11/12/15 You Have a Guard

READING: Matthew 27, Mark 15

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  I almost laughed out loud (actually, I did) as I read a portion of today’s reading. For much of the reading, there is no laughing matter — these chapters cover the arrest, trial, crucifixion, and burial of Jesus. The miscarriage of justice, the agony of death, and the grief of Jesus’ followers watching from a distance hang heavy over these chapters. 

And then Jesus is buried — and the scribes and religious leaders are still concerned about Him. They even ask Pilate for guards for the tomb, lest the disciples steal Jesus’ body and deceitfully affirm His apparent resurrection. Pilate agreed, with these words: “You have a guard of soldiers,” Pilate told them. “Go and make it as secure as you know how” (Matt. 27:65). 

Read those last words again: “Go and make it as secure as you know how.” The religious leaders did all they could do — rolling a stone against the tomb, sealing the tomb with the royal seal that made tampering with it illegal, and setting a guard to watch it. They made the tomb as secure as they knew how. 

That’s what made me laugh. With all the authority of the government behind them, they did all they could do to keep people out of the tomb. 

What they couldn’t do was keep the buried One in. 

I can't help but at least chuckle with joy.  smiley

ACTION STEPS: Praise God throughout the day that Jesus is alive. It may be closer to Christmas than Easter, but the resurrection makes every day a day of celebration.   

PRAYER: “Lord, I am so grateful that all the graveside plots of the religious leaders and the soldiers were useless. Help me not to keep my joy to myself today.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Luke 23, John 18-19






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