Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, "Tell them, 'His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.' And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure." So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
Some of the guards went to make a report to the chief priests.
They wanted to tell them all the things that had done.
They described the earthquake.
They described the rolling of the stone.
They described the arrival of an angel sitting on the stone.
They described the empty tomb.
It had all happened and they described it all.
They knew it was a supernatural event.
They understood that the Lord Jesus Christ had risen from the dead.
And so they told the Jewish leaders.
But the Jewish leaders didn’t believe.
And they didn’t want to investigate.
The Jewish leaders were so resistant, so blind, so sinful, so self-willed and so locked in to their own religious belief that they would not even investigate the truth that was reported to them by the soldiers.
They just refused to believe.
The news brought shock.
The news brought fear.
But it did not bring repentance.
And it did not bring faith.
The Jewish leaders convened immediately.
They had to deal with the fact that something supernatural had happened at the grave.
The disciples had not stolen His body.
They had got to answer this problem.
If they allowed the people to think the Lord Jesus Christ was alive, they were going to have a worse situation than they had ever had.
The whole city and the whole nation would go after the resurrected Christ.
So they had got to plan to lie about the resurrection.
They came out with a three-part resolution:
Firstly, they bribed the soldiers to lie about the truth of the resurrection. They gave them a great amount of money.
Second, they asked the soldiers to spread lie about the resurrection: the disciples had come and stolen His body while they were asleep.
Third, they promised to cover for the soldiers if they got in trouble with Pilate.
The apostasy of the nation of Israel was final.
Their Messiah had risen from the dead and they were not the least bit interested in affirming whether or not it was true.
They were obstinate in their apostasy.
They willfully rejected the Lord Jesus Christ no matter what the evidence was.
The soldiers took the money and did what they were taught.
They went out and lied about the resurrection.
And to this day the prevalent anti-resurrection theory is still the "theft theory" that the disciples stole His body.
The soldiers knew the truth.
The Jewish leaders had every reason to know the truth.
But they refused to believe.
And the soldiers were successful at what they did.
Many have seen the truth about the Resurrection and believed.
Many have seen the truth about the Resurrection but refused to believe.
And they lie about the Resurrection so that others may not believe the truth.
How about you?