Resurrection day is now several days behind us. I have considered what it must have been like for those who saw the empty tomb and the resurrected Christ. The emotional roller coaster would exceed anything in history. For 40 days about 500 people encountered the resurrected Jesus establishing marking the most earthshaking turning point on earth. Over the centuries naysayers devised conspiracy theories about the empty tomb, yet not a single objective witness ever came forth to say ‘I have found the body’ or ‘I saw the disciples take it away’ or ‘I know where they took him.’
Of the eleven disciples, Thomas was the most doubting of the resurrection because he had not yet personally seen the resurrected Jesus. Then Jesus approached him and Thomas put his hands into the nail holes of Jesus body and said ‘My Lord and my God!’
The strongest, most compelling evidence of the resurrection is the fact that the followers of Jesus, especially the twelve apostles, would live and die declaring that ‘He lives!!’ Against all odds and opposition, they laid their lives on the line to declare Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. They refused in the face of abuse, persecution, torture and martyrdom to recant the resurrection and the God-nature of Jesus. They scattered across the known and unknown world to spread the gospel of His Kingdom. They lost contact with each other as they were separated by geography and captivity. Yet all 12, except for John, died via torture and a grizzly death because they refused the recant the resurrection. Their personal testimony overcame every conspiracy theory and speculation.
The historian Eusebius ( about AD 314-318) said it well in a speech regarding the ludicrous idea that Jesus followers would devise a lie and die with the lie: ‘Let us band together to invent miracles and resurrection appearances which we never saw and let us carry the sham even to death! Why not die for nothing?—Why dislike torture and whipping inflicted for no good reason? Let us go out to all nations and overthrow their institutions and denounce their gods! And even if we don’t convince anybody, at least we’ll have the satisfaction of drawing down on ourselves the punishment for our own deceit.’
Men will die for what they believe to be true, though it may actually be false. They do not die for what they know is a lie. Former US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said regarding the absurdity of denying the resurrection; ‘The wise do not believe in the resurrection of the dead. It is really quite absurd. So everything from the Easter morning to the ascension had to be made up by the groveling enthusiasts as part of their plan to get themselves martyred’.
While some conspiracy theories continue to be bantered around today, there is only one conspiracy that stands test of time. Yes, there was a conspiracy, a conspiracy between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They conspired to bring the will of heaven to earth by way of giving the Son, so that all who believe may live and never die.
Like this post from Harvey? Check out this one on atheism.