Sometimes seeing isn’t always believing; eyes have been known to play tricks. But when seeing is combined with feeling and hearing, one should consider the possibility that what has been seen, heard and felt is true. Take the guards at Christ’s tomb for instance. When the earthquake struck and the stone was rolled away, they were frightened. When they saw the angel of the Lord sitting upon the boulder, fear escalated and they became “like dead men.” The angel spoke to the women who were there; the risen Christ spoke to the women as well. All this happened in front of the guards who were standing by scared out of their wits. Finally, they came around and went into the city and reported the events.
Authorities tried to convince them what they saw wasn’t true. Elders paid the guards hush money in order to keep them quiet. They gave the guards a different story, “Tell the people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ (Matthew 28:13). But why go to such trouble to keep quiet a story you don’t believe to be true? Why not simply mock anyone who tells of “resurrection” the same way they mocked Jesus? Because they have a problem, Holy Scripture, Moses and the prophets all point to the empty tomb.
People often refuse to believe and provide alternatives to the resurrection. Even some buoyed by years of scholarship fabricate contradicting accounts. Certainly not everyone who hears the good news believes it. Modern day scribes and Pharisees who refuse to believe the evidence provided by scripture continue to offer alternative endings to the gospels. Jesus was revived and taken away, someone took his place on the cross, he didn’t really die. In the end they still have the same problem. Moses and the prophets all point to Jesus as the Christ and the empty tomb.
Because the tomb was found empty the hearts of God’s people are filled with joy. Because the tomb was found empty, the void created by sin is filled with God’s forgiveness. Because the tomb was found empty, Humanity is filled with the promise of eternal life in God’s kingdom. We can believe this because all of the evidence, the eyewitness testimony along with Moses and the prophets all point to one thing; on the third day the tomb was found empty. There is only one conclusion; Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed!