After Jesus died and was buried, the priests and Pharisees went to Pilate and asked to secure the tomb until the third day. Pilate granted the request by sending “a guard of soldiers” and said to “make it as secure as you can”.
Roman soldiers were known for their precision, brutality, training, and being well committed to their assignment (or face severe consequences). We’re not talking about clown cops. These were tough dudes who didn’t mess around. Remember the brutal torture (scourging) from Friday? If you’ve seen “The Passion of the Christ”, you know what I’m talking about.
Except the guards were no match for God’s plans.
2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. (Matthew 28:2-4)
This brief account strengthens my own belief in the resurrection. No one was going to be able to steal the body. No one was going to roll away that stone. No one would dare attempt to overtake the guards.
We know that Jesus lived and his miracles were well documented. It is documented that he died on the cross and just to be sure, the soldiers pierced him with a spear (John 19:33-34). There were witnesses to the burial as well.
Up to this point we can say he was an amazing man. Humble, giving, peaceful, a good teacher, and even a miracle worker. All these are great qualities however without the resurrection, he would have been just another dead human.
He Has Risen!
5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. (Matthew 28:5-6)
The Old Testament foretold of him long before these events occurred and we must choose to believe it or deny it.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5-6)
Jesus walked out of that grave. In his death, he was the sacrifice for our sin. In his defeat of death, he proved his worthiness as a savior and allows us to run out of our own graves that we’ve dug through our sin.
What will you choose today? Doubters are welcome so start with a simple prayer as one who seeks. He knows your doubts so why not share them with him right now?
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)