“It is strange to look on this dreadful picture of the mangled corpse of the Saviour, and to put this question to oneself: ‘Supposing that the disciples, the future apostles, the women who had followed Him and stood by the cross, all of whom believed in and worshipped Him–supposing that they saw this tortured body, this face so mangled and bleeding and bruised (and they MUST have so seen it)–how could they have gazed upon the dreadful sight and yet have believed that He would rise again?’
“The thought steps in, whether one likes it or no, that death is so terrible and so powerful, that even He who conquered it in His miracles during life was unable to triumph over it at the last. He who called to Lazarus, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ and the dead man lived–He was now Himself a prey to nature and death. Nature appears to one, looking at this picture, as some huge, implacable, dumb monster; or still better–a stranger simile–some enormous mechanical engine of modern days which has seized and crushed and swallowed up a great and invaluable Being, a Being worth nature and all her laws, worth the whole earth, which was perhaps created merely for the sake of the advent of that Being.
F.M. Dostoyevsky – The Idiot