Saturday, April 30, 2022
62-64 After sundown, the high priests and Pharisees arranged a meeting with Pilate. They said, “Sir, we just remembered that that liar announced while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will be raised.’ We’ve got to get that tomb sealed until the third day. There’s a good chance his disciples will come and steal the corpse and then go around saying, ‘He’s risen from the dead.’ Then we’ll be worse off than before, the final deceit surpassing the first.”
65-66 Pilate told them, “You will have a guard. Go ahead and secure it the best you can.” So they went out and secured the tomb, sealing the stone and posting guards.
-Matthew 27:62-66 The Message
The Guard at the Tomb
Verse 62: The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate.
Verse 63: and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’
Verse 64: Therefore, order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”
Verse 64 study: The religious leaders took Jesus’ resurrection claims more seriously than the disciples did. The disciples forgot about Jesus’ teaching about his resurrection; (20:17-19) but religious leaders didn’t. Jesus’ claims made religious leaders almost afraid after his death, even before he died. They took every precaution that his body would remain in the tomb.
Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time 17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” -Matthew 20:17-19 ESV
Verse 65: Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.”
Verse 66: So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
Verse 66 study: Now, the Pharisees are afraid of Jesus’ predictions about the resurrection, so they made sure the tomb was thoroughly sealed and guarded. The tomb was hewn out of a rock on the side of a hill; there was only one entrance. The tomb was sealed by stringing a cord across the stone rolled over the entrance. The cord was sealed at each with clay. Religious leaders took further precautions by placing guards at the entrance. With these precautions, the only way the tomb can be empty is for Jesus to rise from the dead. Unfortunately, the Pharisees didn’t understand that no rock, seal, guard, or army could prevent the Son of God from rising again.