#189 (7/25/18)

Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks)

Please read Matthew 28:1-15 and 27:64-66.  Pilate authorized the use of Roman soldiers to seal the stone behind which Jesus lay, and to set a watch.  The Jews wanted to make sure the diciples didn't come by night and steal the body of the LORD and say He had risen.  The soldiers set a watch for three days.  On the morning of the resurrection, they were the first ones to witness Jesus being raised from the dead.  The Roman soldiers were the first ones to witness the LORD Jesus Christ bursting forth from the sealed tomb in His glorious, shining garments and radiating raiment.  They were so stunned they "became as dead men".  The soldiers had toiled sealing the stone with the intent of keeping Him inside the tomb.  They set a watch to scare off any intruders into the area.  Yet, after planning and executing their earthly inventions, Jesus came and messed up the plan.  These trained, elite soldiers were put on the floor as dead men when Jesus exited His burial tomb.  They were paralyzed with fear and terror.  Jesus proved that HE WILL RULE despite man's plots and plans.  The LORD is unimpressed with man and will not let him interfere with His Master Plan.  Notice in verse 5 that the women were not paralyzed!  They witnessed Roman soldiers paralyzed with fear and terror on the ground as dead men!  GOD WILL RULE!  The stone will roll away when the time comes.  They were told by the angel to testify about what they had seen and they ran away in awe and respect (fear).  They felt great joy, excited that Jesus had risen just like He said.  In verse 9, Jesus gives them a chance to demonstrate their inward reverence by allowing the women to hold His feet.  They renounced all human sense; they surrendered by giving over all their authority.  Verse 10 says that Jesus told them not to be afraid.  Afraid of what?  The Roman soldiers. 

Notice in verse 11 that "some" of the soldiers returned to the priests to show them all that had happened.  Those that didn't return knew they would likely face death.  To keep their silence about the truth, they were given a large sum of money.  Look at verse 13.  If they slept how did they know the diciples came and stole His Body?  The Romans had a different story about what really happened.  Their version said the resurrection never happened---even though it did.  The flesh will talk us out of an experience.  After having an experience with God, feeling the power and the glory, witnessing the Son of God bursting forth in glorious light, seeing His resurrection, the flesh will try to convince the believer that none was true and it never happened!  The Christian must beware of the denial and lies of the fleshly nature.  It can steal away an awesome experience with God!  The believer walks by faith, not the eyesight of the natural man!