Was the tomb empty?The question is, posed by Josh McDowell in his book, ‘Evidence that Demands a Verdict’ in 1981:

“The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most wicked, vicious, heartless hoaxes ever foisted upon the minds of men, or it is the most fantastic fact of history”

Graeme sets out to weigh up the evidence to ascertain which it is. Is it a heartless myth or is Jesus’s resurrection the Truth. And if so, what are the implications for us coming down on one side or the other of his evidence?

As a highly qualified solicitor and District Court judge with over 25 yrs of experience, Graeme presents unbiased evidence as to whether:

  • Resurrection stories of Jesus are myth or truth?
  • What are the possible sites of Jesus’ tomb?
  • What do historic writings outside of the Bible say?
  • Conspiracy theories about the resurrection, (ie. he wasn’t actually dead when they laid Jesus body in the tomb) could they be the truth?

Graeme asks readers to follow the evidence with open minds, making it easy for us as the evidence he submits draws parallels to the rules of court law, BURDEN OF PROOF and the STANDARD OF PROOF, using the example of a road traffic accident – as each driver blames the other, the trial judge will determine who is responsible by considering many avenues of evidence.

So, what is THE EVIDENCE

His starting point is that what ever it was,’something happened’ Graeme goes on to investigate the evidence as would a trial judge.

This understandable, thought provoking book is as unbiased in presenting non-selective evidence as is possible when penned by a committed Christian. Graeme’s eclectic knowledge of contemporary literature from Dr Who to Sherlock Holmes, precedes in ‘sound bites’ each chapter with humorous, tongue-in-cheek relevance.  Each chapter ends with plenary summative bullet points as a very helpful aide memoir.

Your thoughts will be provoked as the evidence falls into a clear time frame of understanding. The question Graeme leaves you with is this:

Having considered the evidence, what decision will you reach? You can take time, as judges often do, to consider the evidence. Graeme suggests you might set aside a specific period of time to do this to reach your final decision: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

A number of us met Graeme on the 8th of February when he came to stand as an independent witness for the Big Promise wedding vow renewal service here at Wellspring. I didn’t figure out that he had written this book until after he had gone but having subsequently spoken to him and pick up his book for review, from his home down the road from me in Rode Heath,  he kindly inscribed it to WS:

To Wellspring Church, wishing you every blessing, Graeme. Eph. 1 v 18-20.

‘Pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty

strength which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at the right hand in the heavenly realms’.

(It is a really great book to lend to non Christian and Christian friend alike as it is factual, humorous and thought provoking, especially as already this Easter, there is much on the television about discovery of ancient documents and scrolls for you, having read this book, to be more decerning about).