There are numerous theses, articles books etc on the subject of the Empty Tomb, its plausibility or lack thereof, and none I have ever encountered has considered the tale from the perspective of the Romans and the Sanhedrin.
This does not have to be an exhaustive post rather a brief illustration of the reactions one would have expected from the main antagonists, Pontius Pilate and the Sanhedrin.
To set the scene.
Pilate has had Jesus executed for sedition.
A request is received from Joseph of Arimethea to remove the body from the cross in order to bury it in a newly hewed tomb. Pilate grants the request.
Jesus is buried and because the leading priests and Pharisees fear the body may be stolen have guards placed outside the tomb.
As far as Pilate is concerned it is job done. As far as the Sanhedrin is concerned it is good riddance to bad rubbish.
But within 72 hours rumours are circulating that the criminal so recently put to death for treason/ blasphemy has risen from the dead, opened the tomb and is seen up and about.
How could this be?
Well, either it is simply a load of nonsense or … this Jesus character wasn’t dead in the first place? Perhaps he was merely in a coma? Had those damn Jews done something? Maybe some if his family had given him a drug that made it look like he was dead?
If this is the case then someone was making a mockery of the Romans and more importantly, of Pilate.
Within days more reports begin to trickle in suggesting that the criminal who was supposedly executed is alive and well. Other reports suggest that it is a vision of some sort.
In fact reports are popping up from all over the place.
Later he is reported as being seen by 500 witnesses. A large enough group that in Roman occupied Judea would have likely been considered a mob.
What did Pilate do?
What would any reasonable person expect him to have done?
Pilate was known as a man of few scruples when it came to keeping law and order and:
According to Josephus, who wrote about it around AD 93, Pilate was deposed and sent to Rome by Lucius Vitellius after harshly suppressing a Samaritan uprising, arriving just after the death of Tiberius which occurred on 16 March in AD 37.
So we have numerous reports of Jesus’ resurrection circulating for up to 40 days and there is not a single report that Pilate did anything.
Neither a single record of the Sanhedrin doing anything.
Not one follower is reported to have been hauled before Pilate for interrogation, even if he thought the reports were nonsense.
Pilate did not even consider an interview with Joseph of Arimethea, who he had granted special dispensation to remove and bury the body – a body that seemingly was not a corpse but rather a very much alive individual that had escaped, and was now running around his province as free as a bird!
Not a single record of a Roman patrol doing any sort of house search for the escaped criminal.
Not one Christian mention at all from any source concerning any reaction from the Romans or the Sanhedrin.
Dead man walking?
What do you think?