Our belief as Christians is based on the fact that Christ died to pay for our sins, was buried and rose the third day and is alive today. The apostle Paul stated that if Christ is not risen from the dead then our preaching is in vain.
The body of Jesus, in accordance with Jewish burial customs, was wrapped in linen cloth and covered with spices. The body was placed in a solid rock tomb. This tomb was owned by Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin, an important and well known man in Jerusalem. An extremely large rock was rolled by means of levers against the entrance of the tomb. Roman guards were stationed to guard the tomb. A normal Roman guard unit was made up of 16 men, with 4 on alert at all times. This guard affixed on the tomb the Roman seal. The situation at the tomb after the resurrection is significant. The Roman seal was broken, which meant automatic crucifixion upside down for those who did it. The large stone was moved up and away from not just the entrance but from the entire sepulcher, as if it had been picked up and carried away. The guard unit had fled, an offense punishable by death.
A.M. Ramsey in his book “God, Christ and the Tomb” “states that the empty tomb was too notorious to be denied. The resurrection could not have been maintained in Jerusalem for a single day or even for a single hour, if the emptiness of the tomb had not been established as a fact for all concerned.” Remember this was the big news item at that time. This was front page stuff. A minute walk from the center of Jerusalem would confirm the empty tomb. No one denied that the tomb was empty. Continue reading