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W.S. Ross on the Empty Tomb

"Did Jesus Christ Rise from the Dead?" in An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism (ed. Gordon Stein, Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1980), p. 211.

The most extraordinary Roman soldiers that Rome ever heard of were those soldiers that were set to watch the tomb of Jesus. They managed to fall asleep simultaneously in order to allow Jesus to pass unseen, and when they awoke, for a bribe they deliberately committed suicide by admitting that they had slept — an admission that meant instant execution. Was ever invention so stupidly desperate and mendacity so recklessly absurd as that invention and that mendacity upon which rests the story of the Resurrection, upon which the whole fabric of the Christian faith has elected to stand or fall? The basis is too puerile to support a story told by an idiot for the purpose of imposing upon a fool.