Monday, February 23, 2009


Matthew 27:62-66

The chief priests and the Pharisees were sure they had won. They had succeeded in orchestrating the arrest, arraignment, trial, and conviction of Jesus. Even when that weasel, Pilate, tried to trick them out of their victory by putting Barabbas up against Jesus, hoping the people would choose Jesus over the notorious criminal, they had manipulated the crowd and forced Pilate to turn Jesus over to be crucified. Now Jesus was dead. Joseph of Arimathea had taken the body down from the cross and buried it in his own tomb. The problem of Jesus was gone. They were sure they had won. At least they were pretty sure.

Someone in their group remembered Jesus’ prophecy about rising from the dead on the third day. That, of course, was impossible. Wasn’t it? They had seen Jesus do all kinds of unexplainable miracles. Could he really rise from the dead? Of course not. They were pretty sure he couldn’t. But they had to make certain and they had to be extra sure that Jesus’ disciples didn’t go and steal the body and make resurrection claims.

Can you imagine the discussion among the chief priests and Pharisees? Someone had to go back to Pilate and ask him to make the tomb secure. Pilate was not happy with them. He had been made to look the fool the day before. What kind of response might they get from him when they tell him about Jesus’ promised resurrection? Somehow they made the decision about who should go to Pilate and they couched their request in the best terminology they could.

Pilate gave them their permission. Go make the tomb as secure as you know how. These enemies of God did just that. They would make sure Jesus didn’t rise from the dead. They would ensure that the disciples didn’t steal the body. So they blocked God from doing what he intended to do. They placed a seal on the stone that had been rolled in front of the opening to the tomb and they posted a guard. There! That should do it! No way Jesus can rise from the dead now!

It seems rather comical, doesn’t it? Like something from an old slapstick movie. We see the chief priests and the Pharisees make their feeble efforts when we know what is going to happen. Early on the first day of the week Jesus would be raised from the dead and he would burst forth from their securely sealed tomb and the mighty guards would fall down like dead men. No efforts of man can stop God from accomplishing his plan.

This should be a good reminder for us. Human efforts can never stop God. Human laws cannot put him out of our schools or our communities. No government can outlaw his church. No persecution can prevent Christ’s church from rising up and establishing his kingdom on earth. All of these efforts are nothing more than putting a seal on a stone and posting a guard! Let Christ’s church rise up in victory and proclaim the gospel of the kingdom! If they take “under God” from the pledge of allegiance and “In God We Trust” off the coinage it would be nothing more than a seal on a stone. Why should that matter to us? We already know what’s going to happen! Christ is Victor!


At 11:21 PM, Blogger Anne of The House said...

Thank you for that David.

At 7:26 AM, Blogger Brenda said...

It's great to know that God is not wringing His hands in heaven over the behavior of man. We worry so much about who wins an election or what laws are passed but God is in control.

At 2:31 PM, Blogger donsands said...

Now that was edifying. Keep building us up Dave with the Word.
I'll be praying for you.


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