Knowing the Truth About the Resurrection (Harvest House, 1996) p. 15
Why is the empty tomb compelling evidence for Jesus’ resurrection?
Remember, everyone saw Jesus die. Everyone knew where He was buried. Many witnesses saw His body placed in the tomb, and later, the great rock rolled across the entrance and the Roman seal and Roman guard placed on duty to secure it.
But what is most relevant is this: No one at all, at any time, at any place, has ever seriously doubted that the tomb was found empty. Every critic, every critical theory, accepts the fact of the empty tomb. As Dr. Wilbur Smith comments, “No man has written, pro or con, on the subject of Christ’s resurrection, without finding himself compelled to face this problem of Joseph’s empty tomb. That the tomb was empty on Sunday morning is recognized by everyone, no matter how radical a critic he may be; however antisupernatural in all his personal convictions, he never dares to say that the body was still resting in the tomb, however he might attempt to explain the fact that the tomb must have been empty.”*
Most amazing of all, the Jewish authorities themselves never questioned the report of the Roman guards that the tomb was empty (Matthew 28:11-15).
*For documentation, see Knowing the Truth About the Resurrection.