“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, brought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. They were saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?’
Looking up they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, ‘Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.” Mark 16:1-6 (NASB)
Just suppose that when the women had reached the tomb, the stone was still in front of the door and was guarded by Roman soldiers. Just suppose that they had been able to persuade the soldiers to roll the stone away, allowing them to enter the tomb. Just suppose they had found Jesus’ body, cold and lifeless, lying just where Joseph of Arimathea had placed it. Just suppose that no angel greeted the women, who then proceeded to anoint the body with the spices just as they had planned, and then left the tomb. The soldiers would have rolled the stone back in place and sealed it again.
Everything that has happened since would be drastically different. The women would not have bothered to find the disciples and deliver the angelic message, for there was no angel, and thus no message to deliver. Without the women’s message, the disciples would not have visited the tomb. The smartest thing for them to have done under those conditions would have been to get out of town as quietly and as quickly as they could. With Jesus dead, they themselves might very well be the next targets of the religious leaders.
A dead Jesus would never have given His followers the Great Commission to carry the good news to the whole world, because with Jesus dead there was no good news. Without the gospel the sophisticated unbelievers of the Roman world would never have been converted, nor would there have been a message to tame the savage barbarians outside the empire. Without the good news there would have been no churches in which to worship the risen Lord, no schools to teach His saving message to the next generation, no hospitals to care for the sick, no orphanages to shelter those without parents, and no concern for the hungry and homeless.
Without a risen Christ we would have to face life without hope and without Heaven. Or as Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15:17,19 “If Christ be not raised…we are of all men most miserable.”