4. The Artifice of the Elders of the Jews (Matthew 28:11-15)
11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city, and told the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12 When they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave a large amount of silver to the soldiers, 13 saying, “Say that his disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 14 If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him and make you free of worry.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were told. This saying was spread abroad among the Jews, and continues until this day. (Matthew 27:64)
The chief priests heard from the soldiers that Jesus had risen from the dead and that an angel had spoken to the women. Out of fear and anger they devised a story full of lies and contradictions. They bribed the guards with money and ordered them to say that they fell asleep at the tomb, and the disciples stole the dead body of Jesus. This account is impossible and is rather comic. What the Sanhedrin tried to prevent, that is the disappearance of Jesus’ body from the tomb, has now actually happened. Yet, truth cannot be strangled with money and lying, for truth is not a thought but a raised person living among us.
What a great difference between the attitudes of the women who witnessed the angel and the chief priests’ who ordered the soldiers to lie. In the women we see truth, peace, and joy. In the religious leaders we see lying, bribery and fear.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, You are the living Holy One forever. We worship You for death could not hold You. The power of Your life opened the terrible prison of death. You justified us by Your atonement on the cross, and gave us Your peace immediately after Your resurrection. We thank You for You called us Your brethren. We praise You and exult in joy for through You God became truly our Father. By Your resurrection, You made us children of God forever.
QUESTION 271: What were the contradictory words that the Jewish leaders said to the keepers of Christ’s tomb?