The Word This Week

Matt 28:1…

Was there ever any doubt Jesus would be resurrected?

It seems His disciples weren’t really listening when Jesus had told them He would be raised from the dead. (Or at least they struggled mightily to believe Him.) But it seems the Chief Priests and Pharisees were listening, whether they believed Jesus or not.

(God is laying the groundwork – as He always does – for proof for those who may question the resurrection of Christ in the future.)

And so the Chief Priests and Pharisees went to Pilate the evening after Jesus’ crucifixion and burial requesting a guard be placed at Jesus’ tomb – which Pilate allowed them to do. (Pilate is still obviously exasperated with the Jewish leaders.) “Have at it!” he essentially said.

Recently there have been people who have questioned the death of Christ, claiming He only appeared to be dead, and when He was laid in the cool of the tomb He revived. The theory goes, coming out, His disciples believed He had been resurrected.

Of course this is idiotic, as He had been declared to be dead on the cross by His executioners, who knew a dead man when they saw one. His death had been assured by piercing His heart with the soldier’s spear. Had they not known Jesus to be dead, they themselves would have been killed.

Additionally, Joseph and Nicodemus, who risked excommunication in handling and caring for the dead body of Christ, knew for certain Jesus had not ‘swooned,’ (as the theory of unbelievers goes.)

Jesus was dead.

And any possibility His body could be stolen – which is another recent theory foisted by unbelievers – is eliminated here by the Jews requesting and receiving a guard to seal the tomb and keep watch over it for three days. It would have been impossible for His band of disciples to steal His body.

Yet this is what is claimed by our Jewish friends to this day, and it began once Jesus’ body disappeared from their sight. They returned in fear to Jerusalem to report Jesus’ disappearance in fear of being put to death for losing track of His body. They were then paid off to “report” His body had in fact been stolen, which is both impossible and illogical. (Had it been stolen - which would have been impossible - then these men would have been put to death for dereliction of duty, not rewarded.)

But it seems the Jewish leaders were more concerned about His resurrection claims than His own disciples were. The Jewish leaders remembered what He said and placed a guard to prevent it from happening, as if they could.

Jesus’ own followers went to the tomb after three days to anoint His dead body. They seemed clueless – or at least unbelieving - they were seeking the living among the dead.

Pastor Bill