You are to say, “His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.”
The religious leaders had the opportunity to interview personally the guards who saw the events of that morning while memories were still fresh. They could ask questions to clarify what those witnesses had seen. Did this opportunity strengthen their faith? Did the eyewitness facts from the guards confirm for the religious leaders that Jesus was the Messiah they had heard him claim to be before his death?
No. The Jerusalem chief priests were committed to a different outcome and didn’t want to let little things like the testimony of eyewitnesses change their minds. It just wouldn't work that the person the chief priests had rejected, the person they saw as a threat to their own power, the person they had come to hate, the person they had framed, the person they had lied about, the person they had gotten condemned to capital punishment, could come back from the death sentence they had inflicted.
So again there was a need to withdraw some money from the temple fund—even more this time—to buy the silence and false testimony of the guards who had witnessed the events of Easter morning.
Claiming it never happened—that is not repentance.
But do we do that? Do we lie to cover up?
Holy Spirit, confront me again with the facts. Help me to get out of this state of denial, claiming it never happened, so that I can pray—forgive me, Lord Jesus, for I have sinned. Amen.
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