The tomb is still empty


Spoiler alert: The text at the bottom gives away the ending of the Gospels.

My favorite part of The Passion of the Christ movie was the understated scene where Jesus is sitting in the tomb on Easter morning and then He just stands up.  That’s it.  No humans saw him get up, though angels may have.

The resurrection is the greatest and most central event in human history.  Good Friday is when Jesus died for our sins, but the resurrection conquered sin and death for all time for those who trust in Jesus.   Everyone spends eternity somewhere.  Trust in Jesus and you have hope in this life and an eternity in Heaven.  Don’t trust in Jesus and you have neither.

Bonus link: Ten resources to help you defend the resurrection of Jesus as history.  Yes, He really died and rose again, He is really God and He is really the only way to salvation.

He is risen!

John 20:1-18 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.

Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

27 thoughts on “The tomb is still empty”

  1. One event, four different accounts and one is as true as the other, because they are all inspired:

    Two women visiting the tomb or three; in one story the stone is already gone, in another they see it being removed, once there is one angel, then there are two, once they buy spices, in another story the women prepare them themselves.

    All of them true? Chances are that they all have been made up!


  2. Hi regenwurmkiste – I think you are misunderstanding the definition of a contradiction. There are no contradictions in the Gospel accounts. Believe it or not, Christians have covered this ground a couple times in the last 2,000 years.

    For example, just because one account references the angel who spoke and another mentions both angels doesn’t mean it is a contradiction.

    If you want to disbelieve in the resurrection then feel free. But I wouldn’t use those reasons.


    1. I would not call this a contradiction, but I would call it an inconsistency. I’m not making any claim one way or another regarding whether or not they’re true, just suggesting that the details of the story are not consistent from gospel to gospel.


  3. Have a happy, blessed, and fruitful Easter, Neil. And tell Regenwurm etdc that if he has any questions, he can ask Jesus when he gets to…Oh right….nevermind.


  4. Hi Mark,

    it is quite interesting how Neil dodges the real problem. He only refers to the number of angels because – although still far-fetched – he might have an explanantion. The other two points I mention cannot be explained without twisting reason. That is most likely why he avoids replying to them.

    Neil said: Actually, that isn’t interesting at all because it isn’t true. Sorry, but you are a little late to the party. We’ve gone over lots of alleged contradictions the last few months after dozens of atheists from Richard Dawkins’ site came to visit. If I thought you were seriously inquiring I’d be glad to dialogue with you, and you are still welcome to visit, of course. But when I give a clear explanation to one of your many questions as an example and you reply with childish digs then your motives are clear.

    If you really want answers – IF – then check out some of the links to the right –,,,,, or go buy a book of Bible difficulties.

    If you believe the bible to be the word of God, how do you explain the abundance of such absurdities?

    Neil said: You are begging the question. They aren’t absurdities. And I’ve investigated literally hundreds of difficult passages and found satisfying answers.

    And don’t you think that a Creator would rather accept someone who uses the power of reasoning endowed to him by the Creator than a narrow-minded person who blindly follows what others tell them to believe?

    Neil said: The Bible applauds and encourages reasoning – . To say otherwise is just a tired atheistic argument.

    Your “narrow-minded” / “blindly follows” attacks just further reveal your bias. I know the “New Atheist” approach is popular these days but not here.

    Don’t you think a creator would want you to follow what He has clearly revealed in scripture? (Hey, I can beg the question, too!)

    How do you account for the fact that the better read and educated people are and thus the more they know about the world around us, the less they tend to believe in ANY religion?

    Neil said: 1. Pride. 2. 1 Corinthians 3:19 – For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness.”


  5. If I were making it up I wouldn’t have made a woman the first witness, I would have told how Peter saw him first – but that is only referred to obliquely – and I wouldn’t have left in discrepencies between accounts. This is the sort of detail that only copmes from an unedited, multi-witness report.


  6. Aw, Neil, it would have been more fun if you would have responded as if you’ve NEVER encountered such questions. Think of how nice regenwurmkiste would have felt had he walked away proud to have stumped you with those ages old and exhaustively answered critiques!


  7. “How do you account for the fact that the better read and educated people are and thus the more they know about the world around us, the less they tend to believe in ANY religion?”

    I have not found this to be rrue. What I have found is that people who THINK they are better read and educated than they are tend to believe less in any religion.


  8. Some stats show that they are. But then supposedly the Unitarians have the highest average IQ, and they have the most intellectually bankrupt beliefs going.

    But as I have noted before I think most religious surveys are hopelessly flawed, at least for the U.S. Way too many people check religious and denomination boxes when they aren’t really engaged at all.


  9. Thank God for the cross! and the resurrection. We can live because of those things.
    As far as educated or intelligent goes, I’m as educated as most atheists-far more so than most, and I’m no dummy-maybe not the smartest man in the world, but I know him 🙂 . I believe the Bible says exactly what it says. It means exactly what it says it means, and anyone who doesn’t believe it is the foolish one.


  10. May I just point out one of the arguments used at your link says that (to paraphrase):
    “without the resurrection christianity is a waste of time”
    I think this is more evidence christianity is a waste of time than that the resurrection is true and this is a tautological argument that only works on those convinced of christianity. I would like to mention I am not trying to say that christianity is false, just that that specific argument is fallacious.


    1. If someone said, “without the resurrection christianity is a waste of time” of course that wouldn’t be evidence for the truth of Christianity. I seriously doubt that was the claim. Perhaps you should read a little more closely then come back and show me how they claimed that the statement was evidence for the faith.

      The stand alone claim is true, as that is what Christianity teaches in 1 Corinthians 15. Christianity is falsifiable (unlike nearly all other religions). If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, Christianity is false and should be abandoned.

      The evidence for the resurrection is significant — many times what people use to foolishly claim is evidence against God.

      Everyone spends eternity somewhere. I encourage you to stop playing silly games and get right with God. Your foolish pride will vanish in an instant when you meet your maker.


      1. You say the evidence for the resurrection is significant. I really really want to see it. (I’m not being sarcastic). I’m looking for faith, and coming up short. Please help.


  11. Happy Easter! Jesus is alive and seated next to the Father, continually intercessing for us as our high priest. Praise Him! He conquered death and the kingdom of darkness that still occupies this planet. Where two or more are gathered in His name, He is there in their midst. Of His kingdom, there will be no end. One day all His enemies will be under His feet. Lord Jesus, come soon with your righteous judgment, I pray.


    1. Where two or more are gathered in His name, He is there in their midst.

      You mean He isn’t there when I’m by myself? That’s disappointing. 🙂


  12. Neil

    If I haven’t said so lately, thank you so much for the time and energy you put into this blog. One of the purposes I had for starting my blog was that of education. If I’d never started it I would have never found yours. This site is Miracle Grow for the mind.


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