“When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ “ Matthew 28:12-13
They tried. They really did. The Guy was nothing but trouble for them, and they gave Him their best shot. They were gangsters really. Oh, that word hadn’t been coined yet, but we all know one when we see one, right?
Their business, their stock in trade was crime. Just like gangsters of the 20th Century they had a legitimate front for their activities. It was religion. It covered a multitude of sins. So to speak. There was extortion, money laundering, even a little “wet work” when it came to that. And who knows what else. The Guy came along and busted up their business at the store front they used as a very thin cover for their activities. He had a big mouth, going around preaching stuff and taking their spotlight, and they already knew they wanted Him gone. But when you touch my money, that’s so far over the line the gloves have GOT to come off!
So they start plotting. Fortune blessed them when one of His own gang came in to say he wanted to flip…for a price. They couldn’t have planned this any better! Of course not. Someone else had. A very long time ago. These gangsters were playing right into His hands. They were just too stupid to know it. They even had His blueprints and preached that plan to the country. But again, they were too stupid to see it happening right before their eyes.
So the plan the traitor gave them was set in motion. His price was a tad steep, but to get rid of this Problem it could have been worse. Inside jobs are always the way to go, if you can swing it.
The job would happen at night. The wet ones always do.
They got Him, no trouble. He didn’t resist, and his gang, for all their bluster, turned tail like the yellow-bellies they were. There had to be a trial to legitimize His murder, which is ironic since they paid a couple morons to commit perjury. Funny how even criminals will put on the show of innocence as they pillage the society they live in. Some even wear really nice clothes and pass laws that legitimize their crimes against city and state. Like these gangsters who wore robes designed by God Himself.
They couldn’t have the criminal look to sympathetic, so they roughed Him up during the arrest. No one looks too innocent when He’s bound and bruised.
They had Him whipped head to toe. Every square inch of that body was virtual hamburger, especially the backside all the way up and down. The whip had metal pieces that tore away flesh with each lash. Bone probably showed by the time they were done.
After that, they hung Him out to dry. Literally. When He was dead and buried, they set guards at the tomb to make sure no one tried any tricks. They had heard some expected Him to come back from the dead, so they made sure it was off limits to everyone.
They should have known better. When He died, there were earthquakes, storms, their favorite curtain back at the “store front” was torn in two, and there were stories of dead people walking around. In the words of a comedian two thousand years later, “There’s your sign!”
Yeah, they had a plan, but plans always have holes you never see until it’s too late. They guarded against men. They didn’t stop to think that the Guy’s Dad wanted Him back, and He was en route. The soldiers guarding the tomb saw the Messenger and passed out. Twice. Mind you, they didn’t get into a melee. They just passed clean out. Didn’t even get their swords out. Then the body was gone, and all they could do was report back that things had gone a little south for the home team.
So these gangsters, after seeing all of the miraculous events of the last few days and hearing from their own posse that the Guy really did come back to life, did what gangsters do. They gave the posse a wad of cash and told them, “You didn’t see nothin’”
Here we are. We’ve got two thousand years of history between then and now. We have objective historical evidence from dispassionate observers like Josephus. We have the evidence of the original followers of the Victim dying horribly for not confessing to a little prank that Passover. The brutality they and others following them endured what would make most men lie and say “I didn’t see nothin’” just to stop the torture. But they all hung on to the bitter end, because what they saw was undeniable and gave them strength to endure.
There has been plenty to see all along. So, this Easter, what is your response? Did you see it or not?