"More people are driven insane through religious hysteria than by drinking alcohol."

- W.C. Fields



Was Jesus resurrected from the dead?
5) the wrong tomb?


..."Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I am to rise again.' "Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, lest the disciples come and steal Him away and say to the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last deception will be worse than the first."

- Matthew 27:63-64 NASB

5.5 Did everyone go to the wrong tomb?

If Jesus was truly crucified, as many ancient and modern historians agree, then his body either

1.) remained where it was placed afterwards, or

2.) was removed.

If it remained, which is typical for dead bodies, then the simplest answer would be that the tomb found empty was simply the wrong one.

Isn't it reasonable to conclude that with the trauma of Jesus' sudden arrest and death, his devotees could have made this error?

First, it seems unlikely that those who loved him so dearly would so soon forget where he was buried. Nevertheless, there is a small possibility that the women, even after having watched Joseph and Nicodemus at the tomb, returned to the wrong one. However, the possibility of a mistaken tomb shrinks every time another person and another visit is factored in.

Not only would Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, Joanna, Salome and the other women had to have mistaken the tomb, so would Peter and John, and Mary Magdalene again, and the Roman guard, and the Jews, and the disciples, and everyone else who ever tried to produce his body. With the uproar that the proclamation of Christ's resurrection stirred, it is impossible to believe the whole world was never able to find the tomb a second time.

Second, the wrong tomb theory fails to account for the many and lengthy appearances of Christ after his resurrection, the appearance of the angels at Christ's tomb (unless we are to believe even they could not find the right tomb), the angels' proclamation that Christ was risen, and the fact that no body was ever produced.

Because the Jewish authorities, who least wanted to propagate Jesus' resurrection, claimed that his body was stolen by the disciples, it can be inferred they verified that the right tomb was checked (if not all the tombs). Therefore, if even Christ's enemies believed his body was no longer residing in its original resting place, it is quite reasonable to agree with them that it wasn't.

Now the question becomes, "So where did it reside?" or, even before that, "Who removed it?"



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NEXT: Was Jesus resurrected from the dead? - part six

See also:

What do we know about Jesus from non-biblical sources?

Do miracles really happen?

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In investigating the resurrection, this is one of the first questions to ask: Did everyone visit the wrong tomb?

Among the anti-resurrection arguments, this is the probably the weakest. For that reason this response is short.