Was Jesus Body Really Absent From His Tomb

William Lane Craig, who has earned two doctorates and written several books on the Resurrection, presented striking evidence that the enduring symbol of Easter-the vacant tomb of Jesus-was a historical reality. The empty grave is reported or implied in extremely early sources-Mark's gospel and a creed in First Corinthians 15-which date so close to the event that they could not possibly have been products of legend. The fact that the gospels report that women discovered the empty tomb bolsters the story's authenticity, because women's testimony lacked credibility in the first century and thus there would have been no motive to report they found the empty tomb if it weren't true. The site of Jesus' tomb was known to Christians, Jews, and Romans, so it could have been checked by skeptics. In fact, nobody-not even the Roman authorities or Jewish leaders-ever claimed that the tomb still contained Jesus' body. Instead, they were forced to invent the absurd story that the disciples, despite having no motive or opportunity, had stolen the body-a theory that not even the most skeptical critic believes today.

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