How can we make sense of the fact that the disciples found Christ's tomb empty? There are only two possibilities.
An Empty Tomb
According to John’s account of the resurrection, Mary Magdalene one of Christ’s women followers, arrived back at the tomb very early on Sunday morning while it was still dark. And when she reached it she saw that the stone had been rolled away. In shock she ran to tell the other disciples. Peter and John both ran to the tomb with John out ahead. When Peter got there he went inside and found something truly remarkable. The strips of linen that had been wrapped around Christ’s body were in one place and the covering wound around his head in another. It was all left like a chrysalis case after the butterfly has emerged!
Puzzled about what they had seen Peter and John went back to their homes, but Mary Magdalene lingered at the tomb weeping and looking inside. John records her testimony that suddenly she saw two angels sitting where Jesus had been lain -----they asked her why she was crying. “They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they have put him.”At this, she turned around, probably at the sound of a step, and saw a man she didn’t recognize ---remember it was very early in the morning before the sun was up.
He asked the same question as the angels – “Why are you crying and who is it you are looking for?”Thinking the man to be the gardener Mary said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”The man said only one word back: “Mary”. He knew her name and suddenly the sound of his voice saying her name flooded her with the realization that this was her teacher, this was Jesus! She just wanted to hold onto Him and never let him go. But instead Jesus gave her an assignment. She was to go to the disciples who were hiding and tell them he was alive------ and so she did.
There was now no doubt in anyone’s mind that the tomb was empty --- but why and how? In the final analysis -- there are only 2 possibilities:The first possibility is that Christ’s body was stolen. But who would do that? Let’s look at the cast of characters and what their motive could have been.
Would Christ’s enemies have taken his body? Hardly. They wanted Jesus dead. If and when the Christ followers would claim he had risen from the dead all they would have had to do is produce the body. But they didn’t.
Would Christ’s friends have taken his body? No. This argument won’t stand either. Christ’s followers soon became transformed men and women who went all over the known world proclaiming that Jesus was the Son of God and that he was alive because God had raised him from the dead. Many, if not most of these disciples were tortured and martyred for proclaiming this. They would not have suffered and died knowing that it was all a lie.
Would the guards at the tomb have allowed Christ’s body to be stolen? No. Their own lives would have been on the line. They were professionals and had no reason to jeopardize their lives and careers over this man named Jesus.
So only one possibility remains as to why the tomb was empty.
God had raised Jesus from the dead--- just as Jesus said He would.