Again I state: a mere difference does not a contradiction make! Truth is not negotiable. Historical statements of fact are not open to question. When we read, for example, that George Washington and his men spent the winter of 1777 enduring wretched conditions at Valley Forge, we are obligated to believe it. Although none of us observed their long, deadly winter, what we know about it is supported by the written testimony of those who were there and by the scholarship of later inquirers who studied the Revolutionary War. The written accounts may differ on a few minor details, but we know that we can trust the record of the historians.contradiction.........question ........
Who first came to the tomb on Sunday morning?
In a historical sense, the resurrection stands on ground that is just as solid as the story of George Washington's winter at Valley Forge. Reliable witnesses wrote about meeting and talking with Jesus after His death. Skeptical enemies noticed His disappearance from the tomb. Extrabiblical, historical reports were given of His resurrection. Eyewitnesses of Jesus' post-death appearances died defending their belief in it.
In order for an honest historian to be convinced that something actually happened, he needs to see two specific criteria met:(1) The event in question must be supported by the testimony of believable, trustworthy witnesses. And (2) the circumstantial evidence must be authentic. When both of these demands are clearly supported by the evidence at hand, the inquirer is compelled by logic to believe that the event actually took place. We will see that each of these criteria is met by the things we know about the resurrection.
Even so, some still don't believe. To make that refusal, a person must not only reject the eyewitness accounts and the circumstantial evidence, but he must make an even greater leap. The person who thinks that the resurrection is a fraud or a hoax must reject the entire New Testament. There can be no picking and choosing. If the resurrection is a hoax, then so is the New Testament and everything Jesus said or did. Claiming that Christ was a great teacher or a prophet--as even most unbelievers attest--while rejecting His resurrection is an impossible position. Consider what Jesus said during His ministry--before the crucifixion:
The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day (Lk. 9:22).
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Mt. 12:40).
Remarkably, Matthew, Mark, and Luke each recorded a simultaneous event that occurred some distance from Calvary. They wrote that as Jesus died, "the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom" (Mk. 15:38). This miraculous event signaled the end of the Old Testament era of animal sacrifice and limited access to God. But that's not all it meant. It also verified Jesus' death, because it demonstrated that His complete sacrifice had satisfied God's demands. For centuries, God had required the death of an unblemished lamb as an atonement for sin. Now Jesus, the sinless Lamb of God, had become the new sacrifice. The veil was no longer needed, for access to God had been opened to all who would believe in Christ.
The following events at the site of the crucifixion help verify that Jesus was dead:
The Roman soldiers did not break Jesus' legs, because they "saw that He was already dead" (Jn. 19:33).
The soldiers plunged a spear into Jesus' side, and from it came both water and blood (Jn. 19:34). Medical experts say that if He were not already dead, this in itself would have killed Him. Others have concluded that the pouring out of water and blood from His side was proof that Jesus was no longer alive.