Friday, September 28, 2012
“So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day” (Matthew 28:15 KJV).
Today’s Scripture has a very incredible context….
In Matthew 27:63-66, after Jesus’ burial, the chief priests and Pharisees come to Pilate, “Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.”
Lest the disciples come and steal Christ’s corpse, and stage a “resurrection,” Pilate allows Israel’s religious leaders to place Roman guards before Christ’s tomb.
Three days later, when Christ’s female disciples come to His tomb, there is a great earthquake, for the angel of the Lord finally rolls away the stone to reveal the empty tomb (Matthew 28:1-8). The Roman soldiers are aghast! Despite their precautions, the tomb was not “sure [secure]” enough (Jesus has resurrected and escaped). The soldiers flee to the chief priests and report the miraculous events they beheld (verse 11).
“And when they [the chief priests] were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor’s [Pilate’s] ears, we will persuade him, and secure you” (verses 12-14). According to today’s Scripture, “they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.”
Interestingly, guards were to keep Christ’s body from being stolen. Yet when He did resurrect and escape, they lied and said His body was stolen. Actually, they were the “deceivers,” not Christ, for He did physically resurrect as He had claimed.