When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.Matthew 28:12-15
Critical scholars today generally accept that Jesus was a real person who was crucified by the Romans. And that afterward he was placed in a tomb that was subsequently discovered to be empty. Many people today might argue that the whole thing is a myth that never happened. But there seems to be little doubt among those who have actually studied the subject. Jesus was a real person. He was crucified. And his tomb was found empty. Those are as close to historical facts as anything can be from ancient history.
The Empty Tomb
But while it is widely accepted that the tomb was found empty, the reason it was empty is disputed. If you accept that Jesus is who he claimed to be, then his resurrection is highly plausible. But if you believe that Jesus was something other than what he claimed, then you must find another explanation for the mystery of the empty tomb. And this one devised by the Jewish chief priests and elders is one that continues to be held by many today. But it is really nothing more than a futile attempt to escape the reality of who Jesus is and the consequences of that reality for a person’s life. If Jesus is indeed Lord and God, then we need to take seriously all he said and did. To come and follow him (Matt. 16:24).
The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.
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