Some of the guards [who guarded Jesus’ tomb] went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So, the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.” (Matthew 28:11–15, NIV 1984).
My Musings – I think we can all agree that flowers do not produce eggs. And it should come as no shock that neither do bunnies. Not on Easter, nor any other time. But there is another truth claim that has deceived many. Jesus’ “disciples came during the night and stole [His body] away.” I would say in response to this “dead deceivers do not produce martyrs of their former followers. But risen Saviors do.” Accordingly, I prefer the following truth claim:
“What I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3–4, NIV 1984).
Many (“a great multitude that no one could count“) will go to their graves fervently defending this claim. Unfortunately, according to Jesus, there will many more (“broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it“) who will go to their graves stubbornly rejecting or carelessly ignoring this claim.
My Advice – There is no middle ground. Each must decide for themselves. But why should you believe it? Consider this. After His resurrection, “He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James [Jesus’ half-brother], then to all the apostles, and last of all He appeared to me [Paul] also, as to one abnormally born.” (1 Corinthians 15:5–8, NIV 1984). Many of these witnesses did indeed become martyrs for affirming a risen Christ. Most assuredly, they do not become martyrs for a “widely circulated” lie. “No, they do not.” Get off the broad road. There’s room for you in the “great multitude.“