The shock of the tomb

April 10

Many of those who are skeptical about the story of the empty tomb and take the stories of Jesus’ appearances as legends opt for an interpretation that is similarly reassuring. They assume the early disciples created the stories to express in a vivid but imaginary way their inner conviction that Jesus’ soul had passed triumphantly and inevitably into heaven. But this is impossible to square with the evidence that the apostles regarded the resurrection as a shocking anomaly. Something utterly unprecedented had happened to transform the dead Jesus, and this transformation involved the passing of his body into an entirely new state. The visible trace of this transformation was an empty grave.

From “The Real Thing” in Compass and Stars by Martin L. Smith. Copyright © 2007. Used by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY.

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