It will never cease to amaze me why those so close to text refuse to accept Truth. Is it not a puzzling wonder why countrymen of Christ should deny their own Messiah? The closing account of the Gospel of Matthew helps us get inside the mind of those who see Christ but remain blind.
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 – Matthew 28:11-15
Five things are mentioned about the report of some of the guards who were stationed at Christ’s Tomb and bore witness to the truth that Jesus had risen from the grave – in their unbiased minds, a terrifying earthquake and petrifying angel, beyond any reasonable doubt, had brought the facts of Messianic death and immortality to light.
First the Testimony of the Guards.
Some of those posted to guard the tomb on pains of death freely testified to the miraculous events and facts of the case – the ground shook, the stone rolled, the angel blazed, the guards froze and the tomb had been vacated by the man who was now resurrected.
Second the Consideration of the Guards.
In response to this report, the Sanhedrin was convened so that the elders of the Jews might formulate a response to this predicted turn of events.
Third the Enticement of the Guards.
A decision was made to make a one-off payment to the guards to bribe them to suppress the evidence of Christ’s case: in addition, firm instructions were given as to what they should inform any inquiring heart that asked.