11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place.
12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers 13 and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.
Jesus rose from the dead!
The guards told the religious leaders.
The religious leaders tried to cover it up by buying them off and spreading a lie.
The religious leaders also told the guards thy would handle their superiors to keep them out of trouble.
These lies continue to this day.
Money & Power … Affluence & Influence …
If you don’t have it, you think if you get it, then your problems go away.
If you do have it, you think you can use it to make your problems go away.
The guards had a problem. The thing they were guarding was gone.
The guards now feared for their job (and maybe their life).
How much money did it take them to lie about their feared “failure”?
We’re told a “sufficient sum”.
But “sufficient” never stays “sufficient”.
The religious leaders also had a problem.
Their authority was now officially at risk of being gone.
They would now use their “power”, their “credibility”, their “influence” … or how about the buzzword of the moment … their “platform” for their own protection and gain.
Everyone was so myopic! … Blinded to the best news ever because of their own short term, self interested fears!
But I don’t have to use “past tense” here.
Is it so different today?
Not at all.
The very solution for all of eternity was trying to be swept away because It didn’t eliminate problems of the moment.
If I get focused on my fears, my risks, my position … I will lose sight of the Good News … “Jesus is with me always”.
The irony is they did exactly the opposite of Jesus’ “Great Commission” given at the end of this very chapter.
They used their affluence & influence to stop the making of disciples.
I must always keep the Good News front and center so that nothing else, particularly my own fears, motivate me to misuse whatever God has graced me with.
Thank you God for the Good News of the empty tomb.
Help me always see my own short term problems in the light of the empty tomb.
Help me in my temptations to be driven by fear.
May I always know Jesus is with me.