The tomb was empty! Seeming, perhaps, a bit simplistic, this point capitalizes on the fact that the tomb in which Jesus was lain was found to be empty a few days later, and its significance is found in the testimony of both friend and foe alike. Verification is the name of the game here, and even Jesus’ enemies, the very ones who engineered his demise, admitted that the tomb was empty and attempted to explain why it was so. After all, they coaxed the authorities into sealing and guarding the tomb of the then dead King of the Jews.
The empty tomb stirred quite a response, so much so that when the guards awoke, they reported to the “chief priests,” and together an answer was concocted.
11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, 13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. 15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
Significantly, then, this account affirms the empty tomb, a fact that demanded an explanation by even the enemies of Jesus, particularly since the tomb was guarded and sealed with the authority of Rome (Matthew 27:65ff). It is a fact that presses even those who claim that the resurrection was “spiritual” in nature rather than bodily, because, frankly, a resurrection of a “spirit” would not require an empty tomb.
The empty tomb, then, requires an answer, and while many naturalistic explanations have been offered, none explain the events as they historically transpired. Take the stolen bodies theories for example. Three versions exist, and they are as follows:
1. Disciples stole the body.
2. Romans stole the body.
3. Jews stole the body.
All I will do at this point, then, is note the fact that each explanation attempts to explain the fact we are discussing here, namely, that after Jesus died due to the rigors of crucifixion, was placed in a borrowed tomb, the tomb in which he was lain was discovered empty a few days later.