1/14 Matthew 27:64

64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last fraud will be worse than the first."

The religious authorities went to the governor and asked for the tomb to be guarded because Jesus had said He would rise on the third day. Their excuse was that the disciples might try to steal the body and claim Jesus rose from the dead, but that doesn't really make sense. If no one saw Him alive, who would believe the story? And what if the body was later discovered? Certainly the Roman authorities would have the power to search for it until they found it. If Jesus had not risen from the dead, the disciples would not have been inspired to risk their lives to proclaim the gospel.

Could it be that the religious leaders were more afraid of Jesus rising from the dead than the disciples were hopeful it would come to pass? Was it the leaders' knowledge of Scripture that caused them to fear the possibility that He would rise? Did they really believe a guard of soldiers could keep the risen Messiah in the tomb? That sounds like a last-ditch effort to hang on to their power and positions.

Would Matthew have written our verse for today for any other reason than to record the factual event? If he were trying to propagate a myth, he certainly would not have raised the suggestion that the disciples could steal the body. Nothing in the physical or spiritual realm could stop Jesus from rising from death. Jesus was seen by hundreds of people. All the efforts of the religious establishment couldn't stop the plan of God. Jesus was-and is-alive!

Consider: Nothing could stop Jesus from rising from death. Nothing can stop His inevitable return. How should we then live?