dead. If you are a Christian then 100% of your world view hangs on this reality so it is wise of you to be prepared to give a reason forth e hope that you have but to do it with gentleness and respect.
Unfortunately our sensational driven media often only reports the lunatic fringe and their statements on the resurrection. Do not be led astray by the sensational claims. Can I encourage you to be confident in the facts behind the resurrection.