When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers 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. …So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day” (Mt. 28:12-15).
Hush money. Sworn to secrecy.
I have learned to respect confidentiality and have high regard for others’ trust. Sadly, I’ve learned these values after some deep betrayals.
We all have examples of broken trust. Disappointments. Raw wounds. Sometimes we talk about them. Some pains we carry inside.
In the Easter story, Matthew discusses authorities who paid soldiers to concoct a fabricated story about Jesus’ resurrection. Scripture teaches that a violent earthquake shook the earth and an angel rolled away the stone that sealed Jesus’s body in a tomb for three days (see Matthew 28 for details).
The Easter scene defied, and still defies logic, so priests and elders devised a more believable explanation. They filed a phony crime scene to make a missing Person’s report more credible.
Easter morning shook the soldiers’ stability, so they accepted a concocted bribe to explain Jesus’ gravely disappearance. It’s not the first time in history when authorities and officials have used power, silence, money, and threats to crucify truth.
Matthew 28:15 wrote that Jesus’s message wasn’t, and sometimes isn’t, universally accepted. “So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.”
The bible says the story was widely circulated among the Jews. I imagine this report didn’t stay within Jewish communities. News travels fast and far, especially when it’s extraordinary.
Today, we’d maybe share that Good News documentary on You Tube or social media outlets. 2023 Easters later, Jesus’s message remains on Trending Now broadcasts. He was born to represent unconditional love, die on a cross and defy earthly death in just three days. His mission saves all mankind from eternal hell if we choose to accept His invitation.
I relate to characters in Matthew’s gospel account. I’ve been in leadership positions and kept quiet about things that should have been addressed. I allowed fear, for various reasons, bind and gag me.
I’ve been a solider who couldn’t explain something in tangible terms, so I’ve circulated misconstrued details. In weakness, I’ve let somebody’s misguidance sometimes lead me off course.
I’ve used rationalizations (read: excuses, lies, watered-down truth) to justify action or lack of action. “But I ‘only’ told one person.” Or “A slight alteration won’t determine long-term success, or failure, so my decision will have minimal impact.”
We have two temples. One of each side of our head. When I permit thoughts, words, or foolish activity to enter my temple gates, I create murder of the mind. It’s time to roll away the stone and seek Easter morning Light. Without Light, my heart becomes a tomb of gloom.
Jesus, guide me to live consistently with well-grounded integrity. Keep me from becoming a stumbling rock to myself and others.
Readers! Your turn!
What myth or limiting belief have you authorized to circulate your heart, mind, and actions? How has this held you back?
What will you do to create truth for your future life story?
I treasure your stories and thank you for trusting me with your confidentiality.
Rising from ashes to expose the Light,