Christianity could have been stopped cold if the Roman or Jewish authorities could have simply brought forth Jesus' dead body. But they couldn't because Jesus was using it.
Many have tried to come up with reasons not to believe that Jesus came back to life. Some claimed that the disciples went to the wrong tomb, or that Jesus’ resurrection was merely a “spiritual” one, not a physical one. There have also been claims that it was all merely a legend or that all supposed appearances of Jesus were actually hallucinations.
There have also been claims that Jesus’ body was either stolen by the disciples or moved by the authorities. Several books have also been written laying out elaborate tales describing how Jesus either survived his crucifixion, as in what’s referred to as “the swoon theory” or he arranged for a young man to masquerade as “the risen Lord” after Jesus himself had died on the cross, as in a book called The Passover Plot.
The one common denominator between all of these claims is that they all manage to ignore important facts. Many books have been written explaining why the only explanation which fits all the facts is that Jesus really was resurrected from the dead, but one which explores all of the problems faced by those who wish to deny the reality of Jesus' resurrection is The Resurrection Factor by Josh McDowell.
Historian Ron Sider summed the situation up this way: “If the Christians and their Jewish opponents both agreed that the tomb was empty, we have little choice but to accept the empty tomb as a historical fact.” (Ron Sider. A Case for Easter, p. 29, as quoted in Josh McDowell. The Resurrection Factor.)
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