Read: Matthew 27:62-66
Have you ever had a task or job that seemed pointless?
Maybe it was your first job and it was just a means to an end. You needed money to pay for a car or to take someone special out on dates. Your parents told you this was part of growing up – “Get a job!” You did a lot of the same things every day, tasks that fit into some bigger picture that you weren’t really aware of. It was boring. It seemed a bit pointless. But…what if that pointless job was more important than you think?
It’s Saturday morning, April 4th, 33 AD and Jesus is dead. The crowds that accompanied Jesus into the city on Sunday were gone. They were glad to see Him and crown Him as King on Sunday and now they were glad He was gone as they oversaw his crucifixion on Friday.
The priests and the religious teachers weren’t taking any chances though. After Jesus had already been crucified and confirmed dead, they ask for some soldiers to guard the tomb of Jesus. Talk about a pointless job meant for interns. Guarding a dead guy? What’s the point?! He’s dead after all. The Gospel of Matthew gives us the key insight into this pointless job – “…His disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that He has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first!” (Matthew 27:64)
The religious Priests and Teachers of Law never claimed that Jesus’s miracles were fake. They saw incredible things they couldn’t explain. They couldn’t do what Jesus did, so people went to Jesus in the thousands because of what they saw and experienced Him do. If He was seen after His death…it would change everything.
Here’s the point, the guard at Jesus’ tomb is another piece of evidence that Jesus actually did rise from the dead. The guards were armed with swords, shields and spears. The disciples of Jesus didn’t give their lives to defend Jesus while He was alive, they weren’t about to give their lives for Him now that He was dead. The guard was there all day and night and on into the next morning. The disciples of Jesus couldn’t have stolen the body. The pointless job of guarding Jesus actually helps the case for The Resurrection of Jesus. The next day, the stone is rolled away, the tomb is empty, and the guards saw something that scared them almost to death. This would change everything.
Further Reading: Matthew 28:1-20
Prayer: Father, help me with my doubts. Dead people coming back to life seems to be the stuff of legends and fairytales. Help me read the eyewitness accounts of your Son’s crucifixion, death and resurrection with an openness and curiosity that allows for unbelievable events to become believable. Help me follow the evidence and not my feelings. Help me with my unbelief and my unfinished understanding of Jesus’ resurrection. I have doubts, help me answer them.