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Lesson # Matt. 28:11-15
Study Material - Matt. 28:11-15
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
Matt. 28:11-15 11 Now [de] when they [autos] were going [poreuomai] , behold [idou] , some [tis] of the watch [koustodia] came [erchomai] into [eis] the city [polis] , and shewed [apaggello] unto the chief priests [archiereus] all the things [hapas] that were done [ginomai] . 12 And [kai] when they were assembled [sunago] with [meta] the elders [presbuteros] , and [te] had taken [lambano] counsel [sumboulion] , they gave [didomi] large [hikanos] money [argurion] unto the soldiers [stratiotes] , 13 Saying [lego] , Say ye [epo] , [hoti] His [autos] disciples [mathetes] came [erchomai] by night [nux] , and stole [klepto] him [autos] away while we [hemon] slept [koimao] . 14 And [kai] if [ean] this [touto] come [akouo] to [epi] the governor's [hegemon] ears [akouo] , we [hemeis] will persuade [peitho] him [autos] , and [kai] secure [amerimnos] [poieo] you [humas] . 15 So [de] they took [lambano] the money [argurion] , and did [poieo] as [hos] they were taught [didasko] : and [kai] this [houtos] saying [logos] is commonly reported [diaphemizo] among [para] the Jews [Ioudaios] until [mechri] this day [semeron] . KJV-Interlinear 11 Now while they were on their way, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and counseled together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 and said, 'You are to say, 'His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.' 14 'And if this should come to the governor's ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble.' 15 And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day. NASB
We have but two questions before us in life. The first is, 'What do you think of Jesus Christ?' Along with that question we can add a second, first question, and that is, 'Has anyone in history ever defeated death?' These two questions go together.
The answer is easy. No one in history has ever found a cure for death except one person, Jesus Christ. No one has ever come up with an alternative to death except Jesus Christ. Other philosophies offer ideas and theories, and even stories with alternative answers to death, but none are documented and proven as well as the Bible documents the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The second question which follows is, 'If an alternative has been found, then is it available to anyone else, and if so, how?' We have that answer too, by believing in Jesus Christ. Abraham believed and it (eternal life) was credited to him as righteousness. Likewise, Adam, Noah, David, and everyone in history who has ever believed in the Messiah promised or the Christ who accomplished salvation. Both of which are the same person, Jesus Christ.
Once the question of life after death is answered, then as a believer in the Savior, the next question is a series of questions, 'What do you think of Gods Word?' That is the question we all are confronted with everyday concerning our daily Bible study. We either pursue a Bible study in the legitimate sense, or we do not.
If you pursue a daily Bible study, then you will grow up spiritually and you will experience greater things in life. If you ignore or constantly compromise your daily study, then your spiritual life will be diminished, if it even exists at all. What you can then expect is misery and disappointment.
Now we are still in the early hours of Sunday morning. The ground shook, and angel came down out of heaven and rolled the tomb stone aside, and sat on top of it. He probably then crossed his arms across his chest and then glared at the soldiers. They froze. Then they took off. We can probably guess as to what they did from that point on. They stopped a short distance away to discuss what they had just seen and what they should do about it. They cold have gone to Pilate, but then He might arrest them, accuse them of failing to perform their duty and execute them. Hummm. Not a good idea. Plan B. They will go to the chief priests and tell them the story, and then just see what happens. Now the soldiers did not all agree. They did not all go to the priests, only some of them did. 'Hey, we watched the tomb for three days and that is all we were supposed to do! Now it is a Jew problem.'
But what of the missing body?
In the mean time, Mary and the women have come to the vacant tomb, Mary has gone to get Peter and John, Peter and John have come and gone from the tomb, the women saw the angels and left the tomb, Mary came back to the tomb and saw Christ, Christ has met the women on their way back to their home, and the soldiers have now decided to go to the chief priests. Did I leave anything out?
The soldiers tell the priests their story, the earthquake, the angel, the stone rolled away, the empty tomb.
Do the priests immediately rush to the tomb? No. The disciples did. The priests immediately call a meeting of the Sanhedrin, and the leadership comes up with their cover up plan. Did they call for an investigation? Did they launch a search for the missing body? Did they go out and arrest the disciples? No they did none of these things.
Now some within the priesthood were secret followers of Jesus. We can only imagine what they might have said in this meeting, 'What if He really was the Christ?' But of course we know that the chief priests ignored the truth, and immediately launched their cover up plot. Bribe the soldiers and then back them up if they get themselves into trouble.
First the plot. While they were asleep. The soldiers slept in shifts. Some would have slept, while others would stand watch. Their orders were to guard the tomb such that no one could come and steal the body at night. To fall asleep at ones post would be grounds for immediate execution. There would have been several guards. Perhaps a dozen. Perhaps fewer. But certainly enough to defend the tomb from any assault that people might launch against it in order to steal the body. The priests who requested this protection would have made certain that there were more than enough soldiers there. The feast holidays were a time of increased tensions between the Jews and the Romans. They would not likely fall asleep with all that had been going on.
Second if they all fell asleep, then how could several men come in the night, and roll the stone away without waking them up? That would have been noisy, besides a soldier or two probably would have been leaning against the stone door. Third if they were all asleep, then how would they know who came and stole the body?
The chief priests are faced with overwhelming evidence, yet they defiantly refused to believe. Earlier in Jesus' parable, Abraham was conversing with a rich man who had gone to Torments. The man wanted Abraham to go tell his relatives to believe, and Abraham replied that if a person will not believe the scriptures, then he will not believe even a dead man who had been brought back to life.
A defiant attitude is an extremely dangerous attitude to have, because it can trap you permanently and there you will lose great rewards. The priests pursued a course of deceit rather than repenting. Of course some of them eventually will believe in Christ, as it is described in Acts. But many will refuse.
As of the time of the writing of this book, Matthew, some three decades later, Matthew states that this excuse and lie is still being spread with regard to the disappearance of Jesus' body. Defiance can last an entire life time.
Now we look to our own lives. We all know the facts. We all know the history. We all have a Bible or can get access to one easily. We all know what is expected of us. We all know the alternatives for our life after death. We all know the options we have while we are alive. We all know the benefits of pursuing spiritual growth. We all know the dangers of ignoring it.
Before us, eternity is laid out. That is a long time. We can prepare for it or ignore it. Where then will be the excuse?
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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