- Early Christians could have removed the body to propagate the resurrection lending validation to Christianity.
- Authorities could have lied about the true location of Jesus’ tomb to keep Christians away.
- Secretly Christian authorities could have kept the body for themselves in hopes Jesus’s reputation for healing was valid postmortem.
- A bear inside the tomb could have eaten Jesus’ body.
- Aliens could have removed the body just to mess with us.
The problem with positing a divine resurrection is that we can’t even say that it is possible. We’d need evidence that both God exists and that the dead can rise, neither of which we have. In fact, brain activity returning days after brain death is contrary to everything we know about neuroscience. The heart beating again after rigamortis sets in is in direct conflict with biology. This brings me back the the alien option. Clearly an alien moving JC is excessively unlikely, but is it possible? Well, just as we don’t have evidence for divine resurrections, we don’t have evidence of intelligent alien life, but there’s a difference. Aliens are not in conflict with science. There’s nothing that prohibits life starting and evolving on another planet. Because of this, an advanced race with seemingly no motive for abduction taking a religious leader is possible while said religious leader getting up and walking away from a crucifixion is not.
*In my experience, apologists most often refer to the empty tomb as evidence supporting their faith, more so than even eye witness accounts of Christ risen. It’s as if they realize that accounts of witness could be fabricated yet believe there is still an empty tomb somewhere sealed from 2000 years of tampering that we can use as “exhibit A.” This obviously isn’t the case. There are plenty of natural explanations for eye witness accounts that are more valid than divine resurrection by the same rule referenced above--most notably that they are, in fact, fabrications.