The Next Day

The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” Matthew 27:62-64

The Jewish leaders were frightened, and they admitted it to Pilate. They were out of control of the situation they wanted to be in control of. After the crucifixion, it was out of their hands. To make absolutely sure of it, they wanted guards placed near the tomb.

But what were they afraid of? They probably didn’t give any thought at all to the two who were crucified with him. But this Jesus, he somehow threatened their power and grip on the people.

The years have changed but the people haven’t. The Jewish leaders’ “descendents” are alive and well around the world, wanting to rid the earth of all things Christian. Search the internet and you will see very clearly that governments still want to trample on Christ and make Him irrelevant. Even this week the Supreme Court held arguments about a subject that would seek to damage the very definition of marriage. Those who oppose Christ and his followers are out in full force and they are not showing signs of slowing down.

Traditionally, today is the day on the Christian calendar that Christ was buried. The enemy by the looks of it had won. He had put Christ to death and Jesus was safely ensconced in a cave with a large stone in front of it and heavily guarded at the request of the Jewish leaders. There was no possible way to escape or be taken away without getting the undivided attention of well-trained guards. And their lives would depend on there being a body in the tomb after the sun had risen.

Well, we do know the rest of the story and thankfully it’s a very happy ending. The leaders were right in wanting to guard the tomb but they completely underestimated the Son of God.

And just as the leaders underestimated the Son of God, so too, governments underestimate the perseverance of Believing Christians. Rejoice that Brothers and Sisters around the world are celebrating the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior this weekend.

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