The Tomb is Sealed and Guarded
Scripture Reading: Matthew 27:62-66
· Who went to see Pilate?
· What did they tell Pilate Jesus said while He was alive?
· What did they ask Pilate to do?
· Why did they want the tomb secured?
· How was the tomb secured?
Reading this passage, I feel the excitement beginning to build! It's is full of foreshadowing about what is on the horizon! If that weren’t exciting enough, the passage provides some of the most compelling evidence for the resurrection! I bet the chief priests and Pharisees could just kick themselves!
The chief priests and Pharisees are in an uproar because they remember that Jesus predicted He would rise back to life after three days. They still refused to admit He was the Messiah, instead focusing on the possibility that Jesus’ followers may try to steal His body to claim He rose again.
Going to Pilate and receiving permission to secure the tomb was a bad idea for their cause because by making the tomb secure against man’s power, they proved the power of the Most High God was at work! Are you as excited as I am right now? This is so good!
First, they had a seal put on the stone. (The stone was huge, by the way. Low estimates say it weighed at least one-and-a-half to two tons!) The seal was put in place much like a wax seal on a letter. The seal was a way of marking that no one had tampered with the tomb. Any foul play would have been obvious just by looking at the seal.
Next, they placed a guard, or group, in front of the tomb. Matthew 27:54 defines one of the men in the guard as a centurion, or a commander with the Roman army. Y’all—Roman soldiers were fierce! A group of citizens would not stand a chance against them. My husband is a soldier in the U.S. Army, and I think he’s strong and tough and amazing! But I think even he would agree that a Roman soldier was tough-as-nails and not someone you want to go up against. That’s who the chief priests and Pharisee’s got to guard the tomb and make sure no one tried to steal Jesus’ body.
Are you on the edge of your seat yet? What do you think, will this plan to secure the tomb work? You’re gonna have to come back tomorrow to find out!