Reading: Matthew 27: 57-66
Verse 65: “Take a guard,” Pilate said, “Go, make the tomb secure as you can”.
It has been a busy week. Palm Sunday got things started with a big, celebratory parade. There was excitement and energy. There was also anxiety and nervousness as well. The religious leaders’ nerves were on edge. As the week progressed, Jesus has remained front and center, His ministry to the people moving full steam ahead. The tension with the religious leaders has escalated as the week progressed and culminated Thursday with Jesus’ arrest. The trials and crucifixion buzzed through Thursday night and Friday. By mid afternoon Jesus is dead and would soon be laid in a tomb. The religious leaders must have breathed a huge collective sigh of relief as they sat in their homes on Friday night.
But then the thoughts crept in. One or two or perhaps many began to recall some of Jesus’ words. For those that did, they soon realized that the events of the past days have gone just as Jesus said they would. And even though they thought they were running the show… Didn’t Jesus say something about three days…
The religious leaders go to Pilate early on Saturday morning, on the Sabbath, to ask for soldiers to guard the tomb. They call Jesus ‘that deceiver’ as they quote Him saying, “After three days I will rise again”. The religious leaders then make a statement that is not entirely correct but contains truth. In reference to the resurrection, they say, “This deception will be worse than the first”. Yes, the effect will be worse for them. Rising from the dead will be the ultimate verification that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. Just as the recent events unfolded as Jesus said they would, so too will the resurrection. Pilate has had enough and easily gives them a guard, saying, “Take a guard and make the tomb as secure as you can”.
The entire Roman army could not keep the tomb secure enough to prevent the resurrection. It is not done by human hands. No matter what Pilate, the religious authorities, the guard, anyone… tried to do, Sunday was coming. Yes indeed! Sunday is coming!