TWO thousand years or so after the man from Nazareth mysteriously vanished from a heavily fortified tomb in Jerusalem, the case is still open.
Some say it’s a folk tale; it never really happened. Or a deadly superstition. Or a convenient lie. Perhaps the disciples stole the body. Maybe Jesus didn’t die but just swooned, recovered, married Mary Magdalene and went to live in India.
But most scholars acknowledge there are first hand accounts of the missing dead body and sightings of Jesus after his death. These are historical events that happened to real people at a real place and time.
There are no comparable events in history.
Days before the body of Jesus went missing, Pontius Pilate, a Roman bureaucrat stuck between a rock and a hard place, looked at Jesus standing before him and asked: ‘’What is truth’’.
No answer to the question is recorded, because Jesus probably didn’t give one. He must have thought His life and imminent death were answers enough.
Not that many understood it at the time. Even his disciples were confused. Why did He have to die?
Why didn’t he conquer the Romans and establish His kingdom on Earth? Why didn’t He just comes to the planet and say, “I love you and if you want, I’ll forgive you and you can live with Me in Heaven when you die.”
It was never going to be that easy. The grace we live in didn’t come cheap.