Summary: Pilate’s command to secure the tomb was impossible for the soldiers to carry out. He can’t be entombed. He’s loose today!
A CHURCH IN OKLAHOMA HAD SOME BEAUTIFUL PINE TREES which adorned the property. During a bad storm several of them were hit by lightning. It destroyed two of them and badly damaged others. The church board met and one of the members asked the chairman, “What are we going to do about this? We can’t keep losing our trees!” The chairman gave a tongue-in-cheek reply: “Very well, I shall entertain a motion of this body to have the lightning stopped!”
This reminds me of verse 65 of our scripture passage. The Jews wanted to take special steps to guard the tomb. Pilate gave these instructions: “Take a squad of soldiers and make it (the tomb) as secure as you can.”
Unconsciously, Pilate was saying, “Keep Christ in the tomb!” He may as well have asked them to keep the sun from rising, or stop the law of gravity, or keep the stars from appearing. In others words, it was an impossible mission that those soldiers were sent on.
But, in any event, they took their steps. The door of the tomb was closed by a great round rock, shaped like a huge cartwheel which ran in a groove. It is estimated to have weighed over two tons! But one thing existed that they just did not reckon with—there was not a tomb in all the world which could imprison the Son of God!
ROCKS have never been a problem with God. This includes Moses’ water shortage in the wilderness. It included the so-called impregnable walls of Jericho. In the Resurrection Garden, God Almighty was laughing at man’s puny efforts. Psalm 2:4 says, “He that sits in the heavens shall laugh. The Lord will have them in derision.” When God sets out to do something, it shall be done!
Jesus had openly and clearly declared His resurrection and no power on earth or in hell could prevent it from occurring.
• The soldiers couldn’t prevent it.
• All of Rome couldn’t prevent it.
• The stone in front of the tomb couldn’t keep it from happening
• The one hundred pounds of graveclothes couldn’t stop it.
• Not even all the imps of hell could keep our Lord in the tomb.
There are those today who try to keep Jesus in the grave, but its impossible!
• The atheist can’t do it
• The liberal theologians can’t
• The cults can’t
• Science can’t
• Secular humanists can’t
A legend says that when the body of Jesus was placed in the tomb that Satan sent his demons to guard the entrance to assure that He didn’t come out. On the third day the demons returned to their master with this report: “We could not hold Him. He got away!”
The embalmed remains of Lenin were placed in a crystal casket in Moscow many years ago. On the casket were these words: “He was the greatest leader of all people, countries and times. He was the lord of the new humanity. He was the savior of the world.”
Did you notice that all that is said about him is in the past tense? By contrast, listen to the words of Christ as found in Revelation 1:18: “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever.”
Something mysterious and yet wonderful happened inside that tomb. It was a transformation. Death yielded to life. Darkness gave way to light. Defeat surrendered to victory.