From the moment Jesus rose from the dead the truth of His resurrection has been disputed by non-Christians. The reason for this is very simple: The hope of the Christian faith rests upon Jesus' resurrection. If it were conclusively proved that Jesus did not rise from the dead then Christianity is meaningless and those who believe in Christ are without hope. This lie has been and continues to be one of the enemy's primary weapons against salvation. Even though he cannot overturn the truth of Jesus' resurrection, if he is able to convince someone that the resurrection did not happen then that person's salvation is in question for there can be no salvation while Jesus remains in the tomb; our sins will not have been atoned for and death will not have been defeated. The apostle Paul said it as well as anyone ever will in his letter to the Corinthian church:


1 Corinthians 15:12-19 ESV - Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  (13)  But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  (14)  And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.  (15)  We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.  (16)  For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.  (17)  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.  (18)  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  (19)  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.


Some will try to side-step this argument by saying that Jesus rose spiritually and therefore the discovery of the physical remains of His body does nothing detrimental to the Christian faith. This can be proven to be an invalid argument by the simple fact that the first defense that those who killed Jesus presented when confronted by His resurrection was that His followers had stolen His body.


Matthew 28:11-15 ESV - While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place.  (12)  And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers  (13)  and said, "Tell people, 'His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.'  (14)  And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble."  (15)  So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.


The religious authorities were concerned that a physical resurrection had taken place and they took immediate measures to discredit it. A merely spiritual resurrection would not have concerned them since they could always present the body of Jesus and say "Look, here is His body. He is really dead, why continue believing these lies?" They knew, as does any Christian, that the gospel of salvation depends upon a physical resurrection of a real body.


The greatest argument against those who say that Jesus did not rise from the dead is in the eye witness accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul. These men wrote of what they experienced in essentially the same manner that newspaper reporters today write of the events that they experience. These five men were recording the miraculous resurrection of their Lord Jesus for posterity that you and I might read and believe and be saved. Many will argue that these eye witness accounts are suspect, being written by Jesus' friends and associates, but one account, that of Paul, was written by one originally antagonistic to the gospel. Were it not for his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus he could never have written so convincingly of Jesus' resurrection. Though there is a tendency to discount these narratives as unreliable, there are no documents of that era that convincingly establish that Jesus did not rise from the dead. Any argument against the gospels in recent times has more the nature of personal desire than scholarly insight.


I want to leave you with the assertion that anyone who tells you that they have discovered Jesus' body is lying and is either intentionally serving the enemy or is himself deceived. Jesus' body cannot be found on Earth for it is in Heaven at the right hand of God the Father. If you want to see it put your faith in Him and you will, it is a living body and its owner longs for you to join Him.


God be praised.