There are “many infallible proofs” of the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, but the testimony of the empty tomb is the most conclusive of all. Jesus had been buried, with the tomb sealed and guarded by a watch of Roman soldiers. Yet on the third day of His burial, on the morning of the first day of the week, the body was no longer there, and the empty tomb still stands today as an unanswerable proof that the Lord Jesus rose from the dead. There are other proofs, of course. The ten or more recorded appearances of the resurrected Christ to His disciples, the amazing change of demeanor of the disciples from that of fearful hideaways to fearless evangelists, the worldwide spread of the Christian faith as founded on the resurrection, and so on. But the impact of the empty tomb was the foundation and bulwark of all the rest. As we consider its impact on the world, and on us today, it is instructively fascinating to consider first its impact on those who first encountered it. [source]
“For someone dead for 36 hours to come to life again is, according to the laws of nature, extremely improbable,” Swinburne said. “But if there is a God of the traditional kind, natural laws only operate because he makes them operate.” Swinburne then used Bayes’ Theorem to assign values to things like the probability of God’s being real, Jesus’ behavior during his lifetime, and the quality of witness testimony after Jesus’ death. Then he plugged the numbers into a probability formula and added everything up.
The result: a 97 percent probability that the resurrection really happened.
— Emily Eakin,
“So God’s Really in the Details?”
The New York Times (May 11, 2002)