Matthew 28: 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.2 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.3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.11 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.12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 20 …and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
This is the account of what happened in the Easter narrative. Jesus lay in the tomb until early—before daylight—on Easter Sunday morning. We plainly see the truth and then we plainly see the lie. This was the greatest event in history. Jesus was born 33 years earlier and revealed himself as Messiah, the Son of God. He was falsely accused and condemned to die on the cross. This was God’s plan. Adam’s race needed a Savior. Every one of us needs him. We cannot save ourselves. No program can save us. He died and rose for our salvation. This is the truth.
At the same time, the biggest lie ever told was spread. It has been passed from generation to generation and is still believed today. Satan holds no punches. His lie continues on. The same morning the truth was revealed, the lie came to be. While the 11 were hiding out and keeping a low profile, the women came. They didn’t understand it all. They didn’t put it all together. Even though they saw it happen—saw him die, saw him buried, and a seal put on the tomb, they didn’t wait. As soon as it was permissible for them to move about after the Sabbath, they came with spices to embalm Jesus. The last thing we do in life should be for Jesus. If not for him we’d all be in hell. I’m thankful the women were willing to risk their lives for Jesus. How much are you willing to risk?
When they arrived, the angel told them the tomb was empty and Jesus had risen—as he said. They were to go tell the disciples. Jesus met them in the way and said be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. For so many years I didn’t believe. Thank God for the day I did believe and receive the truth!
There was a second set of witnesses to this event. Soldiers guarded the tomb. No one was to go out and no one go in. There was one way out and one way in. A stone was put over the entrance and the seal of Pilate placed upon it. Pilate represented the Roman government. The Caesar thought himself a god. Many today think they are, but they will find out one day. When the angel came and moved the stone, it scared the soldiers so bad they passed out. When they woke, some of them left. They forsook their fellow soldiers. They reported according to their duties and were required to report the truth. They got the priests up and reported all things that were done. A heavenly being broke the seal and rolled back the stone. There was an earthquake. He sat on the stone but they could see there was no body inside. They would have to admit they got so scared they passed out. Then women came and were told what happened.
The lie began. Satan told Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit wouldn’t hurt them and they fell for it. Caiaphas fell for Satan’s lies this time. Paul said that if we believe and confess we can be saved. The priests could have believed but chose not to do so. They persuaded the soldiers not to tell the truth. The greatest truth of the ages also began the greatest lie. How many have been bribed not to believe Jesus died and rose again? Satan tells people they can have any religion they want. You can even worship yourself, and many do. He’s still spreading the same old lie. The only thing the guards had to do was spread the lie. They bought it too and did just what was asked of them. They were offered money and they took it.
Many believe Jesus lived. They believe he died. But they think he’s still in the grave. All of them had a choice. Two thousand years later we have a choice. Will we believe the truth or the lie? Will we spread truth or lie? Will we follow truth or lie? When I believed the truth it set me free. Let me encourage you to believe. You don’t have to believe a lie. The truth of the resurrection will rescue you from hell. If you’re following afar off, come back to the truth. Live under it.