Sep 22, 2011

84 How could Jesus have eluded a guard at his tomb

Believer asks: If Jesus did not actually die and rise from the dead, how could he (in his condition) have circumvented all of the security measures in place at his tomb?  

But skeptic answers: Naturally the question assumes that the story of the execution and entombment of Jesus is factual. If it never really happened the way the New Testament says, the question is moot.  

Assuming it's a true story, I'll say somebody let Jesus out of the tomb. There were a couple opportunities for rescuers to go into action

1) The night the authorities laid Jesus in the tomb and rolled a stone in front of the entrance. They placed a guard at the tomb the next day 

Matthew 27:60 Then Joseph of Arimathea rolled a large stone across the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there, facing the tomb. 62 The next day, the chief priests and the Pharisees met with Pilate 63 and said ... 64 “Give orders for his tomb to be carefully guarded until the third day.” 65 “Take a guard,” Pilate told them; “go and make the tomb as secure as you can.” 66 So they left and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and leaving the guard on watch.

So the rescuers saw their chance before the authorities posted a guard. They let Jesus out alive. The rest of the story, about women seeing angels at the tomb, is fiction.  

2) The guard swooned at the tomb entrance. They collapsed (I'm making this up of course) because the rescuers drugged their food and wine. Soon the guards fell into a drug-induced sleep. Matthew reports a bright angel who frightened the daylights out of them. I’ll say it was a hallucination thanks to the drug they consumed  

Matthew 28:2 Suddenly there was a violent earthquake; an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled the stone away, and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid that they trembled and became like dead men.

And the rest of the story, about women seeing angels at the tomb, is fiction.  

Recap: Matthew is the only one who says a guard was on duty. Other evangelists don't report it. If Matthew made it up, no sentry kept watch. Of course I changed the story around capriciously and included the rescuers of Jesus. The way I see it, though, the resurrection never took place. 

Related post:
85 If the authorities stole Jesus' body, why

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