DAY 95 OF 365 IN 2021
Matthew 28:13 They said to the soldiers, "Tell everyone that Jesus' disciples came during the night and stole his body while you were asleep.
In whatever tone of voice or angle from which I try to read today’s verse, the instruction given was rather bizarre. Just a bit of background: after the death of Jesus, the chief priests and pharisees had approached pilate hypothesizing that the disciples of Jesus would attempt to steal his. This was to throw dust into everyone’s eyes with news of his Resurrection. To mitigate this, Pilate gave permission to secure the tomb with guards.
But today, we read that the guards employed as watchmen over the tomb were being asked to go round spreading the message ‘his disciples came and stole the body while we were asleep’. You don’t need to be an A-grade criminal lawyer to dissect these words because from all fronts, a lot of holes can be punched through these words for they were rather inconsistent, even strange.
- First, if asleep, how did they know that those who stole the body were disciples?
- And if they were soldiers brought to guard, were they to be watching or sleeping?
Perhaps, they were given a sum too good that it turned their heads and they couldn’t say No. However, what these soldiers did not realise was that they had traded their integrity, and the integrity of their office as watchmen, for financial gain.
Certainly, the soldiers could do nothing to interrupt the Resurrection, but it is their actions in the aftermath that invites such scrutiny. Beloved, ‘to he whom much is given, much is expected’ because for every responsibility, results will be demanded and excuses will not cut it. So don’t become a sleeping watchman! Be at your post and protect the integrity of your office.