When I was young and stupid, I relied on bragging to prove that I could do something. When challenged, I was often exposed as my cocky words could not be backed up by actions. Subsequently, God used disappointment, humiliation and failure to allow me to mature. While I never lost my passion and zeal for competition, I tried to let my play speak for itself in college. Although I didn’t win every intramural championship, I believed in my heart that victory was attainable. There was no doubt about it,
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men, Matthew 28:2-4.
In recent years, telling the truth is like an animal on the endangered species list. Some people want to win so badly that exaggerating, fibbing and spreading rumors is all part of the process. This destructive climate has poisoned politicians with misleading ads, slandering their opponents, hoping the general public will be persuaded to believe these lies. If you have the cable news, newspapers and social media on your side, the lives of innocent people can be ruined, left like road kill along the shoulder of a highway.
While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 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, Matthew 28:11-15.
As I am finishing my study of the Gospel of Matthew, I uncovered a similar first century plot. Fearful the chief priest, Pharisees and religious leaders would lose their political power, they paid off Roman soldiers to spread false reports. Despite the presence of zombies, the bodies of holy men and women from the past roaming the streets of Jerusalem for over a month, a corrupt scheme eventually halted the truth. As a former high school Bible teacher, I come across secular films trying to discredit the Bible like this first century bribe. Yet, when I research, study and watch these theories, I have come to one simple solution. There is no doubt about the life, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven by Jesus Christ our Lord.
by Jay Mankus