What Jesus Did! 'Scam vs. Alive' — Matthew 28:12-15

Friday, December 29, 2017

Then the priests met with the older Jewish leaders and made a plan. They paid the soldiers much money {to tell a lie}. They said to the soldiers, "Tell the people that Jesus' followers came during the night and stole the body while you were sleeping. If the governor hears about this, we will satisfy him and save you from trouble." So the soldiers kept the money and obeyed the priests. And that story is still spread among the Jews even today.
— Matthew 28:12-15 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 28:12-15 NLT — "Tell the people that Jesus' followers came during the night and stole the body while you were sleeping. If the governor hears about this, we will satisfy him and save you from trouble."

Key Thought

While the lack of courage of most of Jesus' disciples during his trial and crucifixion is horrible, it now serves a powerful purpose. "How can such ordinary men and women, who were once so afraid, suddenly find the power, courage, and influence to change a whole world?"
It's an important question. Is the resurrection of the disciples' hopes, dreams, courage, and passion more easily explained through their experiencing the resurrected Jesus or a plot to steal his body away in the middle of the night and then claim he was raised?
The incredible demonstration of the resurrection of Jesus is not Jesus' appearance to Thomas, but the life change that accompanied all those who saw Jesus risen from the tomb! While enemies of Jesus may have tried to stop the message, the disciples couldn't help themselves. They couldn't contain what they had experienced. They had to tell about what they had seen and heard: Jesus is raised from the dead.

Today's Prayer

O Mighty Rock, King of the Ages, you have seen your children be evangelistic and passionate to spread your message of good news. Please give your children boldness and courage and passion to share the message of the Gospel with those who have never yielded their lives in obedient faith. Please, Father, use me to bring others to the Lord. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 4:13-21
  • Acts 4:29-31
  • John 20:27-29

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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.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.