Archive for Roman Guard

The Resurrection, An Enemy’s Perspective Part 2

Posted in Gospel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2013 by paulthepoke

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.

Advertisements

The Resurrection, An Enemy’s Perspective Part 1

Posted in Gospel with tags , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2013 by paulthepoke

Let’s look at those who were hostile or indifferent to Christ. What was their response to the resurrection? Let’s set aside the hundreds of eye witness accounts of believers or followers of Christ who saw a resurrected Jesus. What does the Bible have to say about non-believers? What was their response and perspective after the death of Jesus? The religious Jews and their power base were threatened by Jesus. He was moving in on their turf. The Pharisees wanted any memory of Jesus to be completely sealed in a tomb. The Romans wanted political and military control of the region. The last thing the Romans wanted was upheaval and a social uprising. They were interested in “keeping the peace” as they saw it.

Matthew 27:64-66 “Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.

The Pharisees have a request after the death of Jesus. To kill Him was not satisfactory. The Jews were bent on squelching any “resurrection”.  Pilate was likely agreeable to the Jews’ request just to get them out of his hair. He washed his hands of Christ’s pending death and claimed innocence of His blood (Matthew 27:24).

Pilate issued a Roman guard to protect the tomb. A guard was usually four men. These men were skillfully trained. Failure to perform their duty resulted in torture and death in front of their peers. The size of the average stone used to seal a tomb during Jesus’ day was approximately 1.5-2 tons. This would have taken several men to complete the job.  The tomb was sealed by the Roman Empire. If the Roman seal was broken, death by upside down crucifixion was the penalty. McDowell, J., Evidence that Demands a Verdict. Here’s Life Publishers, Inc., 1972, 1979.

Matthew 28:2-4 And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.

These were Roman soldiers. These were the most skilled, deadly, and armed military men of their day.  But they had an encounter with something they had not seen before, a being capable of moving a sealed, two ton stone. This thing was bright, white hot and came with an earthquake. It dropped out of the sky. It was a picture of eerie calm. The angel sat on the grave stone it moved, not exactly a hostile or defensive posture.

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

%d bloggers like this: