By: George Zellar
Matthew 27:62-66; 28:11-15
THE BANDS OF DEATH could not hold Him, and the victorious Son of God came forth from the grave early on that first day of the week. His enemies must now come up with an explanation for why the tomb was empty. Previously, the Jewish religious leaders had met with Pilate to communicate with him their concern that Jesus’ disciples might steal the body, and they suggested a plan to prevent this. Pilate agreed to post Roman guards to protect the tomb so that the body would not be removed (Matthew 27:62-66). Anyone trying to do this would face two major obstacles—the massive stone blocking the entrance way and Roman guards keeping careful watch. Neither obstacle was too great for the Lord of Life, and the world’s greatest miracle took place with ease. When guards failed to do their job, it was a serious matter, often resulting in the death penalty. In this case, the guards were not punished at all but paid a large sum of money to tell a phony story (Matthew 28:11-15).
Here’s the fake news they were to relate: “His disciples came by night, and stole Him away while we slept” (Matthew 28:13). This is one of the most absurd statements found in the Word of God. It would be almost funny if it were not so pitiful. The obvious question for the guards would be, “If you were sound asleep, then how do you know what happened?” People who are sleeping are not the best eyewitnesses!
Fake news can never nullify the stupendous event that happened on that day. To this day, atheists and agnostics have utterly failed to explain the empty tomb. Instead of fake news, we have the good news of the Gospel: “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore!” (Revelation 1:18).
George W. Zeller has served on the staff of the Middletown Bible Church for more than 40 years. He is a graduate of Grace Theological Seminary where he studied under Dr. John Whitcomb. He has written numerous Sunday School lessons, Bible study materials, doctrinal booklets, and various papers on a wide range of Biblical topics. These studies are accessible at www.middletownbiblechurch.org.
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