According to Matthew’s testimony, after Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb, the chief priests and Pharisees began to get nervous. They went to Pilate — the governor who had washed his hands in front of the angry crowd who cried out for Jesus’ death and said, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.” (Matthew 27:24) … “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, “After three days I will rise again.”‘ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, 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.
“‘Take a guard,’ Pilate answered. ‘Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.’ So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.” (Matthew 27:62-66, NIV)
On the third day, while the guards were watching over the sealed tomb …
“There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.” (Matthew 28:2-4)
When the guards emerged from their stupor and realized that Jesus body was missing from the sealed tomb, some of them went into Jerusalem and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened to them….
“When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, ‘You are to say, “His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.” If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.” (Matthew 28:12-14)
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: Matthew went on the say: “And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.” (Matthew 28:15)
Do you believe it?