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Matthew 27:62-66: Seal the Tomb

Posted by adventbiblestudy on September 24, 2012


Matthew 27:62-66 The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. (63) They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ (64) So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.” (65) Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” (66) So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it.

 

Caiaphas the high priest grew vary angry as he stood at the foot of the cross and read the sign over Jesus’ head, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. In his mind Pilate placed the sign there to accomplish nothing more than frustrate him. Without thinking he marched into Pilate’s palace and demanded the sign be removed. His mind was in such an uproar, he hadn’t realized he ignored one of his own doctrines. Pilate was aware of the situation. He stood there looking at Caiaphas, taking his time as be savored the victory, watching the veins in Caiaphas’ head and neck throb with anger. When he was ready Pilate simply answered, “I have written what I have written.” This frustrated Caiaphas even more. Storming out he returned to his home to plan his next move.

 

He couldn’t sleep that night. He could not get the image of Jesus’ face out of his head. He kept trying to concentrate on the sign, but that only frustrated him more. Finally he decided to go over every detail of his masterful plan. As he went over each step of his plan he suddenly remembered Jesus’ claim of rising from the dead after three days. It didn’t matter to Caiaphas that Jesus predicted His death, but his mind began to go over the consequences if Jesus did rise from the dead. As the Spirit fought with Caiaphas, trying to get him to look at the scriptures and consider all the prophecies Jesus fulfilled, Satan battled for control with increased vigor. Detail after detail was explained away. Every effort by the Spirit was countered by a doctrine contrary to the truth. Fear was the determining factor Satan used to control Caiaphas. Fear and pride. Nothing mattered more to him than his position as high priest. Pride convinced him, he was the only man for he job. Fear drove him to the brink of disaster. He would rather loose his life than his position. He had to devise a plan to keep Jesus in the grave at all cost. But how? He realized he had no other choice but to go to Pilate to beg a favor. He considered sending one of his priests, but as with all important matters, he could trust no one. Only he was capable of carrying out another in his string of perfect plans.

 

The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.”

 

Pilate sat on his throne leaning forward while looking at the priests trying to read their faces. As usual, not a single one showed any emotion. He wondered what the people saw in these people. No excitement, sorrow, guilt, or shame. Nothing but pride covered them. Their faces were as blank as their faith. Pilate’s first reaction was to question Caiaphas to see if he could read anything from his reaction. As he considered Caiaphas’ request, experience told him it would be a waste to time. He thought of denying the request, Pilate knew placing Roman soldiers at the tomb would place the responsibility of Jesus’ death back on himself and Rome. As Pilate considered the circumstance and possible outcome he suddenly realized, if Jesus rose from the grave it would not only bring down Caiaphas, but himself. If Jesus rose from the grave to unit Israel against him, he would face a conflict he was not prepared or equipped to handle. His years as a Roman general taught him the consequences of engaging in a battle you are not prepared for. He realized he had no choice but to grant Caiaphas’ request. Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it.

 

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