The Resurrection, An Enemy’s Perspective Part 2

Matthew 28:11-15 Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, and said, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ “And if this should come to the governor’s ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble.” And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day.

Note the response of the priests and Pharisees. They did not try to deny or refute the claims of the soldiers. The Jews did not try to sway or change the story. The soldiers were believable. I think I would have some serious conviction if I had seen what the soldiers saw. The soldiers knew Christ’s body was missing. They had been literally shaken to their core by an earthquake. And they saw a bright, white being that was ridiculously strong. They knew better than to try and mess with it.

The Pharisee response, give the Roman guards lots of money. The soldiers are paid to lie. They could not have the truth out in the open.

Question, how many grave robbers would it have taken to pull off the job of stealing a body? There would need to be forces to take out the Roman guards. There would need to be several men to remove the sealed stone. Do you think all skilled Roman soldiers would have fallen asleep on the job knowing the consequences? Say they were asleep. Do you think the guard would have awakened with all the racket of somebody trying to steal a body?

The Jews said they would cover for the soldiers in regards to their superiors. The Jews knew the soldiers would pay a hefty price for failure when it came to their superiors, their lives. The Jewish leaders were willing to step in on behalf of the soldiers and deal with Roman leadership to quiet this talk of resurrection. Both parties just wanted “The Resurrection” to go away.

Here are some things the Jewish leaders did not do. One, they did not produce a body. Two, they did not form a search committee and go looking for Jesus. If His followers took the body, it should have been easy to find. Three, they fought the early church and the apostles at every opportunity.

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