While defending the Resurrection of Jesus, William Lane Craig said:
“One of the most remarkable facts about the early Christian belief in Jesus’ resurrection was that it flourished in the very city where Jesus had been publicly crucified.”
Had it not been true the Resurrection should have been an easy myth to dispel from the get-go.
And yet it wasn’t.
Sceptics have tried to explain away the miracles and events that make up the Resurrection Story.
In this video I will look at the sceptical belief that the burial and empty tomb narratives found in the resurrection story are simply fabrications.
They believe that Jesus was not buried, but his body was either left on the cross or thrown into a shallow grave and eaten by dogs or birds.
Could the sceptics be right?
In this video I will look at how unlikely it is the burial and empty tomb narratives found in the historical texts of Mark, Luke and John, are merely fabrications.
One compelling piece of evidence for the burial of Jesus comes from Joseph of Arimathea.
Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man and a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin – the high court who had called for Jesus’s crucifixion.
We see in the gospel accounts that Joseph of Arimathea asked for the body of Jesus – offering his very own, recently made tomb to inter it —
This narrative begs the question – why would Joseph risk his position of power and authority to ask for the body of an executed heretic?
Going back to our historical texts we see that Joseph was also secretly a disciple of Jesus and it took great courage for him to ask for the body of this crucified Jewish man.
For a well-known man to take the body and bury it in his own tomb would have been very easy to prove false had it not happened.
Because of this it makes no sense the early Church would fabricate this part of the story as it was testable at the time.
That Jesus was buried is a plausible part of the resurrection story.
But was the tomb empty?
We see in Matthew 28 that early on the Sunday morning, a group of women went to prepare the body of Jesus and found the tomb empty.
In those days, Women were not thought of as credible witnesses, even in court.
So, when writing on the events of the resurrection, it makes little sense the early church would include this piece of information.
Women did not have good standing in the patriarchal society of the time and were thought of as second-class citizens.
And we see this when the disciples did not believe the women’s testimony and running to the tomb to find out for themselves.
Again, it would NOT have been difficult to prove the story of the empty tomb was a fabrication, yet no one did. It did not make sense to include women as first witnesses unless the writer’s purpose was to tell all that had actually happened.
The burial of Jesus would have been easy to disprove simply by talking to witnesses of the events.
We have enough circumstantial evidence withing these two narratives to conclude Jesus was buried and his tomb was found empty.
Despite the cries of fabrication from sceptics, no good evidence has come to light to disprove these events.
It would only have taken the body, or later bones of Jesus or a body of hostile testimony to prove the sceptics right. But it just isn’t there.
Likewise, no convincing evidence has come to light in the last almost 2000 years to disprove the Resurrection story. And the Christian Church whose very existence depends on the Resurrection of Jesus continues to thrive.