The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.” Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it. (Matthew 27:62–66, NLT)
The Pharisees went to Pilate on the day after Preparation Day: Saturday. Going to Pilate on the Sabbath (Saturday) was certainly in violation of their own laws. They were willing to break their own laws because they remembered Jesus talking about His resurrection. If His body was removed from the tomb, they would never be able to discredit Him completely.
Sealing the tomb was a meticulous process. Once the stone was rolled in place, a rope was stretched across the stone and fastened with wax to each side of the tomb. The chief Roman guard would press his signet ring in the wax, officially sealing the content (Jesus body) inside the tomb. There was no way anyone was going into the tomb or coming out of the tomb without the guards noticing—NO WAY!
Do we detect a hint of uncertainty in Pilate’s voice? “Secure it the best you can.” As “secure as you can?” What is that about? When Roman guards secured something, it was secure! In the case of Jesus, it will not be secure enough to keep Jesus in the grip of death.
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Eric grew up in the little town of Gibraltar, PA with his grandparents. He met his wife Cheryl while working at Good’s Greenhouse in Bowmansville, PA. He has three adult children and values watching them grow into the people God wants them to be.