If Jesus' tomb is empty, His promise is not. Leave it to the apostle Paul to reduce the logic to a single sentence: "There is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when He comes back" (1 Corinthians 15:23 NLT).
Paul was writing to Corinthian
Christians, people who had been schooled in the Greek philosophy of a shadow
afterlife. Someone was convincing them that corpses couldn't be raised, neither
theirs nor Christ's. The apostle couldn't bear such thought. "Let me go
over the Message with you one final time" (1 Corinthians 15:1 MSG). With
an insistence of an attorney in closing arguments, he reviewed the facts:
"[Jesus] was raised from death on the third day… he presented Himself alive
to Peter… His close friends… more than five hundred of His followers… James…
the rest of those He commissioned… and… finally… to me" (1 Corinthians
Line up the witnesses, he offered. Call
them out one by one. Let each person who saw the resurrected Christ say so.
Better pack a lunch and clear your calendar, for more than five hundred
testifiers are willing to speak.
-- Max Lucado in Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear