Nobody is Home

April 2, 2015

Resurrection-Doubting-Thomas

Having established the fact that Jesus was fatally tormented, we now turn to the “E” in the acronym F-E-A-T, which will serve to remind us of the second undeniable fact supporting the Resurrection: The Empty Tomb. (HH)

As the reliability of the Resurrection is undermined in the media it is crucial that Christians are prepared to demonstrate that on Easter morning some two thousand years ago the tomb was indeed empty.  the late liberal scholar John A. T. Robinson of Cambridge conceded that the burial of Jesus Christ “is one of the earliest and best-attested facts about Jesus.” As scholar D. H. van Daalen has noted, “It is extremely difficult to object to the empty tomb on historical grounds; those who deny it do so on the basis of theological or philosophical assumptions.” These statements are

not merely dogmatic assertions but rather stand firmly upon sound argumentation.

First, both liberal and conservative New Testament scholars agree that the body of Jesus was buried in the private tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. A great argument for proof of this (1) as a member of the Jewish court that condemned Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea is unlikely to be a Christian invention; (2) no competing burial story exists; (3) the account of Jesus’ entombment is substantiated by Mark’s gospel and is, therefore,

far too early to have been the subject of legendary corruption.

Furthermore, as noted in The Case for Christ,  (a book everybody should read, especially unbelievers and new converts, it’s in public domain so you can get it for free)“When you understand the role of women in first-century Jewish society, what’s really extraordinary is that this empty tomb story should feature women as the discoverers of the empty tomb.” Not only did women have low social status in Jewish society, but their testimonies were not even legally valid. “Any later legendary account would have certainly portrayed male disciples as discovering the tomb….This shows that the Gospel writers faithfully recorded what happened, even if it was embarrassing.”

the earliest Jewish response to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ presupposes the empty tomb. Instead of denying that the tomb was empty, the antagonists of Christ accused his disciples of stealing the body. Their response to the proclamation, “He has risen – He is risen indeed” was not “His body is still in the tomb” or “He was thrown into a shallow grave and eaten by dogs.” Instead, they responded, “His disciples came during the night and stole him away.”

In short, early Christianity simply could not have survived an identifiable tomb containing the corpse of Christ. The enemies of Christ could have easily put an end to the charade by displaying the body, as depicted in the medieval Jewish polemic, Toledot Yeshu.  no one can affirm the historicity of Christ’s burial while simultaneously denying the historicity of the empty tomb.

Easter is fast approaching, rejoice in the fact that the tomb was empty. The Lord has risen.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Richard, who is failing rapidly with dementia

Pray for Scott who is battling alcoholism

For Ann who is in labor right now with her first child.

Continue in prayer for Kim and her struggle with cancer

Pray for those that are at a crossroad of life and have to make huge decisions that will affect their every aspect of their lives.

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