What Jesus Did! 'Verified by No Lie' — Matthew 27:62-66

Sunday, December 24, 2017

That day was the day called Preparation day. The next day, the leading priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. They said, "Sir, we remember that while that liar was still alive he said, 'After three days I will rise from death.' So give the order for the tomb to be guarded well until after three days. His followers might come and try to steal the body. Then they could tell the people that he has risen from death. That lie will be even worse than what they said about him before." Pilate said, "Take some soldiers and go guard the tomb the best way you know." So they all went to the tomb and made it safe from thieves. They did this by sealing the stone in the entrance and putting soldiers there to guard it.
— Matthew 27:62-66
Illustration of Matthew 27:62-66 — "Sir, we remember that while that liar was still alive he said, 'After three days I will rise from death."

Key Thought

Isn't it interesting how Satan gets defeated at every turn in Jesus' death and resurrection? The disciples don't have any expectation of Jesus' being raised, but his enemies are concerned they might try to make people believe he did. So to keep the rumor from spreading, they call on the mighty power of the Roman army to keep anyone from stealing away the body.
Brilliant plan isn't it! Unless, of course, Jesus is actually raised from the dead!
Incredibly, all through the Gospel story and the early story of the Church, when Roman soldiers are given the opportunity to truly examine the story and the people of Jesus, they are at worst friendly, and quite often become disciples themselves.
The plan to defeat Jesus, his disciples, and his triumph becomes the assurance to skeptical Romans that Jesus had to be raised. After all, how could a bunch of scared and helpless Galileans overpower the Roman army's finest? They couldn't, of course, unless God and his angels are behind it!

Today's Prayer

Thank you, Almighty and Sovereign God, for using the tools of the enemy to defeat Satan and bring victory, and verification of that victory. I believe that you raised Jesus from the dead and that you will raise me from the dead when Jesus returns. Because of this, I have confidence that my life will not be lived in vain. Please give me courage to live the values I confess with faithfulness. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

That evening a rich man named Joseph came to Jerusalem. Joseph was a follower of Jesus from the town of Arimathea. Joseph went to Pilate and asked to have Jesus' body. Pilate gave orders for the soldiers to give Jesus' body to Joseph. Then Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a new linen cloth. Joseph put Jesus' body in a new tomb (grave) that Joseph had dug in a wall of rock. Then he closed the tomb by rolling a very large stone to cover the entrance. After he did these things, Joseph went away. Mary Magdalene and the other woman named Mary were sitting near the tomb. That day was the day called Preparation day. The next day, the leading priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. They said, "Sir, we remember that while that liar was still alive he said, 'After three days I will rise from death.' So give the order for the tomb to be guarded well until after three days. His followers might come and try to steal the body. Then they could tell the people that he has risen from death. That lie will be even worse than what they said about him before." Pilate said, "Take some soldiers and go guard the tomb the best way you know." So they all went to the tomb and made it safe from thieves. They did this by sealing the stone in the entrance and putting soldiers there to guard it.

Matthew 27:57-66

Related Scripture Readings

The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those people that are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Even the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom. Even the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

1 Corinthians 1:18, 25

But Christ has truly been raised from death—the first one of all those {believers} who will be raised from death. Death happens to people because of what one man (Adam) did. But the rising from death also happens because of one man (Christ). In Adam all of us die. In the same way, in Christ all of us will be made alive again. But every man will be raised to life in the right order. Christ was first to be raised. Then when Christ comes again, the people who belong to Christ will be raised to life. Then the end will come. Christ will destroy all rulers, authorities, and powers. Then Christ will give the kingdom to God the Father. Christ must rule until God puts all enemies under Christ's control. The last enemy to be destroyed will be death.

1 Corinthians 15:20-26

At that time there was a very strong earthquake. An angel of the Lord came from the sky. The angel went to the tomb and rolled the stone away from the entrance. Then the angel sat on the stone. The angel was shining very bright like lightning. His clothes were white like snow. The soldiers guarding the tomb were very afraid of the angel. They shook with fear and became like dead men.

Matthew 28:2-4

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.