Sunday, April 12, 2020

No Body

by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

The body rests there—but not the man. 

Although Vladmir Lenin died January 21, 1924—and although his wife wished him buried—Lenin’s body still resides in Red Square. Red is often associated with Communism, but actually comes from the same stem as the word “pretty.” Lenin’s resting place is fitting. Red Square exemplifies one of the most visited places in Russia with all of Moscow’s main streets leading out from there. 

Lenin’s corpse lies beneath a bulletproof glass and, after all these years, looks more like a wax figure than a human body. To preserve his corpse, attendants give it occasional baths in various reagents and solutions like hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid, ethyl alc., and quinine. His sarcophagus is kept at sixty-one degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity of his tomb remains between eighty and ninety percent.  

The Soviet government funded the cost of preserving Lenin’s body until the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991. Since then, private donations have covered the cost. 

Honoring those who serve faithfully demonstrates character, but viewing a lifeless body only reminds us a person is…lifeless. The chest no longer rises and falls. Blood no longer courses through the veins and arteries. The brain ceases to function. All organs have shut down. Funeral home personnel may make us look as we did when we were alive, but we’re not…alive. 

For Christians, Easter celebrates the absence—not the presence—of a body. Jesus’. Had someone produced and preserved His body, Christianity would have had then and now no message and would have not survived. After all, what’s the purpose of worshipping a dead person? 

Many have balked at the notion of Jesus returning to life, but the Bible screams that He did. “Then the angel spoke to the women. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying’” (Matthew 28:5-6 NLT).

Although Jesus’ earthly ministry changed countless lives and His death portrayed a crazy unconditional love, only the resurrection validates His death’s purpose and provides Christianity’s central message. 

But can we discover proofs of Jesus’ resurrection? Lee Strobel did. He was an atheist and a reporter for the Chicago Tribune who set out to disprove the resurrection and validate his position of unbelief. What he discovered in his research, however, proved sufficient that the resurrection was true and that faith in Christ appeared logical. 

Christians look to several proofs to confirm their belief in a risen Savior. 
  • A Carefully Guarded Tomb 

Jewish authorities didn’t question Jesus’ death but took precautions to keep His followers from stealing the body and concocting a story about His rumored resurrection.

  • An Empty Tomb 

Some propose Jesus only swooned on the cross and was revived by the cool tomb, but even the soldiers sent to hasten His death by breaking His legs didn’t because He was already dead. Angels who confirmed Jesus’ resurrection greeted the women who came to the tomb early Sunday morning to anoint Jesus’ body. Although afraid, they left with radical joy and shared their good news with others. 

  • Eyewitness Accounts 

Two believers on their way to Emmaus encountered the resurrected Jesus. After realizing who He was, they passed along news of their encounter. And Paul writes, “He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died” (1 Corinthians 15:5-6 NLT).

And Easter is not just another holiday for Christians—or for anyone else. Easter provides the centrality of our faith and validates it. If the tomb were not empty—or if the body’s absence can be explained by some other means than a resurrection—we have no story to tell. Worse yet, our sins still cling to us. No forgiveness exists. 

But an empty tomb—for the reasons early Christians said it was—gives wonderful news to share with others. We have love, forgiveness, and mercy to offer. And we have abundance to experience ourselves. 

Don’t wait until Easter to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. The tomb is empty every day. 


Martin Wiles is the founder of Love Lines from God ( and serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions, Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, and Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. He has authored six books and has been published in numerous publications. His most recent book, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes in a Busy World, released in December 2019. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, author, and pastor.


  1. A great message Mr. Wiles. Thanks for sharing on this Easter Sunday ... so very appropriate.

  2. It is amazing how people can be so blinded by the truth and think that Jesus "only swooned". After the torture He went through any other person would have died sooner, but that brutality killed Him when He gave up His spirit. He died so He could defeat death and resurrection gives us that new life. Thanks for this wonderful post, Martin. Happy Easter!