The empty tomb stands as an unanswerable witness to the bodily
resurrection of Jesus. Shallow-thinking skeptics have foolishly put
forward some silly responses in a lame effort to explain the fact of
the empty tomb.
The sect who call themselves "Jehovah's Witnesses" affirm that, "Our
Lord's human body was, however, supernaturally removed from the
tomb...We know nothing about what became of it, except that it did not
decay or corrupt. Whether it was dissolved into gases or whether it is
still preserved somewhere as the grand memorial of God's love, of
Christ's obedience, and of our redemption, no one knows" (Millennial
Dawn, Vol. II, page 129).
But, how clear is our Lord's teaching, "Jesus answered and said unto
them, Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up... he
spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the
dead, his disciples remembered that he spake this; and they believed
the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said" (John 2:19-22). In
language as clear as light, Jesus said that the same body that went
into the grave would come out of the grave.
HIS ENEMIES STOLE HIS BODY
Another man offers the childish explanation, "I think that his enemies
stole the body." We must insist that he is not thinking. Reason with
us just a minute. After the resurrection, the apostles preached Christ
as risen from the dead. This fact was openly and publicly preached in
the very city and among the very people where Christ had been
crucified. In Acts 2, Peter preached to an audience of murderers.
These were the very men who screamed out relentlessly, "Crucify him;
crucify him." This was part of the merciless gang who demanded, "Away
with him." These are the ones who mockingly called, "Let his blood be
upon us..." This was the sweaty, dusty mob that trailed the pure and
sinless Jesus to his death. This was the audience that approvingly
watched Roman soldiers drive nails through his hands and feet. But
here Peter with pointed, probing words charged upon their hearts the
murder of the Son of God. "Him...ye have taken, and by wicked hands
have crucified and slain" (Acts 2:23). Look at verse 32. "This Jesus
hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses."
Now think! What was their response? If the enemies of Christ would
have shouted out, "Peter you are a liar! You are a deluded deceiver!
You are a cheap impostor, for here, Peter, is the body to prove it."
His mouth, and the mouth of every disciple, would have been forever
shut. If the enemies of Christ had stolen the body, they would have
produced it immediately to confound forever such preaching.
But, that was not their response. The Scriptures say, "Now when they
heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and
to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts
2:37). They were told to "repent and be baptized...for the remission
of sins" and "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:
and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls"
The fact that the very enemies of Christ, the men who had hated Him and
demanded His death, were made believers by the overwhelming evidence of
his resurrection is conclusive proof that they, His enemies, did not
steal the body.
HIS DISCIPLES STOLE THE BODY
Still another offers the groundless assumption, "I think the disciples
stole the body." If so how did they avoid the watchful eye of the
enemies of Jesus, not to speak of the Roman soldiers who guarded the
tomb. It would have been impossible. But to affirm such, you must
also affirm that the Scriptures are unreliable, that Jesus Christ is a
liar, and that the apostles were deluded simpletons. You must disprove
positive, personal testimony of eye witnesses of His resurrection.
Luke recorded, "To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion
by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking
of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3). These
"many proofs" one must successfully meet and disprove.
Further, one must take the position that, although the apostles "knew
Christ to be the most brazen liar and the most unprincipled impostor
who had ever disgraced the earth" (which they would have known had they
stolen his body), yet they willingly and gladly preached Him as the
living, resurrected Lord. While preaching this "lie" they persisted in
exhausting their bodies, sacrificing their loved ones, and receiving
the scorn of vile sinners. But finally and foremost, by continuing to
preach this "lie" they were sealing their testimony with their own
life's blood, and doing all this for that which they "knew to be a fake
and a fraud." This must be your clearly preposterous position if you
assume His disciples stole the body. Who will assume it? Jesus' bodily
resurrection is the supreme demonstration of God's power (Eph.
1:18,19), and its testimony is the source of faith and hope to every
believer (Heb. 2:13-15).