Who moved the stone?
There are numerous 1st Century testimonies that affirm that Jesus’ tomb was indeed found empty. This testimony comes from people who not only were NOT Christians, but they were enemies of Christianity. These resources include Josephus (Jewish), Tacitus (Roman), Pliny the Younger (Roman), and other Jewish and Greek testimonies. The fact of the matter is that we can historically verify that Jesus the Christ did live, He was crucified, and His tomb was found empty. So who moved the stone? Logically there are only 4 possible options:
1. Did the Roman soldiers who were guarding the tomb steal the body? However we know that they were under direct orders from the Roman governor Pilate to guard that tomb with their lives. The penalty for a Roman soldier falling asleep on duty was death. In addition to their guaranteed death penalty, there was zero incentive for the Romans to move the body of some Jew. Option 1 is inconceivable!
2. Did the hostile Jews removed the body? First of all this would be impossible because they would stand no chance against the highly trained Roman military that was stationed to guard the tomb. They’d be killed on the spot! However let’s say they were able to get past the Roman guard. Had the Jews stole the body of Jesus they would have certainly paraded the dead body up and down the streets just so that every body could see that Jesus was a fake, but they didn’t. There would be no way they’d hide the body of Jesus, which would only confirm His divine identity to His disciples. Option 2 is impossible!
3. Did the disciples of Jesus remove the body? First of all they’d be killed by the Roman soldiers guarding the body, so they wouldn’t even get to the tomb to begin with. Second of all, we know from the historical records that all but one of the apostles were martyred for their preaching. Now, even though people die for their religion today (i.e. sects of Islam), they die because they believe it’s true. If the apostles had stolen the body and hid it, then they would know Jesus was a phony. And nobody purposely dies for what they know is a lie. Option 3 is ridiculous!
4. This means that Jesus arose from the tomb having conquered death, disarmed the forces of Satan, and completely finished the plan of salvation that was in the mind of God since before the beginning of time.
If we follow the historical facts, and the rules of logic, then option 4 is the only legitimate explanation for the empty tomb of Christ. Christianity isn’t a “blind leap into the darkness”, it’s faith based on facts. I’m putting my chips where the evidence leads. Will you?