As a former agnostic/atheist, I now take great comfort in the evidence for the resurrection. One question that I have never heard even raised in my 27 years as a disciple, even by pagan non-believers, is this: If the seal was not put on the tomb and the guard posted until the next morning, wouldn’t that have been the time that the body could have gone missing? It seems unlikely the Romans would roll away the stone to make sure the body was there, roll it back, and then seal it. What is your take on this, and why haven’t unbelievers camped out on that one? It sure beats the swoon theory!—Joe
You are right: the seal was placed on the tomb on Saturday. I had never noticed this. Good question.
It would be surprising if the guard didn’t double-check the inside of the tomb, especially since they would have been responsible if someone absconded with the body. But more fascinating is the implication for the authenticity of the passage. If the church were creating the resurrection story from whole cloth, why wouldn’t they have the guard and the seal being placed on Friday? That Saturday was the day attests to the honesty of the evangelist, for it would surely have served his purposes better if he hadn’t left the body untended.
This means that by Saturday, when the guard was dispatched, no one had removed the corpse (and certainly not the timorous disciples). And even less likely was the body of Jesus moved Saturday and Easter morning, given the extra security then provided.
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