Vision Logo Circle

Did He Really? Pt 2

by | Wed, Jul 13 2022

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The Apostle Paul said that if Jesus hadn’t been raised from the dead, that our faith was worthless, our sin remained unpaid for, our guilt was still upon us and we’re doomed. Not only that, he said that out of all the human race, we should be pitied the most because basically we’re delusional. The claim of Jesus being the Messiah is validated 100% by the necessity of the resurrection. If Jesus could conquer and defeat death itself – which was the evidence of our sinfulness…the wages of sin being death…then He could prove once and for all, that death had no hold on Him, because He was sinless and therefore God in the flesh. His death then, was payment for our sin, not His own. The resurrection is non-negotiable.

But let’s just say for the sake of the argument, that the resurrection is fake.

At the time of Jesus claimed resurrection, the priests in the Temple started a rumour that the disciples stole His body and claimed He rose from the dead. You see, in the beginning of Matthew 28, there’s a description of Mary Magdalene and another Mary going to the tomb of Jesus. There was an earthquake, and an angel appeared to them, and this angel happened to be sitting on the stone that was supposed to be in front of the tomb…someone had rolled it out of the way. The guards who had been stationed there were shaking in their boots and became like dead men. The angel spoke to the ladies and told them that Jesus was alive, check out the tomb to see for yourselves that its empty, and once you’ve seen it, go and let His disciples know this wonderful news. The girls took off, excited about what they just saw and heard…but what about the guards?

Matthew 28:11-15, ‘Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, and said, “You’re to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ And if this should come to the governor’s ears, we’ll win him over and keep you out of trouble.”’

Interestingly, the priests actually thought that the disciples might try to steal Jesus body after He’d died, so they approached Pontius Pilate about getting a security detail.

Matthew 27:64-66, ‘Give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise, His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, “He’s risen from the dead!” and the last deception will be worse than the first. Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” They went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.’

What a lot of people don’t realise is that if Roman soldiers fell asleep on duty, they received the death penalty.

Listen to this quote from

“If the Roman soldier is found guilty (of falling asleep on duty), he is punished by fustuarium. This is carried out as follows. The tribune takes a cudgel and lightly touches the condemned man with it, whereupon all the soldiers fall upon him with clubs and stones, and usually kill him…If large groups desert their posts under extreme pressure, the officers reject the idea of beating to death or executing all who are guilty, but the solution they adopt is as effective as it is terrifying. The tribune calls the legion on parade…he chooses by lot…about a tenth of those who have shown themselves guilty of cowardice. Those on whom the lot has fallen are clubbed to death.”

The soldiers stationed at Jesus tomb were not assaulted by a bunch of frightened fishermen, untrained in combat, neither were they threatened or had their weapons taken from them by another Roman legion, they were awake at the tomb, they felt and experienced the earthquake, and probably saw the stone roll away and they absolutely saw the appearance of the glowing, supernatural angel in bright shining white clothing! That’s when they fell like dead men shaking in fear. They saw the arrival of the women and heard what the angel said to them. They saw it with their own eyes and that’s exactly what they explained to the priests.

The priests told the guards to lie, told them to say they fell asleep. They were literally telling the soldiers to put themselves under a death sentence, and that not to worry, we’ll fix it with the governor so you won’t be executed for slacking on the job. Oh…and here’s a bunch of money to sweeten the pot.

If the guards had fallen asleep, they’d have been execute according to Roman law. There’s no record in the history books at all, of soldiers being executed for falling asleep on the job when they were supposed to be guarding the tomb of the most anticipated, famous Jewish execution at that time. None.

It’s also really, really important to point out that the chief priests, the leaders of the Jewish people, the spiritual leaders of Israel and those who governed all the aspects of the Temple Service and the instructions for Jewish Law, committed an act of conspiracy, bribery and lies, and for their own sakes, put the lives of Roman soldiers, who had fulfilled their jobs completely, at risk. They paid them off, and they didn’t care about the consequences on them or their families.

Imagine that for a moment. The priests and religious leaders, whose job it was to teach, interpret and uphold the commandments of God, who condemned Jesus as being a law-breaker, accusing Him of blasphemy, did themselves break all of the commandments.

Obviously, the claim by the Chief Priests that the disciples stole the body of Jesus is a hoax, so that answers that criticism, but we’ll continue look at the possibility of the resurrection being a hoax next time.