Daily Word

Lie laid down | Matthew 28:11-15

11 While they were on their way, some of the [Roman] guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 And when the chief priests had gathered with the elders and had consulted together [to develop a plan of deception], they gave a sufficient sum of money [as a bribe] to the soldiers, 13 and said, “You say this, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him while we were sleeping.’ 14 And if the governor (Pilate) hears about it, we will calm him down and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money [they were paid for lying] and did as they were instructed; and this [fabricated] story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to the present day.

Matthew 28:11-15 (AMP) 中文

Good news

It’s now early Sunday morning, the first day of the week. Jesus has risen from the dead. The women have seen the stone rolled away, the empty tomb, and the angel(s) who confirmed the news and commanded them to go tell the disciples. To top it off, they have seen Jesus and are filled with immeasurable joy!

So the ladies are off on their way to spread the good news that Jesus is alive from the dead. What a wonderful report they are tasked to deliver! The disciples will be so excited to receive this news. It is transformational.

Bad news

Juxtaposed to this, the same event is communicated in fear by a few of the guards who were stationed to watch the tomb. They run to the Jewish religious leaders to tell them what happened. They’ve failed in their job and will be punished, possibly with execution. So they run to tell the truth hoping they are believed and exonerated. The Jewish leaders consider this as bad news. Such a stark contrast to the woman’s news of the same event.

Bribe

These Jewish leaders are probably terrified, though Matthew doesn’t record their emotional response. But their response in action is to squelch the good news. So they offer a bribe to the soldiers – hush money. One has to wonder: How can they hear about the resurrection and decide to disbelieve the truth, testified to them by the Roman “police” who, by the way, are at risk of severe punishment? It’s almost as amazing as the resurrection itself!

Lie laid down

“I am reminded of the famous statement by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels that if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth.” (scholar.harvard.edu) And eventually that happened. This lie the Jewish leaders concocted was repeated often enough that it was believed by the public. Seems no one ever asked, “If they stole the body, then where is it now?”, to corroborate the lie. It’s also quite interesting that the same tactic of the Devil that the Jews employed here was used against them in WWII.

RЯeflection

  • Are we taking on the role of the women and running to tell others the Good News? I guess we first must realize it is indeed good news. If we don’t understand we are truly dead in sin without Christ, it’s not such great news, in fact, it’s irrelevant. 
  • Jesus tells us that, “The Devil is the father of lies.” (John 8:44) We ought to check ourselves. Do we get too comfortable with lies? It’s dangerous ground. One lie leads to another and a pattern develops. At some point, we start believing the lie…and other lies. We end up straying from the truth and the sanctification track. This displeases the Lord whom we are called to learn how to please (2 Corinthians 5:9).
Lies we believe. Image from barryfralick.com *

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