Bribes and Lies
Posted by Karah
Reflect on your actions and words from this week. Ask God to reveal any sin and then ask Him to forgive you.
• The women obeyed the angel’s command to go tell the disciples the good news that Jesus had been raised from the dead. For followers of Jesus, this was terrific news that caused great rejoicing. However, for those who opposed Jesus, this created a problem. Why?
Now, read Matthew 28:4, 11-15 in your Bible.
“After the priests had assembled with the elders and agreed on a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money and told them, ‘Say this, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole Him while we were sleeping.’” —Matthew 28:12-13
• List the priests’ actions upon hearing the guards’ testimony.
• What did the priests’ reaction indicate about the importance of Jesus’ message?
• What plan did the priests devise in order to quiet the news of Jesus’ resurrection?
The priests didn’t want the soldiers to admit that Jesus had been raised from the dead because that would have affirmed His identity as the Son of God. So, the priests who had sentenced Jesus to death bribed the guards to lie.
• How would you have responded if you were one of the Roman guards bribed by the priests? Journal your thoughts.
• Have you been asked to lie before? How did you respond? Record your experience in your journal.
• Consider this: The truth of Jesus’ resurrection was so powerful that the Jewish religious leaders bribed elite Roman soldiers to lie about the occurrences outside the tomb. Ask yourself: Do I understand the powerful message represented by the empty tomb?
• Look back at the previous question. Ask God to continue to help you understand the truth of the resurrection and what it means for you.
BEHIND THE STORY
The Roman soldiers were the most elite of the military. Being caught sleeping on the job was punishable by death. The description of verse 4 in today’s passage implies that the guards actually saw the angel, so it is unlikely that they were asleep when the stone was rolled away. Rather than holding firm to the truth that they saw an angel of the Lord roll away the stone blocking the tomb, they risked their lives with a lie crafted by the religious elite. If anyone asked, they would say that Jesus’ disciples stole the body while they slept.
The truth of Jesus’ resurrection gave hope to believers, but caused fear among the religious leaders.
Posted in Boys, Devotions, Easter Series | Tagged Camp Ridgecrest Alumni and Friends, Camp Ridgecrest for Boys, Reprinted from EC magazine. @ 2016 LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, Weekly Devotions