“Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.”
Matthew 28:13, 15
After the death of Jesus, the chief priests and Pharisees made a visit to Pilate. They reminded him that Jesus had promised that He would rise again after three days. These religious leaders requested that Pilate secure the tomb, lest the disciples come and steal His body. Pilate ordered the tomb to be made sure and established a watch to guard the tomb. After the resurrection of Christ, the soldiers told the chief priests what had happened. As our text records, the Jewish elders gave money to the soldiers and commanded that they lie about the whereabouts of the Savior. “Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.” The Bible then says, “they took the money, and did as they were taught.”
Dishonesty and deceit has been around for as long as mankind has existed. The thing that makes this lying even more treacherous is the fact that the lies were conceived and spread by the religious leaders of the Jews. The hatred and jealousy of the Jews moved them to lie about the body of Jesus. They would rather lie, and cause others to believe the lie, than to accept the truth.
Unfortunately, religious envy continues to foster deceit and dishonesty today. False religions preach error and promote lies to keep people from believing the truth. Multitudes of followers have been convinced to believe the lies of their leaders rather than the truths of the Scriptures. The remarkable thing about error is that sometimes error is easier to believe than truth. These lies seemed believable to those who heard them. The above text records, “this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.” Although the falsehoods had no substance to them, they were commonly believed and reported among the Jews. One thing could have settled this question convincingly. They would only have had to believe what the Word of God said, both in the Old Testament and from the lips of Jesus Christ.
We should all be warned of the power of lies. When some teaching disagrees with the words of the Bible, it should be shunned as error. Believing things that are not consistent with the Scriptures can be destructive to any of us.