To this day the attacks on Easter continue, but the burden of proof rests not on the believer but on the unbeliever to explain the empty tomb. Many theories have been proposed over the years as to why the tomb is empty, all of which are weak and far-fetched. Some will say that Jesus didn’t really die, but he swooned or passed out only to revive later in the tomb. Then the disciples lied and said he came back to life. Others will say that Jesus died, but the disciples went to the tomb and stole his body in order to make it look like he came back to life. These accusations require that the disciples be part of a cover-up as they promoted and preached what they knew to be a lie.
Charles Colson, the former counsel of President Nixon, was convicted of conspiring in the Watergate Scandal, and he was imprisoned for seven months. He wrote that the Watergate cover-up helped convince him that Jesus was raised from the dead. He said, “There were only eight or ten of us in the inner circle around the President who really knew what was going on. All we had to do was stonewall for a couple of months and the Watergate Scandal would be over. We had all the power and prestige of the Presidency at our fingertips. And if the truth broke there would be embarrassment and perhaps a prison sentence. There was no grave danger. Our lives were not threatened, but we could not hold the conspiracy together for more than two weeks. We could not contain the lie. Once prosecution was possible the natural instincts of self-preservation was so overwhelming that the conspirators one by one deserted their leaders. They caved in and they stood in line at the prosecutor’s office to escape jail.”
Colson goes on to write: “I know that the disciples could not perpetuate a lie like the resurrection, because it was not just their reputations that were at stake. Their lives were in danger. They had no clout. They had nothing to gain by the lie and yet every one of them stood fast in the conviction that Jesus is alive. Take it from one who saw firsthand how vulnerable a cover-up is: Nothing less than a witness as awesome as the resurrected Christ could have caused those men to maintain to their dying whispers that Jesus is alive and he is Lord!”
When we consider the fact that the tomb is empty and the disciples of Jesus not only were willing to die but did die for their belief that Jesus resurrected, there can be no conclusion other than that Jesus Christ is alive.
Happy Easter! Happy Resurrection Sunday!