Matthew 28:11-15 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
What a problem the Jewish authorities brought upon themselves by setting a guard on Jesus’ tomb to prevent the disciples from stealing his dead body! And it is interesting to note that ‘fake news’ is not just a 21st Century phenomenon!
The Sovereign Lord of human affairs has an amazing way of fulfilling all his purposes. If they had not set the guard, their fake news might have gained a bit of traction, but the subsequent gripping testimony of what the disciples KNEW to be true, and the way they were willing to risk their very lives by fearlessly and publicly proclaiming this truth, meant that the ‘Church’ which Jesus promised would NEVER be overcome by even ‘the gates of hell’ (Matthew 16:18) was firmly and solidly established!
“Because he LIVES, I can face tomorrow, because he LIVES, all fear is gone; because I know he holds the future, and life is worth the living, just because he LIVES!” (Bill Gaither). Is this our faithful and outspoken testimony today – in spite of the increasing opposition we face? Are we praying earnestly – privately and corporately – that the Holy Spirit will work mightily among us to open people’s hearts to the TRUTH of Jesus’ BODILY resurrection, the REALITY of the EMPTY tomb, and the implications of all this for their eternal destiny? As the Apostle Paul proclaimed boldly and convincingly at the Areopagus: “In the past God overlooked such ignorance (believing fake news), but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given PROOF of this to ALL men by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-30).
– Bruce Christian