|Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art|
When I was young (somewhere between five and seven years old) I had a project I was working on and I borrowed a pair of my father’s adjustable pliers. I do not know why but these pliers where designed to come apart; a fact that I was not aware of. While using them they did just that; came apart. I was petrified that I had broken the pliers. I did not ask permission to use them, so instead of owning up to my error I took the pliers and hid them behind a shelving unit in the basement. From the moment I hid them I began rehearsing my story for the day when I would get caught. I have never gotten caught for my crime (I even checked for the pliers sometime in high school and they were not there anymore. I am assuming they were found apart, put back together with a question as to how they ended up falling behind the shelf). However, that day I began a practice in my life of preparing a statement for wrongs committed.
Have you ever done it in your life? You do something wrong so you begin talking to yourself preparing your statement … what your going to tell, how your going to tell it, what details you are going to add (embellished or not), what details you will conveniently leave out, and on and on. Now I do not know why you do it, but as an adult I know why I do it. I do it because I do not think quickly on my feet. I like to be prepared. I write an outline/manuscript of my sermons because I do not think quickly on my feet. I was never the kid to raise my hand to answer a question, because I took a while to process the question. My daughter is now three years old, very perceptive, so my wife has started spelling things, and we got in an argument because I have a hard time processing what she is spelling. My brain processes slowly in many regards, and because of that I gave rehearsed explanations for my crimes.
In our reading today we see that very thing play out with the Jewish leaders. When the women go to Jesus tomb the tomb is empty. Jesus is not there. The men who were supposed to be guarding were doing their job but they had no power over God. Jesus resurrected. However, this empty tomb meant possible death for these guards. What were they to do? What were they to say? Well the Jewish leaders had their backs. They gave them a prepared statement to go to the Roman officials with. Now this was not to protect the guards, but to control the story.
The Jewish leaders did not want people believing that Jesus actually resurrected. They wanted people to believe His disciples stole the body. So they prepared and rehearsed and shared their story. But friends, as we know, there is greater power in truth. Truth needs no preparation. Truth needs no rehearsal. Truth needs no thought. Truth is truth, and it will stand the test of time. That is the beauty of the Gospel. The tomb of Jesus is empty. He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!