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4. The Artifice of the Elders of the Jews
(Matthew 28:11-15)
11Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened.12When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,13saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’14And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.”15So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. (Matthew27:64)

The chief priests heard from the soldiers that Jesus had risen from the dead and that an angel had spoken to the women. Out of fear and anger they devised a story full of lies and contradictions. They bribed the guards with money and ordered them to say that they fell asleep at the tomb, and the disciples stole the dead body of Jesus. This account is impossible and is rather comic. What the Sanhedrin tried to prevent, that is the disappearance of Jesus’ body from the tomb, has now actually happened. Yet, truth cannot be strangled with money and lying, for truth is not a thought but a raised person living among us.
What a great difference between the attitudes of the women who witnessed the angel and the chief priests’ who ordered the soldiers to lie. In the women we see truth, peace, and joy. In the religious leaders we see lying, bribery and fear.

Lord Jesus Christ, You are the living Holy One forever. We worship You for death could not hold You. The power of Your life opened the terrible prison of death. You justified us by Your atonement on the cross, and gave us Your peace immediately after Your resurrection. We thank You for You called us Your brethren. We praise You and exult in joy for through You God became truly our Father. By Your resurrection, You made us children of God forever.
What were the contradictory words that the Jewish leaders said to the keepers of Christ’s tomb?