Saturday, May 21, 2016

Empty Tomb

I recently realized I've missed out on a very significant statement in Scripture regarding the burial of Christ. John 19:40–42 tells us that Christ was buried in "a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid" (v. 41).

This is a daring claim to make. The Gospel centers on the proposition that Christ was raised from the dead. The Apostles insisted not only that Christ was not dead, but that He had been dead, and that He had been raised bodily from the dead. In other words, they claimed that His body was not in the tomb, because He had gotten up and left the tomb under His own power.

John's claim that there had not been anyone previously buried in that tomb meant that he actually raised the ante on the claim of the Resurrection. Not only was Christ's body not in that tomb: no one's body could be in that tomb. If people were to go to that tomb and there was any body in it, then John's claim would be shown to be false.

This makes the Resurrection claim easily falsifiable. It's like John said, "Look, if you can produce the body of Christ, we have to admit that this whole thing is a big hoax. Not only that, if you go to that tomb and there's any body in it, we'll have to admit that it's Christ's body; no one else was buried in that tomb."

I saw a meme on Facebook (I can't find it now) that pointed out the Apostles made a daring claim when they spoke of the Resurrection. By claiming that Christ had risen bodily, they made a claim that was easy to disprove. They could just have claimed Christ had risen spiritually, and their claim could never have been disproven; but claiming a physical resurrection meant they had moved into the realm of the verifiable. I think that's a very important point. John goes even further: by claiming that Jesus Christ's body was alone in that tomb, he is claiming that the tomb must be completely empty, or the claims of the Apostles must be false.

2 comments:

Kendall said...

Just read this about jw
Go for an area where they are less prepared and is essential to the gospel. They deny the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Push them to tell you their position that Jesus’ body was dissolved into gases and God recreated the archangel Michael again from His memories. Then get them to read through John 2:18-22. This outright contradicts their beliefs. Then go to the gospel definition in 1 Corinthians 15 and go through that slowly with lots of questions. Their rejection of Jesus’ resurrection is a rejection of a key and essential part of the gospel. Your time will be much more well spent there.

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high HEBREWS 1: 3
What a joy and comfort to realize that our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST that he was buried and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures 1 Cor 15:4 \ John 2:18-22 he was made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour (help )them that are tempted. Hebrews 2: 17\18

Rodger Goertzen said...

Was reminded of this blog post as I was reading Kelly this morning: One sees hence the rashness of Bishop Horsley, who says, "Paradise was certainly some place where our Lord was to be on the very day on which He suffered, and where the companion of His sufferings was to be with Him. It was not heaven; for to heaven our Lord, after His death, ascended not till after His resurrection, as appears from His own words to Mary Magdalene. He was not, therefore, in heaven on the day of the crucifixion; and where He was not, the thief could not be with Him. It was no place of torment; for to any such place the name of paradise never was applied. It could be no other place than that region of repose and rest where the souls of the righteous abide in joyful hope of the consummation of their bliss." The fallacy running throughout is due to the want of understanding that the ascension is spoken not of the separate spirit but of the whole man, of body as well as spirit and soul. The conquerors are certainly not promised their final recompence in an intermediate state, yet it is to be in paradise. And there beyond controversy entered the spirit of the Lord Jesus, and with Him that of the converted robber on the day of crucifixion. John 20:17 speaks of His ascension in bodily presence, but in no way negatives the going of His spirit there at death. (Compare Luke 23:43 and Rev. 2:7)

There is a whole Man in the glory: spirit, and soul, and body.