After Jesus’ death on the
cross, the unbelievers requested Pilate to secure the tomb and make it as secure
as is humanly possible.
You see, they faced a serious
problem. They were so uneasy and fearful that they went to Pilate in an attempt
to prevent the disciples from stealing the body.
Cave tombs were closed by
rolling a huge cartwheel-like stone in front of the entrance. They were almost
impossible to remove. A deep slanting groove was hewn out of the rock at the
base of the entrance for the circular stone to rest in. The stone usually
weighed several tons. Such normal precautions were essential because there were
so many tombs ransacked in those days of poverty. These preparations were done
on Jesus tomb.
The traditional tomb was
further secured by being sealed. When it was necessary to seal a tomb, the huge
stone was cemented to the entrance walls or else some type of rope or binding
was wrapped around the entrance stone and fastened to both sides of the tomb.
Then the binding was cemented with a hardening clay or wax-like substance.
In the case of some burials,
usually political figures, the seal of the Emperor was also attached to the
walls of the entrance. This was to strike fear of Roman retaliation against any
intruder. Even more fear was to be established with Jesus tomb.
Further Precautions for
In the case of Jesus' tomb,
further precautions were taken by placing a patrol to guard against any foul
play. This guard consisted of a large number of men.
The unbelievers and religionist
had a twofold problem with Jesus’ death and this is why they were concerned that
the tomb be carefully secured and a patrol set to guard the tomb.
The Jesus Family Tomb: The Evidence Behind the Discovery No One Wanted to Find
Two major problems of the
The first major problem
they had was a serious disbelief in the Lord's claim. Jesus had said He would
arise from the dead. These worldly religionists did not believe He would, but
they knew He had predicted some kind of resurrection.
Some of the unbelievers and
religionist had heard Him personally talk about rising from the dead. The
disciples had shared with their families and closest associates the words of
Christ about His death and resurrection; and, as with all matters shared with
another, the families and closest associates shared with their closest friends
and the prediction had spread.
Buried Hope or Risen Savior? The Search for the Jesus Tomb
Moreover, during the last
months Christ had intensified His prediction in order to drill the truth into
the disciples and prepare them for what lay ahead.
It should be remembered that
the disciples did not take Jesus' words literally. They spiritualized the
prediction of His death, resurrection, and return. They probably thought Jesus
was referring to some events dealing with the upcoming struggle to free Israel
from Roman domination and establishing the Messiah's kingdom in glory.
Unbelievers of all generations
have to deal with the problem of the Lord's claim to be the Messiah, the Son of
God. Many spiritualize Jesus' words even today.
The second major problem
the unbelievers and religionist had was the message that the Messiah would raise
from the dead. They did not believe Jesus was the Messiah but what they feared
was that the disciples would come during the night and steal the body from the
tomb and begin to preach that Jesus had arisen from the dead.
As a result, the unbelievers
requested Pilate to secure the tomb and make it as secure as is humanly
Mistake of the Religionists
The unbelievers made one
drastic mistake: they believed that Jesus' claims were false, that is His claim
to be the Messiah, the Son of God, and they feared the possibility of a new
error, the message of a risen messiah.
As a result of all this, the
unbelievers planned extensive security of the tomb. Pilate gave permission to
post a guard and to seal the tomb. Both measures were taken.
However, all their precautions
with securing the tomb of Jesus did not hold back His resurrection, Praise the
Experiencing the Resurrection
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