When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the solders 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 reports gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." So the solders took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
Have you ever been lied to? Oh....I could tell you stories. True accounts of deception. The absolute defamation of a life of twisted lies and manipulation. It can be devastating.
I'm sure I've read it before, but it never really caught my attention that they not only made up such a story but it is still widely circulated TO THIS VERY DAY.
I remember our tour guide in Israel - a devout Jew. A group of wide-eyed college kids from a Christian school were all-too-eager to share our belief of a risen Savior with her. She walked us around the hillside and showed us the place where Jesus gave the sermon on the Mount. She described in detail the reasons why such a storm could so quickly erupt while Jesus and His disciples were out to sea. She lead us down the Via Dolorosa and we took each and every step relishing the agony Christ must have been in as He bore His cross. She lead us to the hill where the cross stood - and we all stared at the skull on the side of the mountain. She showed us to the tomb where a sign is hung overhead that says "HE IS RISEN!"
Oh, she believed He lived. She had full confidence the accounts of Jesus' life on earth were absolutely true. But to her, He was just a "good man" - nothing more than a prophet. See, she believed in His life ... and even in His death ... but she didn't believe in His resurrection which leaves her still searching for eternal life. She is still awaiting her Messiah...
She believed the guards' report. The story of the body having been stolen by his disciples. The twisted lies of some soldiers who thought they'd get in trouble. The defamation of a story that has caused a ripple effect for thousands of years.
What do you say of Jesus? What is your report of His life, death, and resurrection? What is your testimony of His life in you?
It's a silent Saturday - the day when His closest friends had lost all hope, when they grieved with devastated hearts. They didn't know Sunday was coming. They lost their hope. The report had not yet been given. The stone had not yet rolled away. The Savior had not yet risen. And for many, they've bought into a false report of Jesus that ends with His death. When I give my account of resurrection day I want my life to be a testimony of a risen Lord. It's a silent Saturday...but Sunday's coming!