Who were Jesus’ enemies?

1) The Jewish authorities – including the Sanhedrin, priests and Pharisees all had their grievances against Christ. He had overturned tables in the temple. Blasphemed by claiming to be God Himself. Broken the sabbath. Conducted Healing and miracles and was generally drawing a bigger crowd than they were. They wanted Him removed from the picture altogether, and according to the gospels it is they who called for the Romans to crucify Him.

2) The Roman occupiers. The Romans could have seen Jesus as a potential revolutionary bringing political instability to the region. It was quite common for them to crucify such political figures. This was why Jesus’ claims to be the true King were seen as so dangerous by the Romans.

Whether the Jews or the Romans took the body is of very little consequence. The main point is this – once the gospel started being preached and being believed by the masses why didn’t the authorities simply produce Jesus’ body and put an end to the matter? Why go through hunting down, beating, imprisoning and killing Christians when you can put an end to the whole business by just producing His body? It would be the ultimate refutation of the whole gospel message. Peter’s first sermon on Pentecost was founded on the principle that Jesus had risen from the dead – if it could have been easily proved that he was talking nonsense at this point then Christianity would have been finished before it was started.

Why didn’t this happen? For the simple reason that they did not have the body. The body wasn’t in the tomb and nor was it available to the authorities. It was gone. There was no way for them to refute the resurrection.

But perhaps the authorities didn’t have access to Jesus’ body because it was taken by grave robbers.