Well, Easter is over, and what do we do with Jesus? Do we scheme up a lie that says he never resurrected. You see, if we can’t control his truth, we can at least control our lie. So many of us in the world today want to accept Christ as “a god” but not as “The God.” Sometimes, it’s easier to believe a lie than to trust the truth.
Such was the case with the religious leaders concerning Jesus’ crucifixion. Matt 27:64 records the chief priest making their plea to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate to post guards at the tomb of Jesus and to also have it secured. They used the term “last fraud” when describing Jesus’ resurrection. Pilate did just that; he posted guards, secured the stone with a concrete-like substance, and Jesus still rose from the dead. Later, in chapter 28, we find the chief priest paying off the guards to say they were asleep and that the disciples stole his body.
Here’s is the problem with the last fraud: if everyone was asleep, then how do they know the disciples stole his body? To fall asleep at your post was punishable by death. They were highly trained soldiers and Matthew’s gospel says they were well paid to confirm a lie that was, at its core, unbelievable in itself. Not to mention the guards slept so soundly that they weren’t awakened by the chiseling, pounding, stone rolling, and body carrying. The truth is, Jesus crucified scares the living daylights out of those who want to follow him. Jesus risen scares the living daylights out of those who want to oppose him.
Jesus was difficult enough to deal with when he was their first fraud. If the Pharisees allowed people to believe he had risen, then they would lose all control of their little world they had created. So, they called him a fraud, paid people to lie about him, and spread that news as gospel. We later find that when the people actually saw him, some worshipped, and some doubted. Notice that Jesus never tried to flip the doubters; he simply empowered the worshippers. Jesus told them that all authority had been given to him and that he would empower them with that authority to reach the world. So, I guess you could say doubters get left out while worshippers get empowered.
What is it going to be for each of us? The chief priest called Jesus’ resurrection “the last fraud.” What will you call him? We’re either doubters or worshippers, and he’s either a fraud or a savior. The choice is yours. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Join us at Christpoint Church, on Liberty Square, in Sparta. Welcome home.
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