(2) And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
(3) And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.Luke 24:2-3
Now think about the reality of their discovery.
They came and found the stone rolled away. The tomb was empty! This was the undeniable reality. There was no body.
What an incredible finding. They did not expect the stone to be rolled away. They expected it to be closed. They did not expect the body to be gone. They expected it to be there. They thought that Jesus was dead, but He was not.
Now if you and I find an empty tomb today we would conjecture everything but the supernatural. We would think that someone exhumed the body. We would think that someone took it. We would make every kind of naturalistic explanation, and investigate what happened, never even thinking the supernatural as an explanation.
And what is amazing is that God, in His infinite wisdom, orchestrated the events of Jesus’ death burial and resurrection to make every possible naturalistic explanation of the empty tomb implausible.
First, Jesus was obviously dead. He died at the hands of Roman executioners. They knew death. He was pierced until blood and water flowed. This was a sign that death had happened.
Secondly, He was laid in a tomb, wrapped in grave clothes, with a giant stone put in front of the mouth of the tomb.
Matthew tells us something about the setting of the tomb before the resurrection. The stone in front of the tomb was quite large. The stone was sealed and was guarded by Roman soldiers.
(62) Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
(63) Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.
(64) Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
(65) Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
(66) So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.Matthew 27:62-66
These would have all been obstacles that a recently crucified man would not have been able to manage on His own. The grave was guarded by Roman soldiers who would have paid a severe price to lose the body.
Finally, that early body of believers right in Jerusalem made the foundational claim that since Jesus rose from the dead, He substantiated His claim to be God and could forgive sins because of His atoning death on the cross. What would have killed that movement was to present the body of Christ, and it never happened. In fact, these men who had been cowards previously, were bold in the face of persecution and even death.
Yes, the tomb was empty. No, they did not expect it. Nothing has been more significant in all of history than that fact.
You can believe the Gospel, not just because the Bible claims it, but because there are historical and logical reasons that back up the claims. Jesus Christ is who He said He is. By believing we can have eternal life in His name.
The most important response you and I will have is the response to this fact. If you have placed your faith in Jesus, rejoice in the resurrection. Jesus said in John 14:9, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.”
If you have not placed your faith in Christ, do it today!