How Do We Know?

Just saw the trailer for the upcoming movie Risen and wondered – how DO we know Jesus wasn’t stolen by His disciples?

Also, does anyone know if the conclusion of the movie is that Hes risen, Hes not risen or do they leave it up to the audience to decide?

We don’t ‘know’ if by ‘know’ you mean we can have the assurance of somebody who was an actual eyewitness who happened to sit in the tomb with Jesus from His burial to His resurrection and His ascension -and actually, there was never any person who was such an eyewitness. No one actually SAW Jesus rise. Many (as many as 500 at one time according to written testimony, but again, we don’t have the ‘original document’ ) saw Him AFTER His resurrection for the 40 days He remained on earth until His ascension, and of course, St. Paul saw Him in a vision, but again, we have to take those statements ‘on faith’ as well.

But let’s be sensible, rational people.

The Jews in Judea at the time had, over the past 50 some years, seen nearly yearly, or more, “Messiahs”. None of them had, uh, succeeded in the Messianic ideal, most either running away, never to be heard of again, or else being caught, and usually killed.

The disciples had not only NOT stayed with Jesus during His passion, they ran, hid, and even (Peter) DENIED Him.

As far as they were concerned, Jesus’ death was the end of yet another Messianic ‘has been’.

They weren’t themselves particularly in danger provided they went back to their ‘backwater’ areas and shut up. After all, if Jesus was dead, pretty soon somebody would check out the tomb and find the body, AS EXPECTED.

Now, why would 11 men (minus Judas of course) decide, “Well, let’s just take away the body, hide it, and make up stories that Jesus WAS the Messiah but that He had to ‘go away’ and we’ll just keep on rehashing His sayings. Hey, that way we’ll wind up overthrowing the Roman Empire! We’ll be famous!” Um, wait, no. They’d be in MORE danger. And of course, it’s not like hiding the body of a notorious person would be EASY. How could they keep the rest of the followers,especially His Mother, quiet? What was to stop another Judas from ratting them out?

Jesus, to them, was dead. Couldn’t help them, couldn’t help himself. There were probably half a dozen Zealots who were waiting their turn now that the guy from Nazareth had bought it. . .and if the apostles had wanted to, they could have joined any of them and brought a lot of “hey, maybe the guy is right THIS time”. . and if they were worried about their own hides from being followers of Jesus, they’d let the Zealots take over and go quietly back home and spend the rest of their lives talking about how they once ‘nearly’ ruled the world, if only. . .

Why would these scared men fake Jesus’ resurrection? What did it GIVE them? What did they think they could do? The odds were that they’d join Jesus on a cross somewhere (and in fact, all but St.John did die for Christ).

If they thought they could change the world and make a legend, why did they not ‘pad their own parts’ while they were about it? Why not make them stand heroically by Christ? Why not have them WITNESS the resurrection? If they were going to lie about it, why not lie and make them look good, too?

Yes, ultimately, we have to take things on faith. Faith means we don’t have the kind of assurance of truth that we do on what we experience (although as we should know, our own eyes, ears, hearts, and minds can experience things that are not what they seem to us!), but it doesn’t mean ‘blind’ faith. When it comes down to it, we have ‘faith’ that George Washington existed. We have ‘faith’ that men walked on the moon. We didn’t see George. His whole life could have been faked (I mean, sometimes doesn’t he seem almost too perfect to be true?) in an effort to bolster the nascent American republic. And hey, do we know FOR SURE that rockets that took off from Florida actually did leave earth orbit and travel? We have faith because we have a lot of corroborating evidence, but even that evidence COULD be fake. But unless we want to live a life as a quivering jello, afraid to consider anything as ‘real’ because there is no way we can have absolute assurance of ANYTHING on this earth, we have to take (with our God-given reason) articles of faith WITH faith.

I did not know that.

If the disciples lied and stole the body they’d have suffered death themselves?

They DID suffer death, didn’t they?

But if they had lied and stolen Jesus’ body (and somehow managed to do it without ANYBODY ever knowing, and without any of THEM ratting on the others, AND also claiming the lie was true while they died) KNOWING that He was dead, wasn’t God, couldn’t help them --WHY ON EARTH would they have lied in the FIRST place? What did they expect to GAIN by pretending that a dead man was God, and trying to fool a few thousand people in Jerusalem in AD 33???

