The fifth and final minimal fact about the resurrection of Jesus Christ presented by Dr. Gary Habermas and Dr. Michael Licona is that the tomb where Jesus was laid was actually empty. The fact is not supported by as heavy of a majority as the other minimal facts we have talked about so far. According to research completed by Dr. Habermas, approximately 75% of scholars who research on the topic of the resurrection believe that the tomb was indeed empty. This is still obviously a sizable majority, but it is not as sizable as the margin was for the other four minimal facts.
Even with a lesser margin, there is still plenty of reason to believe in the empty tomb. For example, the resurrection of Jesus Christ was taught immediately in the Christian tradition, and it could have been easily disproven if a corpse had been brought out. If a body had been produced, “there still would have been a huge exodus of believers who would have lost confidence in Christianity upon seeing an occupied tomb and a decaying corpse.”
This seems to make quite a bit of sense. If the Jewish leaders for example knew that the tomb was still occupied, it would have been pretty easy to produce the evidence and crush the small Christian movement before it ever gained traction.
However, rather than do what would’ve seemed reasonable, “early critics accused Jesus' disciples of stealing the body (Matt. 28:12- 13; Justin Martyr, Trypho 108; Tertullian, De Spectaculis 30).” A story like this is only necessary if the first course of action is impossible. Producing the body from the grave should have been rather easy if the body was still there. It would be a lot easier to do that then create a story about the disciples stealing the body.
This is the final fact of the outline. It has been made clear by a majority of scholars that Jesus died by crucifixion, the disciples believed that they witnessed the resurrected Christ, Saul experienced something dramatic and converted to Christianity, James, a former skeptic, converted to Christianity and the tomb was empty due to the fact that no one was able to produce the body and disprove Christianity from its beginning.
On Friday then, we’re going to wrap up this entire argument. With these facts in hand, we’re going to look at some alternative explanations to the resurrection of Christ and see if they meet the criteria of explaining all the facts. It ought to be rather straightforward that resurrection does explain all five of these facts quite well and quite simply, but maybe it is not the best answer, so that is what we are going to take a look at on Friday.
 Gary R. Habermas and Michael R. Licona, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2004), Kindle Location 619, Kindle Edition.
 Ibid., Kindle Locations 630-631.
 Ibid., Kindle Location 638.