Reading the Word
Matthew 28:11–15 (ESV)
11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers 13 and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.
Understanding and Applying the Word
Some of the guard went to the chief priests and told them all that had taken place. They told them that the stone had been rolled away. The told them that Jesus had come out of the tomb. They told them about the angel that had terrified them. The response of the priests’ was to give money to the guards to spread a lie to cover up what really happened. The cover story was to say that some of the disciples of Jesus had stolen the body. The guards went along with the plan because they needed the priests to cover for them as losing the body would have been seen as a mistake punishable by death by the Roman authorities.
With this cover story, both the Roman guards and Jewish religious leaders admitted that Jesus was no longer in the tomb. However, they decided on a cover story to protect their personal interests rather than search for the truth. Sometimes truth takes a back seat to what we think is going to be most beneficial to us. When confronted with the resurrection, we may be tempted to deny it before we even search out the truth. We do this because if a resurrection really happened that means there is a God and he stands in authority over us. This means we will give an account and there is a final authority. Simply put, we are in trouble and need help! Rather than admit such a thing, we may be tempted to go along with the lies that fall apart on close examination: the disciples stole the body, Jesus never died on the cross and revived later inside the tomb, Jesus never existed at all, most of what we know about Jesus is legendary, etc.
I encourage you to take the time to consider the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection and ask “What really happened?” Here is an article to consider: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/jesus-of-nazareth/the-resurrection-of-jesus/
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