Now I know people can do stupid things. (I’m a people myself :D). But seriously, you have 11 people who thought they were on the fast track to serving the King of the World, and suddenly he’s gone, and he’s just another has-been, and they come up with the idea of wait. . .we’ll pretend he’s alive (why?) by stealing his body (when and how) and then we’ll spend the rest of our lives inventing a whole new religion in which we’ll make people forget all about power on earth in favor of some nebulous ‘heaven’, even though we have absolutely no assurance that heaven exists, and we will DIE for this, and, here’s the kicker. . .we will make sure that instead of making us look like Christ’s faithful perfect helpers, we’ll make ourselves look like cowardly bums. Because of course, that will make people want to believe us (right). We gain nothing, if anything, if we DO believe in a god, we’ve turned people away from him and broken the commandments, for NOTHING. . .yep, that is the great plan we came up with between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning, when we were marked men knowing we had no more ‘raising from the dead’ guy around to help us out. . See, it’s ludicrous. As far as the apostles knew, in this scenario, their best bet was to get out of Dodge, if possible, lie low, and salvage whatever they could, hoping the Romans didn’t want to have some other crucifixion parties. Stealing the body of Jesus and claiming He was alive was like thumbing their noses at the powerful people who had KILLED THEIR LEADER and saying, “Nyah, go ahead, kill us too” --why would people WANT to die for a failure and a lie?

Best we can do is read the accounts of the Bible ,
As non of us were there ,

Jesus rose form the dead ACCORDING to
the scriptures 1Cor. 15:4, ALL His life was
a fulfillment of the Scriptures, at His arrest
in the garden, He said these things are
happening ACCORDING to the Scriptures.
Matt. 26:56

And, His beloved apostles who were so fearful, grew much spiritually after seeing Jesus resurrected that they were willing to die a martyrs death rather than deny Him.

He appeared in the upper room when the doors were locked.

They saw Jesus eat. (ghosts don’t eat).

I suggest you get under spiritual direction and have them help you decide if you should be viewing movies such as this. Your struggles with the faith are real, but you also have some scrupulous tendencies,and that needs proper discernment and help offline.

Sure whomever was in charge of guarding the tomb would have gotten in some major trouble. Romans were very quick to provide capital punishment. I think you may need to watch this video

Well, yeah.

No-one had anything to gain in such a scenario. The “Jews” (temple authority) and the Romans/Herodians just wanted Him gone and would never engage in a deception to turn a dead body into a supernatural leader.

As to the disciples wouldn’t have done it either. Dead is dead. Why would they confront a Roman guard to violate their mentor’s tomb and drag his bloody, heavy dead body elsewhere? Even if the soldiers on guard were sleeping, that kind of heavy work would have awakened them. And remember, these were the same men who denied Him or ran off naked when He was in His greatest need.

There is nothing to gain by pretending your dead friend is still alive.


I wouldn’t believe if not for the authority of the Church and the tremendous cloud of witnesses and their testimonies that have proceeded from it down through the centuries and for grace- the gift of faith that God gives us to believe. We can’t even prove 100% definitively that any historical figure even* existed.*

I agree with the other posters. What would his disciples have to gain by stealing the body? And it would be impossible for them to do it with the guards stationed at the tomb, even if they were asleep. You couldn’t roll back such a huge stone and carry off a body without making a lot of noise.

Also, the apostles were afraid they would suffer the same punishment of Jesus, so they ran off and hid. Only John was present at the crucifixion. What happened to change them from scared men in hiding to preaching the Good News out in the open? My belief and faith tells me something extraordinary happened to them. They saw the risen Lord in the flesh. They talked to Him, the touched Him, they ate with Him. They saw Him ascend to Heaven. They received the power of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

Men do not die defending something they know is a lie or a fraud.

No rational person would perpetrate a hoax, and then be willing to die a horrible death to defend that hoax.

I read abot this movie and I think it concludes with the non believer coming to believe.


I thought scrupulosity was only when someone thinks they’ve sinned?

That’s the best explanation.

No one dies horrific deaths without recanting, if they lied.

To believe that the Resurrection was a hoax is to believe something more outlandish than the earth is 6000 years old, or we never landed on the moon.

The explanation provided by Christianity is the most likely, probable and logical.

All the other explanations just make you go…what? What? How does that even make sense?

I agree. Thanks.

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