Summary: The life, and crucifixion of Christ are historical facts as is the empty tomb. Christianity is rooted in historical events.
What is the most significant event in world history? No doubt, you can receive as many answers to that question as there are people. But for the Christian, the answer is simple. The most significant event in the history of mankind is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“Some religions, both ancient and modern, require no historical basis, or they depend upon ideas rather than events. Christianity is not one of these.” - E.F. Harrison, Historian
Scholars agree that to believe that Jesus of Nazareth was not an actual figure of history is an untenable position (Note: I elected to reference liberal scholars and skeptics through-out the message to show that the idea of Christ being a real figure of history isn;t just an idea promoted and accepted by conservative, evangelical Christians).
“This view [that Jesus didn’t exist] is demonstrably false. It is fuelled by a regrettable form of atheist prejudice, which holds all the main primary sources, and Christian people, in contempt. Most of its proponents are also extraordinarily incompetent.” - Maurice Casey, Liberal Professor of N.T., Nottingham University
“I don’t think there’s any serious historian who doubts the existence of Jesus . . . We have more evidence for Jesus than we have for almost anybody from his time period.” - Prof Bart Ehrman, Liberal Professor, Religion Dept., University of North Carolina
“Some judgments are so probable as to be certain; for example, Jesus really existed, and he really was crucified, just as Julius Caesar really existed and was assassinated. We can in fact know as much about Jesus as we can about any figure in the ancient world.” - Marcus Borg, Liberal Professor, Jesus Seminar Member
And among the undeniable facts of history is that after Christ’s crucifixion, the tomb He had been buried in was found to be empty on the third day following His death.
“If we apply the same sort of criteria that we would apply to any other ancient literary sources, then the evidence is firm and plausible enough to necessitate the conclusion that the tomb was, indeed, found empty.” - Historian & Skeptic, Michael Grant
That the empty tomb is an event of history is also affirmed by means of just applying common sense. When the disciples found the empty tomb, they didn't go to Athens or Rome to spread the news. No, they went to the city of Jerusalem, where, if what they were claiming was false, it could have been denied and easily proven by the authorities. That the tomb was empty . . . “could have not been maintained in Jerusalem for a single day, for a single hour, if the emptiness of the tomb had not been established as a fact for all concerned.” - Paul Althaus, German Theologian
That Jesus lived, was crucified, & His tomb found empty on the third day afterward are undeniable facts. But, “Why was the tomb empty?”
Various efforts have been made to provide explanations for the empty tomb - the disciples went to the wrong tomb; the disciples hallucinated - again, if these had been the case, their claims of an empty tomb could have easily been disproven by the authorities producing Jesus’ body.