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This moves us to the second group of people who were involved. Did the followers of Jesus take the body? Again, the answer would be, “No.” The disciples were not expecting a resurrection. We read over and over how baffled they were when they saw Jesus after He had been resurrected.
In addition to the fact that they were not expecting Jesus to come back to life, the disciples could not have gotten by a group of Roman soldiers. These elite warriors were killing machines. They were the Seal Team 6 of their day. Think of it like this, why don’t you gather together a couple of your fishing buddies, grab some sticks and see if you can take out Seal Team Six. That is not going to happen now. And, it did not happen then. Jesus Is My Savivor Fishing Is My Therapy Shirt, hoodie, tank top
There is one other reason the disciples did not steal the body. They would not have lived a life of depravation for what they knew was a lie. One of them would have eventually cracked and told the truth. There is no conspiracy here.
Listen, people die for what they believe is true. We see this happen regularly around our world. But here is a key difference. While some people die for what they believe is true, no one dies for what they know is a lie. If the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus, they would know everything they were teaching was a lie. All but one of the disciples died a martyr’s death. The disciples would not have died for what they knew was a lie.
There is a third group that was around in those days: graverobbers. So we have to ask: did thieves take the body of Jesus? Grave robbers are not a likely candiate for taking the body of Jesus. First, they would have had to get by the Roman guard. Again, a few graverobbers could not have defeated the Seal Team Six of that day. That couldn’t have happened. Second, in John 20.6-7, we read how the burial cloth of Jesus was lying where His body should have been, and the piece of cloth that was around Jesus’ head had been folded neatly and set aside by itself. Grave robbers went in and got out as fast as possible. We know that grave robbers would NOT have taken the time to unwrap the body, let alone stop and fold the burial headcloth. The burial cloth in the tomb indicates the body was not taken by grave robbers.