Monday, April 25, 2011

JESUS WAS DEAD: No Longer A Threat

He is risen from the dead...the very phrase that Christian's celebrate struck anxiety into the hearts of the religious leaders the day after the crucifixion of Jesus. They became concerned at that phrase because they had reasoned the disciples were going to try and steal the body of Jesus to make it appear as if Jesus' words had been true. Matthew 27:62-66 records the anxiety of these religious leaders. The very actions and thoughts of these religious leaders give the greatest evidence to the veracity of the claim that Jesus was dead and we all know that we cannot have a resurrection if we do not have a dead body(Savior in this case). It was important that Jesus was dead not only from the thoughts of the religious leaders but also in the case of biblical truth. It was necessary that Jesus be dead, totally dead and not just in some sort of coma. The evidence provided in this passage of Matthew attests to the truth that Jesus was dead.

Specifically, the religious leaders were concerned to keep the Disciples OUT of the tomb and not to keep Jesus IN the tomb. Why is that? The reason is simple. Jesus was dead and a dead body posed no threat to the leaders at all. Having assured themselves of the death of Jesus at the crucifixion, they were no longer concerned with Jesus, they were concerned about the actions of the Disciples. In order to prevent a "fake" resurrection of a dead Jesus, it was necessary then to seal the tomb and place a guard to keep the Disciples OUT with no thought whatsoever of trying to keep a live Jesus IN the tomb. This is where the leaders made their gravest(pun intended) mistake. If they were truly going to prevent the words, He Is Risen From The Dead, they should have concerned themselves with who was IN the tomb rather than who was withOUT the tomb. Their actions do underscore my point though and once again, my point is that Jesus was dead, totally, completely, certifiably dead. This conclusion on their part is why a Roman Guard would be sufficient to keep the Disciples away.

The fact that the tomb was sealed to keep people OUT and not keep the living IN may deflate the rhetoric of preachers who wax eloquently over the idea that all was done to keep Jesus in the tomb to prevent His resurrection but that just does not bear under the weight of Scripture. The tomb was sealed to keep the Disciples out. And why am I pressing this point so strongly? If Jesus was not dead then He did not RISE from the dead. It was important that Jesus died(fulfilling Scripture), so that when we die, we too have hope. Because Jesus was dead and is now Risen From The Dead, we too look forward to a Resurrection from the dead. If Jesus was not dead, there is no resurrection, we are still lost in our trespasses and sin and doomed for an eternity of Hell. In fact, if Jesus was not raised from the dead, there may not even be an eternity.

Praise God that what Jesus spoke is Truth, not simply because it happened, but rather because the True One spoke it. We trust the God of Truth. We trust the God who can and did, still does and will do! His Word is worthy of believing.