Updated: Aug 20
Honestly heathens, you’re not really trying if you haven’t had someone ask, “Oh yeah? How do you explain the empty tomb, then?”. I thought we could tackle this question today. How can we explain the empty tomb of Jesus? For this exercise, we have to grant a few things. They are:
Jesus was tortured on the cross and was placed in the precise tomb in question.
The ladies of myrrh were not lying when they claimed they found the tomb empty.
Any other time, I would want evidence to establish that the above three points are conclusively true. Today, we’ll just assume they are for the sake of argument.
So, how do we explain the tomb being empty? If Jesus definitely entered it, how was it empty just a few days later?
If our standard of evidence is the same as those who believe the Bible accounts, here are a few ideas with which we can explain Jesus’ missing cadaver:
1. He was hungry for brains – Jesus rose from his resting place to take on the world and spread his virus far and wide. Devouring the brains of his victims, they would be born again, too, and seek to ravage the brains of others until everyone was infected. I’m not really sure if I’m talking about zombies or Christianity…
2. Jesus didn’t die – Medical equipment wasn’t exactly top notch back when people talked to donkeys and burning bushes. Jesus may not have actually died on the cross, and thus, could have still been alive when he was laid to rest in his tomb. After a few days rest, he was recuperated and busted out to find where all the action was.
3. He was body-snatched – Have you ever thought about Weekend and Bernie's as gospel? Well, now you have.
4. Aliens – I mean, if you were from Planet Ding-Dong and you came to steal a human specimen from Earth to run a few brief tests on, what better specimen to grab than the son of god? Really. And there he was, all laid out for the taking behind a measly stone door. He was practically begging to be nabbed by aliens. This hypothesis also explains the depiction of Jesus ascending to Heaven. Maybe god ain’t the only fucker around here with tractor beams.
5. He wanted to suck your blood – At some point, when Jesus was up on that cross, some Lestat-lookin’ pale-face decided he wanted to save Jesus because he believed in his message. So, Whitey McBloodSucker got up there and vampired the crap out of Jesus. Jesus died for three days and rose again like Eric Northman on a booty call from Sookie.
6. He slipped through a rift in the space-time continuum – His body went through the natural processes of decay in the year 3035. They probably should have sent in Commander Riker instead of the little ladies and their anointing oils.
7. He faked his own death – Jesus told too many lies to keep up with. I mean, how many times can a man say no to being asked to walk on water before people start to think the first time was a lie? What better way to get out of it than to die? Of course, he wasn’t so successful, being spotted a few days later. He probably should have had a disciple pop a fedora and a fake moustache in the tomb with him.
Any of these explanations have just as much evidence as the claim of divine resurrection does. When a theist asks you how you can possibly explain the empty tomb without the divine resurrection, they’re just not being creative enough. Just watching Season 1 of the Walking Dead will inspire at least a dozen ideas.
What other explanations for the empty tomb can you come up with? Show me your creative side in the comments!