I think perhaps without any sense of exaggeration, it’s safe to say that the tomb of our Lord and Savior is the most popular and without any sense of contradiction the most consequential. Its effect and impact are eternal. Its historicity is irrefutable.
But the design, for now, isn’t to cross-examine the tomb itself, an empty tomb that echoes all through history. Somewhere in my mind, I feel like wrote about it last year. Well, if I haven’t, hopefully, I get to that soon enough.
Two distinct groups of people are found at the tomb on resurrection morning. Perhaps with some significance, the one group was comprised entirely of men and the other, comprised entirely of women (at least at first contact).
In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
The first storyline was peddled by the men, the soldiers who conceivably were in some sense eyewitnesses of the resurrection. In concert with the religious leaders of that day, under the influence of some financial padding, took it upon themselves to spread misinformation, a falsehood of epic proportions: that the disciples stole the body, while men slept. For anyone that thinks about this proposed explanation, it is weak, inconceivable under any circumstances, especially the prevailing one, and to put it rightly, it was a flat-out lie.
Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
However, therein we see the problem, it wasn’t that they told a lie, or that they were providing an alternative explanation, unfortunate as those are, the Gospel writer Matthew penned down some solemn words:
So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. (Emphasis mine)
We see then the problem of this particular error, of this falsehood. It didn’t necessarily obscure the truth, it didn’t change the truth. Unfortunately, it grew alongside the truth, it followed it everywhere, providing alternatives to men.
It’s the same even today, everywhere that the possibility of the truth of God’s word would make an entrance, we find there that the devil is willing to and does employ and deploy all tools at his disposal from the resources of men to their seared consciences, to the end that men believe the lie.
Why is he this desperate? Why is spread of falsehood rapid and widespread? Why does the devil try hard to pervert the ways of God?
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Because, freedom, friends, the freedom of men is at stake, for the knowledge of truth is the conduit through which the freedom of men is accessed. No knowledge of truth, no freedom. The devil knows this and he is doing his level best to hinder men from accessing the truth.
So like Pilate asked Jesus: What is Truth?