Morison discovered Jesus’ death was verified by both Jewish and Roman historians. Morison then wondered if the disciples had conspired a plot to make it appear Jesus had risen. However, there are three main problems with that theory:
- The tomb was secured by a large stone and a 24-hour trained Roman guard. It would have been impossible for the disciples to roll the stone away and remove Jesus’ body without notice.
- A resurrection plot would have died out as soon as someone discovered Jesus’ body, yet that never happened. Tom Anderson, former president of the California Trial Lawyers Association, explains,
“With an event so well publicized, don’t you think that it’s reasonable that one historian, one eyewitness, one antagonist would record for all time that he had seen Christ’s body? … The silence of history is deafening when it comes to the testimony against the resurrection.”
- The disciples changed from being cowards into men who were willing to be tortured and martyred for proclaiming the risen Jesus. Professor J. N. D. Anderson, author of Evidence for the Resurrection, reasons,
“Think of the psychological absurdity of picturing a little band of defeated cowards cowering in an upper room one day and a few days later transformed into a company that no persecution could silence – and then attempting to attribute this dramatic change to nothing more convincing than a miserable fabrication … That simply wouldn’t make sense.”
It was the dramatic transformation in the disciples’ behavior that convinced Morison the resurrection really happened. He writes,
“Whoever comes to this problem has sooner or later to confront a fact that cannot be explained away … This fact is that … a profound conviction came to the little group of people – a change that attests to the fact that Jesus had risen from the grave.”
In a reversal of his skepticism, Morison changed the title of his book to, Who Moved the Stone, which documents the evidence that persuaded him the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a true historical event.
The apostle Paul, a Jewish Pharisee who was originally a skeptic of Jesus’ resurrection, explains its impact on our lives.
“For Christ has completely abolished death, and has now, through the Gospel, opened to us men the shining possibilities of the life that is eternal.”