Guards secure the tomb

Matthew 27:62-66

There are many who downplay the death of Jesus on the cross, because as God in the flesh, they believe that His suffering wasn’t as bad as it would have been for a normal person. On the contrary, Jesus felt the excruciating pain of every whip, slap, beating, stabbing, crown of thorns, and nails in His hands and feet. Yes He was the Son of God, but His flesh was as real as a 100 dollar bill.

As Jesus hung on the cross, His strength began to quickly fade as the hours went by. The soldiers sat and watched Jesus as He suffered, and continued to mock Him. Darkness covered the land for three hours, then all of a sudden, Jesus cried with a loud voice saying, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me”? This was a rather interesting thing to say, because there had to be some form of disconnect between Jesus and His Father, to evoke Him to say such words. Could it have been that bearing the sins of all mankind carried such a stench, until God couldn’t stand to embrace His Son for a moment? I’m not certain, but only assuming. Something happened that left Jesus feeling alone, and whatever it was, it didn’t last very long, because after He gave up the ghost, the power that rested in Him began to manifest before the eyes of all those near Golgotha. In an instant, the veil that covered the place into which the high priest went to atone for the sins of the people was torn in two, from the top to the bottom. The whole earth began to quake, or shake and tremble, causing the rocks to break apart. These events troubled the men in the area, and caused them to finally see that Jesus was truly the Son of God.

It’s uncertain where Jesus’ disciples were during these moments, but there was a follower in particular, who made it his business to provide a proper place to lay His body. There was a rich man from Arimathaea named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus, who begged Pilate for Jesus’s body. His intentions were to lay the body of Christ in a new tomb, that he had hewn out in the rock. Others watched, including Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joses, as Joseph and others placed Jesus’ body in the tomb, then rolled a great stone over the entrance. So, it was done. Jesus died, and fulfilled His mission, but guess who remembered His words concerning rising in three days? No, not the disciples, but the Pharisees and chief priests! They were afraid that the disciples of Jesus would steal His body away after three days, proving that His word was true, so they initiated a watch to guard the tomb until the third day. They also reinforced the tomb entrance by stretching a cord across the stone and an official seal with clay was fastened at each end, so it could be detected if the grave was opened or tampered with. These guys were something else, and never failed to prove how lost they were. What the men were oblivious to, was the fact that Jesus could lay down His life, and had the power to take it again. No matter how secure the men made the sepulchre, it would never be enough to keep the resurrected Christ bound.

Walk in love,

Ell

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