CHRISTIAN EVIDENCES (Part 7)
By: Cougan Collins
Since all of Christianity would fall if Jesus was not raised from the dead, I want to make several logical observation from the Bible that offers strong proof that Jesus was raised from the dead.
When it comes to the empty tomb either Jesus was raised from dead, someone stole His body, or He managed to get out on His own. Letís consider the possibility of someone taking Jesusí body. Read Matthew 27:62-66. These verses teach us that it would be next to impossible for anyone to steal His body because Roman soldiers were guarding it. The Roman soldier took his job seriously because if he failed, he was usually executed (Acts 12:18).
Even if we dismissed the Roman soldiers, what would be the motivation behind taking Jesusí body? Jesusí enemies would not take it because they wanted to prove He was just a man. Grave robbers would not take the body because they only stole things of value. †Jesusí disciples did not steal His body because they thought He was still in the grave on the third day (Mk. 16:1-3) because they did not understand that He would be raised from the dead (Jn. 20:9). Even if they wanted to take His body for some reason, they would still have to overpower the Roman soldiers.
This rules out outsiders, but what about Jesus himself? Some claim He simply passed out on the cross and then woke up in the tomb and made His get away. First, we need to remember that Jesus was scourged (Jn 19:1), so Jesus was already in a weakened state. Second, it is unlikely that these professional killers would misjudge when someone was dead.
Read John 19:33-37. Since blood and water flowed out indicates that His heart had stopped pumping and that His blood had settled into His chest. There should be no doubt that He was dead, but letís say He was not dead and consider what He would have to do to escape the tomb on His own.
We need consider that Jesus was buried according to the custom of the Jews (Jn. 19:39-40). They would wrap His arms to His body to secure them, then they would wrap His body from His toes to His shoulders while pouring in 100 pounds of spices. The myrrh they used produced an oily substance at first, but it would dry and become sticky making the wrap stuck together. As a final touch, they would cover the head with a cloth napkin. Lazarus was buried this same way (Jn. 11:43-44), and when he was raised from the dead, he had to have help getting out of his grave clothes, just like Jesus would.
Again, let us say that Jesus some how got out of His graves clothes without disturbing them (Jn. 20:6). Next, He would have to find a way to roll back the rock that covered the tomb from the inside that usually took two strong men to move from the outside. Of course, this would be impossible considering that He would have nothing to grab to be able to push or pull the rock. One more time, letís say that Jesus somehow managed to roll the stone back in His weakened condition; He would still have to make His way past the Roman soldiers. Do you see how impossible all this would be. All these facts lead us to one logical explanation for the tomb being empty; Jesus was raised from the dead just as Bible says He was. Next week, I will offer more proof that Jesus was raised from the dead. Feel free to worship with us.