180. Soldiers paid to lie about Jesus’ resurrection- Matt. 28:11-15
-We see in this intriguing account the cover up to the resurrection that was perpetrated by the religious elders and counselors when some of the guard came to them with the news of what had taken place. These guards were paid off with a sufficient sum of money to keep up the front of a lie in spreading false information that the disciples had come by night and stolen the body while they slept. The guards knew that if they had not taken the money and been found to have not done their job, they would have been in immense trouble quite possibly (Acts 16:27-30). This was a good deal for them to escape possible punishment and make themselves a profit at the same time. To them it must have seemed a win-win situation, but this heresy infected the Jewish people. Who knows how many were affected from hearing the truth of the gospel in a clear-unadulterated fashion even to this day. These guards were more than likely dazed and confused over the appearance of the angel at the tomb and never actually got to see the risen Savior as far as we know. The Scriptures state that they fell as dead men in total shock and fear (Matthew 28:4), so they could have easily convinced themselves that what they experienced was a hoax I suppose. Nevertheless, they had been privy to the most incredible miracle of all time, yet they denounced it for pay.
-Therefore, we see in this passage two parties that were in the wrong. The religious leaders who wanted to cover up the propagation of the revelation and resurrection of Christ were certainly at fault. But also, the guards were of ill character to choose financial gain over the truth in a matter. *Application* There are times in our lives when we also face decisions of this kind. What kind of character do you have? Would you be willing to lay down your job and family’s stability to do the right thing in your place of work? My perception today is that there are cowards everywhere who will not stand up for the things of God for the benefit of the almighty American dollar. Just this morning I heard a man cower under the threat of not being able to share his faith and defend Christianity because he was an employee of the state. It makes me sick to think of where our country is headed because we simply will not take a stand for what is true and right because we are afraid of losing a job and financial security with health benefits. Before you go and judge these guards for selling out, make sure you are not doing the exact same thing. Christ’s Kingdom wants sold-out soldiers willing to leave family and die for the cause, not weak money loving cop-outs who care too much for the pleasures of this world (Matthew 13:22; 19:29, Acts 21:13, 2 Timothy 2:3-4). This may seem radical, but it is certainly what Jesus taught and the early Christians lived out. What are we going to do with that? God wants you to live boldly and speak as you ought (Ephesians 6:20).
Verse to Memorize- Matthew 28:15