It’s Here!!! We have reached the most joyous day in history! Jesus Is Alive! No matter how the religious leaders try and disguise it, Jesus did EXACTLY as He said.
I was talking to my husband yesterday about the resurrection. The point he found most interesting is how the religious leaders handled the situation. They convinced Roman soldiers to claim that they had fallen asleep and that Jesus’ disciples had sneaked in while the guards were asleep and stolen His body. When telling my husband the story he was amazed at the lie that was concocted in an attempt to hide the truth that Jesus had done what He had promised; risen from the dead on the third day.
Something I find interesting is that these hardened Roman soldiers would risk death for the religious leaders. But then again, ANY story they told of the events would make them look weak to their counterparts. Why not at least make a buck off of their misfortune. I wonder how the conversation would have went if they had told their fellow soldiers or even Pilot the truth.
Pilot: “So tell me again the steps you took to make the tomb secure.”
Centurion: “We had guards posted from the moment we entered the site. Three were on watch at all times. There was a stone rolled in front of the entrance to the tomb. We sealed it with wax and applied Rome’s seal to it. It was thick enough to even keep insects out.”
Pilot: “That should have been sufficient. So what went wrong?”
Centurion: “All was going according to plan until the third watch of the night before the first day of the week. All the sudden there was an earthquake, a blinding flash of light, and a man rolled the stone away from the tomb as if it weighed no more than a loaf of bread!”
Pilot: “What man? What did he look like? How could he have done that?”
Centurion: “I think it was one of the gods! No mortal man could have done that. He was also glowing so brightly that we ALL fell on our faces like dead men!”
Pilot: “Did you even challenge him or try to stop him?”
Centurion: “No my Governor, we didn’t. I know a Roman soldier is supposed to be above fear but I… I can’t even describe the power of this being and the certainty that I would be a dead man several times over if I had tried to interfere.”
Pilot: “Go on. What happened next.”
Centurion: “The Man whom was executed stepped out of the grave!!!”
Pilot: “That’s impossible! Maybe you were seeing a spirit.”
Centurion: “I say it was the Man and not His spirit because He looked as solid as you and me. He walked right past us as we lay paralyzed on the ground.”
Pilot: “Where did He go? Did you follow Him? If it really is Him I want to speak with Him!”
Centurion: “I don’t know where he went and I had no power at that time to rise and follow Him. Honestly I’m surprised that I’m still alive! As soon as we could stand again, we grabbed our gear and came straight to Caiaphas to tell him what had happened.”
Pilot: “Did you look inside the tomb to see if it was really empty before you left? What was Caiaphas’ reaction to your account?”
Centurion: “NO we did NOT look inside the tomb! That same being that had rolled the stone away sat on top of it right by the door! NO WAY were any of us going near him! As for Caiaphas, he tried to bribe us to say that we had fallen asleep and the Man’s followers had stolen Him in the middle of the night.
Pilot: “He told you to lie did he? Of course he did. He was terrified of this Man from the beginning. So how did you answer Caiaphas?”
Centurion: “I’m ashamed to say that we took his money and said that we would report the story HE concocted if asked. But that story would have ANY Roman soldier receiving a sentence of death! Besides that, who would believe such an account from a Roman soldier? Who would think us incapable of fending off His followers as they struggled to roll the stone away? Their grunts, groans and tools alone would have been enough to awaken even a drunken soldier from his sleep!”
Pilot: “But you have chosen to bring me and even more unbelievable story than the one Caiaphas has concocted. Am I to believe this one is true? Even though you yourself have confessed to consenting to spreading a lie?”
Centurion: “My Governor, I speak the truth. As unbelievable as it sounds, this is exactly what happened! I have failed in my duties and will accept whatever punishment you deem appropriate. But that will not change the truth nor will it impact my story from this point forward. Let Caiaphas do whatever he wants. I will tell the truth whenever asked.”
Pilot: “Thank you centurion for bringing this account to me. I have already heard Caiaphas’ version from others. I could not reconcile that account with the soldier I knew you to be. That is why I demanded an account from you. I KNEW there was something very different about that Man. I have to ponder this information. For now, return to your garrison and await my decision as to your fate. Don’t fear to harsh a punishment as I believe your account to be true and who can blame a man for not interfering in the actions of the gods!”
Centurion: “Thank you my Governor. I will await your decision.”
I can imagine this soldier being one of the first to seek Jesus and the precious gift He bought for each of us. I wonder if the soldier who watched Jesus’ death and proclaimed, “Surely this Man was the Son of God” (Matthew 24:54; Mark 15:39; Luke 23:47) was placed on grave detail. I don’t believe that soldier would have been tempted in the least to accept Caiaphas’ bribe or story.
Father God, thank You for the eye witness accounts of Jesus’ resurrection. I believe EVERY ONE OF THEM. You placed them in Your word just for me. You KNEW I would need something to “sink my teeth into” to accept the full story.
I LOVE the way You appeared to each of the different groups that day Jesus. Their pain was overwhelming! They couldn’t see past it to the promise You had given them time and Time and TIME again. They weren’t “waiting for it.” They were floundering in despair. But that didn’t keep You from delivering on You promise! NEVER AGAIN would they doubt the truth! They were ALL eye witnesses to it! Thank You for letting me be an “I witness” too. Let me only speak the truth. Never ANYONE’S altered version.
HALLELUJAH! HE IS ALIVE!!!