Today’s Reading: Matthew 27: 62-66
Five verses. We only see this particular aspect of the story in the first of the four canonical gospels. Not only do we see it just this once, we are only given five brief verses to summarize the entire scene. The brevity of the description leaves me wanting more.
Darkness has covered the land during the daylight hours. The curtain of the temple has been torn from top to bottom. The earth has shaken with a violence so powerful the rocks were split. The body of our Lord lies mutilated and disfigured inside a stone cave. Jesus Christ…the Expected Messiah is dead.
I imagine those who truly believed Jesus was the long awaited Conquering King were now dejected and dismayed beyond all comprehension. Just a few days before they were waving branches and crying out, “Hosanna to the Son of David” and now the lifeless body of The One they praised is incapacitated.
Yet even in His death, we see His immeasurable power.
The Pharisees and chief priests have seen all this take place. They know full well that Jesus is indeed dead. Their mission has been accomplished yet we see their fear and restlessness illuminated in these five verses. They come to Pilate in a desperate attempt to remind him that Jesus said after three days He would be raised to life again. It’s almost as if they’ve realized their grave mistake and this is their last ditch effort to save face. Orders are given to make the tomb as secure as possible and a guard of soldiers are set to keep watch over the tomb.
We have the privilege of reading this story from the other side. We know that throughout history, no amount of human effort has ever thwarted the plan of God. This situation is no different.