Richard Nixon’s presidency is largely remembered for the Watergate scandal that brought upon his premature resignation. It is the only time that a U.S. president has resigned from office. Charles Colson elaborates:
Watergate involved a conspiracy to cover up, perpetuated by the closest aides to the President of the United States-the most powerful men in America, who were intensely loyal to their president. But one of them John Dean, turned state’s evidence, that is, testified against Nixon, as he put it, “to save his own skin”-and he did so only two weeks after informing the president about what was really going on-two weeks! The real cover-up, the lie, could only be held together for two weeks, and then everybody jumped ship in order to save themselves.
Two weeks. That’s all it took for Nixon’s closest, most loyal aides to fall apart. It is not like they were facing torture or even death. Two weeks, that’s all!
However, an attempted explanation for Jesus Christ’s empty tomb is that the disciples stole the body. Let’s suppose they did in order to proclaim that Jesus had risen. Propagating that lie meant imprisonment, torture, being stoned, and possible death. This is not Martha Stewart type imprisonment here. Nevertheless, nowhere is it reported that any of the primary witnesses recanted. Unlike Nixon’s friends, the disciples did not jump ship.
Now wait a minute, you may reason “Hey, Muslim extremists that enlist in suicide missions believe Islam is true. So just because they were willing to die for their beliefs doesn’t make it true.” Good point. While an extremist’s willingness to die for a belief does not make it true it does indicate that they believe that it is true. In other words, are they possibly deceived? Yes. But are they lying? No.
So does this prove that the resurrection is a true historical event? No. However, it does indicate that the disciples were not lying about not stealing the body.