The resurrection of Christ is the sine qua non of the Christian faith. It is also fiercely denounced by Jewish and secular opinion. There are several theories promulgated to disprove the resurrection; such as, the Swoon Theory, the Theft Theory and the Mass Hallucination Theory.
The Swoon Theory states that Christ did not actually die on the cross, but was only unconscious and due to the lack of medical technology, He was believed to be dead. Is this were true, one would have to believe that after the hours of torment and beating, carrying His cross until exhausted and being crucified, being pierced, being wrapped in linen and spices, being entombed behind a stone that many men had to move, Jesus revived and moved the stone from the inside of the tomb.
The Theft Theory states that Jesus’ disciples came and stole His body away. This theory was actually widely reported by the Jews. The tomb was guarded by a watch of guards. These seasoned soldiers stood guard at Roman command and took turns standing sentinel. To believe this theory one must accept that the same disciples who were scattered at the crucifixion, somehow garnered enough strength to steal past the guards, roll away the stone, unwrap Christ’s body and meticulously refold the wrapping, and escape again without detection.
The Mass Hallucination Theory states that the disciples and others who saw Christ after the resurrection were in such a heightened emotional state that His appearance was hallucinated by them. “Hallucinations are linked in an individual’s subconscious to his particular past experiences” (McDowell, TNE, 274). McDowell states, “It is extremely unlikely then, that two persons would have the same hallucination.”
McDowell, Josh. The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict. Nashville: Thomas Nelson