Make Sure He Doesn’t Get Out!

On this Sabbath day, Jesus laid buried in the tomb. What surprises me most is the lengths the religious rulers take in ensuring that Jesus’ body isn’t stolen away. And if they were so on guard and ready for such a theft, it would be nearly impossible for me to believe any person that dismisses Jesus’ resurrection on the notion that his body was stolen instead of risen. It’s obvious that the Pharisees had prepared for it and were bent on preventing it. Yet, what ensues in the next day is nothing short of the greatest miracle and victory ever recorded in human history. Jesus rose from the dead! Let us not wait nervously, as did the pharisees, but let us wait with great anticipation knowing that He will rise as he said!

As if their mission wasn’t complete, the chief priests and the pharisees were still scheming away. On a day when literally everything stopped due to the Sabbath Holy day, the teachers of the law were busy making sure they completed what they started. One Pharisee spoke in a low voice to Pilate saying, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” After no thought at all, Pilate replied, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” The pharisees quickly moved to the tomb in order that they may ensure that there was no foul play at his tomb. Placing guards like a wall around the tomb, the Pharisees finally felt there was enough security to prevent any disciple from coming and stealing away the body. All that was left to do was wait out this day and make sure no one gets in. For if news spread that this man had truly risen from the dead, then their hopes of quieting his teaching would be crushed. Reminding the guards of their most important duty on this day, the Pharisees left to rejoin the other teachers of the law in the Temple, where they were nervously waiting.

“What if something goes wrong?” the Chief Priest said to the others. After a long pause one Scribe spoke up saying, “Then we can concoct a story claiming he was stolen away while the guards had fallen asleep!” All the rulers agreed that this was the best plan, but none felt fully confident that it would be successful. They’d just have to wait and see…

Matthew 27:62-66, Matthew 28:11-25

2 Comments on “Make Sure He Doesn’t Get Out!”

  1. Steven Carr says:

    Matthew 27:62… The next day….

    I guess the tomb was not guarded.

    Of course, the story of the guard only appears in the Gospel of Matthew.

    All the other Gospels assume that people could get to the body of Jesus.

  2. surpassingworth says:

    Hi Steven,

    Yes, it does say “the next day”, which would mean the morning after Joseph buried Jesus in the tomb late Friday night. I’m thinking if the Pharisees were going to great lengths to make sure Jesus’ body wasn’t stolen, then they’d have guards to watch his body from the cross into the grave, to make sure there was no foul play. It would be careless of them not to do so. Then for extra measure we see the account of Matthew 27:62-66. Now we don’t know exactly what transpired through the night, but judging from their reactions in Matthew 28:11-15, it seems like the soldiers did not actually fall asleep in order for any one to steal Jesus’ body, because why else would the elders have to pay them off to tell the truth? the only reason to pay any one off would be to convince them to keep telling a lie. this is just my logic on the matter… what do you think?

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