It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why archaeology cannot prove the resurrection: because the tomb of Jesus is empty. There is nothing there! And that empty tomb is the foundation of our entire faith. The resurrection was not just some isolated event in the life of Christ. It was the climax of His life, His teaching, and ministry. It was the signal proof that legitimized every claim He ever made. The empty tomb authenticates all that Christ said, including three of Jesus’ most significant claims.
1. The empty tomb proves that Christ died for our sins.
Contrary to what theologians teach, the death of Christ was not an example of the injustice and inhumanity of man. Nor did Christ die to provide an example for us of unselfishness. Instead, Jesus said that His death would provide a payment, a ransom for our sin (Matthew 20:28).
Because of our sin, there is a barrier between God and us, and because of that barrier, we are separated from God, both in this life and throughout eternity (Isaiah 59:1-2). Christ said that He came to be the payment for our sin. When He died, that barrier was abolished for those who believe in Him.
He was the perfect High Priest who entered into the very presence of God and made the perfect, once for all sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 9:11-12). Jesus Christ, through His death, has provided our access to God, and it is only through Him that we can share in an eternal relationship with God.
The resurrection of Christ authenticates His claim to be the Son of God who died for our sins and was capable of giving us that access (Romans 1:4). The empty tomb proves that Christ had the ability to forgive our sins just as He said.
2. The empty tomb proves that Christ conquered death.
Despite the lengths the Romans exhibited to guard the tomb, there is only one explanation for the missing body (Matthew 27:62-66). The disciples couldn’t have stolen it. They lacked the physical strength and the moral courage to steal the body. They were so fearful of the Romans that they deserted Jesus during the trial before He was crucified.
The Romans wouldn’t have stolen it. They were dedicated to stamping out the Christian faith. No, there is only one explanation for the empty tomb – God removed Jesus from that grave, just as He said He would.
3. The empty tomb proves that Christ will deliver us from death.
The Bible says that it is appointed to every man once to die and then the judgment. Every second that passes means you are moving closer and closer toward the appointed hour of your death. The time of your death is just as fixed and certain as the day of your birth.
There is nothing you can do to escape the certainty of death, but you can escape the consequences of death. To those who believe and trust in Jesus Christ for their forgiveness, death is not the end but the beginning of an eternity of perfect fellowship with Christ and a reunion with our loved ones who are believers (John 6:40).
“To those who believe” mean to trust in, to lean on, to depend upon Jesus Christ to save you. Not your works, church membership, or heritage, but on Christ alone. And when you do that you can be sure that you belong to Christ.
If the resurrection of Jesus Christ means anything, it means that one day Jesus Christ will come back and deliver us from the grave…just as He said (John 14:1).