178. Guards placed at the tomb- Matt. 27:62-66
-The religious leaders, the chief priests and Pharisees, went on the Sabbath to Pilate with concerns about the disciples stealing the body of Jesus due to His claims that He would rise in three days. From this statement we can see that the message Christ gave before His death on resurrection was clear, even to the pompous and arrogant leaders of the Jewish manmade traditional system of the time. Jesus had effectively and accurately perpetuated His true gospel so that there was no doubt as to what He had said and what He meant. Christ’s ultimate sign was obvious (Matthew 12:38-42, Luke 11:16-32, John 2:18-21) and these doubting men wanted to make every effort to avoid heresy and fraud by what they thought to be an impostor, which is understandable.
-Pilate gave them a group of guard soldiers, presumably the same military guard assigned to oversee the temple area security, to make the tomb as secure as possible. So they went and sealed the stone over the grave of the Lord and set guards over it (Matthew 27:66; 28:4). After the resurrection, these men were paid off to keep the raising of Jesus a secret, which was widely reported in the region (Matthew 28:11-15).
-*Application* The incident with the guards is yet another opportunity missed to receive the truth of the gospel for the religious leadership. It is kicking against the pricks and foolish to be faced with such an obvious truth, yet reject it. We should not have stubborn hearts in pride that are hard and inflexible. When God reveals Himself to you, don’t rationalize and talk yourself out of His miracles. It is easier to do than we think. Receive all His Spirit has for you and accept His Word spoken over you for fullness of joy. Don’t be like these religious leaders who never could understand the ways of the Lord and made excuses until it was too late.
Verse to Memorize- Matthew 27:66