by Pastor Greg Laurie
A Case for the Resurrection (Part 1)
A meeting of all the religious leaders was called, and they decided to bribe the soldiers. They told the soldiers, "You must say, 'Jesus' disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.' . . . " Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today. - Matthew 28:12-15
The devil hates the Resurrection. For two thousand years he has developed lies and excuses to lead people from believing in the risen Christ. Satan's oldest lie concerning the Resurrection is that the body of Christ was stolen.
The guards of Christ's tomb first told this lie after He rose from the dead. Scripture tells us that the religious leaders bribed the soldiers and commanded them to say, " 'Jesus' disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body' " (Matthew 28:13). But this particular lie actually proves the resurrection of the Lord. It is unlikely the apostles would have counterfeited a resurrection. They did not even believe in it themselves. Remember when the women reported Jesus' resurrection? The Scripture tells us the men thought their report "sounded like nonsense, so they didn't believe it" (Luke 24:11). Instead of waiting with great anticipation for the risen Christ, the disciples initially rejected it.
It is also unlikely that Christ's enemies would have stolen His body. They yearned for nothing more than to prevent another Jesus movement. The religious leaders took extreme measures to protect Christ's body and prove that the resurrection was a lie. And stealing Christ's body would have accomplished everything they were against. Even if they had stolen the body, they undoubtedly would have produced it once that fledgling group of believers began to win people to Christ. But Jesus' enemies never produced His body, because they had no body to produce.
The fact of the matter is that Christ's tomb was empty because He rose again from the dead. Nothing, not Satan or the lies of this world can ever change the truth that Christ is risen. For He is risen indeed!
Copyright (c) 2004 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.