THE CONSPIRACY ABOUT RESURRECTION – Part 1
While they were going, behold, some of the guards went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.
The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ of which an account is given in the above chapter, is one of the most important doctrines of the Christian faith, and is attested by the strongest evidence that can be adduced in favour of any ancient fact. What we see in the above verse is the conspiracy perpetrated by the Jews to conceal the truth and spread falsehood about the resurrection. This falsehood persisted up till this day in some quarters and has prevented many Jews from accepting that Christ has come and gone and will return again. Till date, some are still waiting for His first coming in ignorance resulting from this conspiracy.
However, no matter how much they tried to hide the truth, it came out and as many that believe, to them He gave the power to become sons of God. I know that you believe and that is why you are reading this piece but I will try to further strengthen your belief with the below facts about Jesus:
(1.) that He had often foretold His own death and resurrection. See Matthew 12:40, 16:21, 20:19.
(2.) There was no doubt that He was really dead. Of this, the Jews, the Romans, and the disciples, were all equally well satisfied.
(3.) Every proper precaution was taken to prevent His removal by anybody. A guard, usually consisting of sixty men, was placed there for the express purpose of keeping Him, and the sepulchre was secured by a large stone and by a seal.
(4.) On the third day, the body was missing. In this, all were agreed. The high priest did not dare to call that in question. They laboured, therefore, to account for it. The disciples affirmed that He was alive. The Jews hired the Roman soldiers to affirm that He was stolen while they slept, and succeeded in making many of the people believe it. This account of the Jews is attended with the following inconsistencies:
(1.) The Roman guard was composed usually of sixty men, and they were stationed there for the express purpose of guarding the body of Jesus. So the question is, how could the body have been stolen while sixty men were watching?
(2.) The punishment of sleeping while on guard in the Roman army was death, and it is perfectly incredible that the soldiers would expose themselves in this manner to death. Not even sixty of them.
(3.) The disciples were few in number, unarmed, weak, and timid. They had just fled before those who took Jesus in the garden, and how can it be believed that in so short a time they would dare to attempt to take away from a Roman guard of armed men what they were expressly commanded to secure? This would have been a suicide mission if it were true.
(4.) How could the disciples presume that they would find them asleep; or, if they should, how was it possible to remove the stone and the body, without waking one of the armed soldiers?
(5.) The particular manner in which the grave clothes were arranged (John 20:6,7) show that the body had not been stolen. When men rob graves of the bodies of the dead, they do not wait coolly to fold up the grave-clothes, and lay them carefully by themselves.
(6.) If the soldiers were asleep, how did they, or how could they know that the disciples stole the body away? If they were awake, why did they allow it?
For further Study
Matthew 12:40, 16:21, 20:19.
Personal declaration for the day
Jesus truly died for my sins and he truly saved me.
Questions for you to reflect on
Why do you believe that Jesus died and rose again ? Give your reasons