“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
- Who was worried about Jesus' body being stolen? Why?
- What did they ask Pilate to do and how did he respond?
- How would a report that Jesus was raised from the dead be worse for the Jewish leaders than the things Jesus said and did before His crucifixion?
- Where were the disciples at this point? (They had all run away terrified and were hiding in an upper room somewhere in Jerusalem)
- Do you think they had the courage to steal Jesus' body and then claim He had risen from the dead?
- If they had stolen His body, somehow making it past a Roman guard and a sealed tomb, would they have been willing to die for a lie that they had spread? (Every single disciple, except John, died a horrible death because they continued to preach Jesus' resurrection)
Even these fearful actions taken by Jesus' enemies were part of God's wonderful plan. The sealed tomb and the Roman guard are evidence that when the tomb was found empty, it was not because the disciples stole the body. We learn in the next chapter that the guards saw the angel who rolled away the stone. The guards fainted, then later reported to the chief priests and accepted a bribe from them to keep quiet about it. Obviously that didn't happen since we know about this today.
Dear Lord, how wonderful You are. Even the evil of men works out for Your good purposes. As we look at a sinful world around us, help us to remember that You are always in charge.
For Further Study:
There are many children throughout the world who are very bold in their faith in Christ, especially in nations where it is hard to be a Christian. Sharing their stories can encourage a bolder faith in your children. A wonderful resource is Kids of Courage
* Some of the content of this blog is based on the book Family Celebrations at Easter by Ann Hibbard.*