Mary Magdalene discovers the empty tomb (John 20.1) in AD
- The Bible Continues episode 2 "The Body is Gone"
|The series "AD - The Bible Continues"
presents many strong evidences of why the resurrection of Jesus is
Why believe in Christianity?
What makes Christianity different from any other religion?
Why not believe in other religions?
What makes Jesus different from the founder of other religions?
How do you know Christianity is true?
Why should I believe in Jesus?
The answer to these an many other question about the authenticity of the Christian faith is the same. That which:
distinguishes Jesus and Christianity from any other religion,
- validates that Christianity is true, and
- proves that Jesus is the son of
is the same fact: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
No other religion has a founder who has proved he is the Lord of Life by
showing mastery over death by being raised from the dead. This is precisely the point scripture makes when it
...who through the Spirit of
holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his
resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
The resurrection of Jesus is the most important doctrine of the
Christian faith, because without the
resurrection there is no point to the Christian faith, and indeed no
faith at all. Or as the apostle Paul put it:
And if Christ has not been raised,
our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are
still in your sins.
1 Cor 15.14, 17
It is no wonder then that of all the
doctrines that critics,
liberal scholars and those who wish to destroy
Christianity could take aim at, the one they
choose to attack early, often and most viciously is the teaching that Jesus Christ
rose physically from the dead, after having being put to death on a
Roman cross and entombed.
But all such attacks on the
resurrection fail. God, knowing he has made the resurrection the
cornerstone of the proof of the veracity of the Christian faith has
provided an airtight case to prove it's true. That evidence is provided
in the Bible. (Which is why the other main attack vector is on the Bible
- in an attempt to throw the evidence out of court before it is ever
considered. A word to the wise Christian evangelist - don't fall for
attempts to disregard or not use the Bible - besides being the most
reliable, well attested ancient document in existence1, it
contains the gospel, which is the power of God. Use it!)
There are many attempts to discredit
the resurrection of Jesus, but there's much more evidence that refutes
such ill-conceived attempts. Many of the those evidences that refutes
deniers have been presented in the well done series AD - The Bible
Continues. These evidences have made the series a joy to watch.
So without further ado, below is a brief description of various attempts to
explain away the resurrection or discredit it, followed by the AD - The
Bible Continues presentation of the evidence against it.
Attempts to Explain why the
Resurrection isn't true
1. The Apparent Death Theory
Also known as the "Swoon" theory or "Coma" theory contends that
Jesus didn't really die on the cross, he just appeared to be dead. Many
apologists have gone to great lengths to demonstrate that Jesus was in
dead.2 Here how AD handles
this discredited theory:
First, Caiaphas, the high priest, in laying the groundwork to request the
tomb be guarded, tells Pilate the Roman governor about Jesus claiming he
would fulfill prophecy by rising from the dead. In response Pilate says
crucifixion really doesn't allow for that. " Note the
passing reference to the "wild animals stole the body and consumed it"
theory. That of course raises more questions than it answers. How
did wild dogs or other scavengers get into a tomb sealed with a stone
that required a number of men to move? Why didn't the guards kill
them before they even got to the stone? How is they left no trace of a
bone? The whole idea is so ludicrous they dismiss it by pointing out the
sealed, guarded tomb.
(and even better)
response to the apparent death theory is Pilate's proof to his wife that when Roman kills someone, they are
without question, dead:
One must be "Mad or a fool"
to believe Jesus was not dead after crucifixion.
(click to view)
2. The Conspiracy Theory
The empty tomb is powerful evidence that Jesus rose from the dead.
The conspiracy tries to undercut that evidence by suggesting that Jesus' disciples conspired to steal the body
to make it appear he rose from the dead. See the scenes below for two
Romans! We need to leave. (click to view)
(The disciples were too fearful to risk such a daring plot against the
power of Rome
Guards at the tomb (Matt 27.66) (click to view)
Even if they had wanted to steal the body, they couldn't because a guard
had been set
3. The Wrong Tomb Theory
This theory posits that the disciples went to the wrong tomb. That's
why it was empty. Many apologists have pointed out others (like Jewish
opponents) would surely have gone to the right tomb to prove them wrong.
AD does a good job of showing the uniqueness of being buried in a
rich man's tomb, as well as the amount of time spent at the tomb, making
it highly unlikely they would have forgotten which one it was.
At the Tomb of a rich man (Joseph of Arimathea - Matt 27.57) where Jesus was buried.
(click to view)
4. The Displaced Body Theory
This theory holds that Joseph of Arimethea, a "good and upright man"
(Luke 25.50), after burying the body in his own tomb, later moved it to
another one. However being a righteous man, he (and helpers) would
certainly have spoken up once he became aware people were claiming Jesus
rose from the dead, and knowing he had created a false impression. AD
shows rim to indeed be a "good and upright man" committing to doing
what's right and upholding what's true.
Joseph of Arimathea - compelled by "decency" and the truth would not
let a false theory stand.
(click to view)
These have been unconvincing attempts
to explain away the powerful evidence of the empty tomb of Jesus. In
part 2 we'll look at the evidence of Jesus being alive after being dead
and buried, and attempts to explain that evidence away.
Duane Caldwell | posted 4/30/2015