So, How Did That Work Out For Them?
“…He (Jesus) was teaching His Disciples, saying unto them, The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and then they will kill Him. And when He is killed, after three days He will rise” (Mark 9:31).
We now go to that Sunday morning three days after the crucifixion; the tomb they had laid Jesus in was secure and guarded by soldiers sent by the religious leaders of Israel. They knew full well that Jesus had said that He would rise in three days, so they posted a secure guard to ensure that His Disciples did not come and take the body and claim that He had risen from the dead. The following verse tells of their plan to secure the Lord’s body:
“Now the next day, that followed the day of preparation (the day after the crucifixion) The Chief Priests came together unto 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 sepulcher 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, you have a watch (continuous guard with four soldiers changed every three hours) go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch” (Matthew 27:62-66).
So, the tomb was secure with a continuous presence of guards. The religious leaders thought it important enough that this be done that they went to Pilate, the Governor, and requested it. They had plotted to crucify Jesus and now they would secure His body so that His Disciples could not take the body and claim He had risen. The religious leaders thought that they had everything covered. They would finally be rid of this “deceiver” whom they had opposed and sought to destroy for the past three and one-half years. The people would forget about Him and everything would go back to the way it was before He started His ministry and caused the people to flock to Him. But their final plan to be rid of Him did not go as planned as the following verse tells us:
And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the Angel of the Lord descended from Heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: and for fear of him (the angel) the keepers (guards) did shake, and become as dead men” Matthew 28:2-4).
The Angel of the Lord showed up at the tomb while the guards were standing watch to secure it. The Angel rolled back the stone and sat on it as a sign of victory. The tomb was empty for the Lord by already risen. The guards were terrified at the sight and ” became as dead men.” They had now become witnesses to the fact that Christ had indeed risen from the dead, and they had been in the presence of a powerful Angel who rolled back the stone from the entrance to the tomb to show everyone that Jesus was no longer there but had risen. The guards went to the religious leaders immediately following this incredible sight with the news that the tomb was empty. The following verse relates the conversation that took place between the guards and the religious leaders:
“….Behold, some of the watch (soldiers) came into the city, and showed unto the Chief Priests all the things that were done. And when they (Chief Priests) were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying, you say, His Disciples came by night, and stole Him away while we slept. And if this come to the Governor’s ears, we will secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day” Matthew 28:11-15).
There may have been some doubt previously as to what the religious leaders believed about Jesus. Did they know that He was the Messiah that Israel had waited for for so long? We have the answer to that in what took place between them and the guards. There is no doubt now that they knew Jesus was who He said He was, their Messiah, and knew now that He had risen from the dead. But instead of repentance and seeking forgiveness from the Lord for crucifying their Messiah, they hid the truth and had the guards lie about what happened. The guards took the money they offered and the religious leaders pledged to protect them if the Governor heard about their lie that the Disciples stole the body while they stood guard. This lie they fabricated has been believed even to this day among the Jews.
Jesus died to pay the sin debt owed and to offer salvation to whomsoever will come to Him in repentance and faith. Satan is a liar and a deceiver and is behind all the evil that has come upon this world since the fall of man in the Garden. The religious leaders were lifted up in pride. This is the same sin that caused Satan’s fall. Although this egregious lie that the religious leaders put forth has caused the Jewish people to believe it since that time; many of those outside of the Jewish faith since then have also been deceived by Satan and have believed the same lie, that is, that Jesus was not who He said He was and did not rise from the dead. But the truth of who Jesus is and the proof that He did rise from the dead and is alive can be seen in the testimonies of all the lives He has changed. There is only one hope for humanity and Satan knows it. It is Christ and Him crucified. The question is: Will those alive today, in a time that prophetically is what a called the “end times” see through Satan’s deceptions and embrace the truth? How did the religious leaders lie to cover up the truth regarding Jesus work out for them? I think we all know the answer to that. Sadly, as prophesied, the Roman army came in A.D.70 and destroyed Jerusalem and the temple because the Jewish nation had rejected their long-awaited Messiah.
We’ll close with a verse that tells us what happened that Sunday morning just before dawn when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary arrived at the tomb.:
“And the Angel answered and said to the women, do not fear: for I know that you seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He has risen, as He said. Come see the place where the Lord lay” (Matthew 28:5,6).
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Here I Am, Lord – Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com 2022