What If…

The view from Caiaphus' house. 



Scripture:

Matt. 27:62   The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception would be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.

Observation:

Matthew is the only gospel writer who includes this story about the guards. He does this because he was well aware that there was a false report that was being circulated about Jesus’ resurrection. This is a piece of the story that we need to know. 

It’s believed that Judas is the one who probably warned the guards to look out for the miracle of the resurrection. In Judas’ mind that “what if’ question loomed large, and ultimately led him to his death. It was too big of a question for him to be able to handle. The information that he shared with guards also led them to ask the big “what if” question. Enough so, that they placed extra guards on the tomb. At least they didn’t want the disciples of Jesus to stage some kind of grave robbery and try to claim that this man was raised from the dead. The “what if” of the potential resurrection was far too great of a threat because the reality of it would be unthinkable. They may have really crucified the son of God. 

Application:

In the silence of Saturday we discover that we are not the only ones who may be faced with the “what if” question in life. It’s in the times of uncertainty that the questions begin to erupt. “What if I choose to follow that path?” “What if things don’t work out the way that I would like?” “What if people don’t respond to me the way I hope?” 

It’s in the silence of Saturday that the Jewish officials were faced with the giant “what if” — what Jesus said was true? That reality hit them and they knew that they needed to guard the tomb. A story of a resurrected Messiah would create more damage than they could control, therefore, action had to be taken. The “what if” had to be considered. 

Maybe the “what if” needs to be seriously considered on this Saturday. We are not asked to play religious games, or simply to participate in the actions of a local faith community, but we are challenged to ask ourselves the most serious “what if” question that exists. What if the story of Jesus is true? What if Jesus really did raise from the dead? What if Jesus is the son of God? What if God really does exist? What if….

The religious and government officials were so afraid of the “what if” question that they had to play it safe. They ordered a guard on Jesus’ tomb, just to make sure that nothing would happen. Maybe you’re struggling with your faith and you’re finding yourself on silent Saturday wondering, “what if?” 

“What if” you walked away from this faith many years ago? But “what if” —  this story just may be true? Wrestling in the silence of Saturday and pondering “what if” may just be a good time to take proactive measures, because the story is true! Jesus really did die for our sins. Jesus really is the Messiah. Jesus really does love us. Jesus really did raise from the dead. Jesus really does make intercession for us to the Father. Jesus really wants to welcome us back home. 

Think about it. “What if?” 


Prayer:

Lord, in the quiet of today, I renew my faith commitment to you.  Amen. 

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