(Mat 28:12-13) When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 saying, "Tell them, 'His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.'
Opposing theories to the resurrection of Christ are as old as the resurrection itself. Let’s look at them one by one:
HALLUCINATIONS – Explanation: The apostles were deceived by what they wanted to see, not by what they actually saw. Refutation: There were too many witnesses, and all wouldn’t have the same hallucination. (1 Cor 15:6) After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
SWOON THEORY – Explanation: Jesus didn’t really die. He just swooned from the body trauma He received. Thinking He was dead, they put Him in the tomb unconscious but alive. When He woke up He just exited the tomb. Refutation: Jesus could not have survived crucifixion. And even if He did, how could He have survived being bound in sheets of linen head to foot? Or how could he have pushed back the heavy stone in such a state?
CONSPIRACY – Explanation: The disciples made up the whole story to get people to believe He was the Messiah. Refutation: It would have been relatively simple for the powers that be to expose this fraud and produce the body. Besides, who would give their life for a conspiracy? The disciples saw the evidence of the risen Christ and died for a fact, not a fable.
WRONG TOMB – Explanation: The disciples didn’t know where the tomb was and could not have found the empty grave. Refutation: The Bible says Joseph of Arimathea laid Him in his own tomb and that the women saw where Jesus lay (Mat 27:59-61).
GRECO-ROMAN MYTH – Explanation: The resurrection of Jesus parallels the ancient Greco-Roman myths of gods rising from the dead. Refutation: The background for Jesus’ resurrection is not Greco-Roman, but Jewish. Jesus fulfilled many passages from the Old Testament when He rose from the dead (Psa 16:10-11; Psa 49:15; Isa 53:10-11; Jonah 1:17; etc.)
The Sadducees in Jesus’ day did not believe in the resurrection. In dealing with them on this issue he told them, " . . . You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. (Mat 22:29) If a person knows the scriptures and believes in the power of God to raise the dead, then the reality of the resurrection will present no problem.
The Bible is not a fairy tale book filled with legends and fables to give us something to believe in. It is not within the area of fiction or fantasy or even philosophy. It is the truth. And what you believe about it and the truths it contains will determine your connection to the One who is true . . . and is risen! (John 14:6) Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life . . .