All obstacles are thwarted at the empty tomb. A message for you this Resurrection Sunday.


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Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate and said, "'Sir, we remember that when he was still alive that deceiver said, "'After three days
I am going to rise again. Therefore order for the grave to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples come and steal him away, and say to the people he has risen from the dead, and the last deception will be worse than the first.'
Pilate said to them, "'You have a guard, go, make it as secure as you know how.' And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone."
Matthew 27, 62 -66. We must take note of three issues here.
Firstly, the tomb of Christ was secured by a stone, which was a material obstacle. These stones were large and set in an inclined channel.
This was a real obstacle. For sure the stone could not be rolled away from the inside. The disciples, if you had enough of them, could roll away the stone.
But not quietly and definitely without guards taking notice. Besides, they would have to work together to roll it away, and that didn't seem very likely as they were scattered and in hiding.
Secondly, the tomb was secured by a seal, which was an obstacle of human authority. The seal was a rope overlapping the width of the stone covering the entrance to the tomb.
On either side of the doorway there was a glob of wax securing the rope over the stone. You could not move the rock without breaking the seal.
Imagine all those wax -sealed letters impressed with the king's seal you see in those period films you love so much.
It was like that but bigger. It was important that the guards witnessed the sealing because they were responsible for whatever was being sealed.
These Roman guards would watch carefully as the stone was sealed because they knew their careers and perhaps even their lives were on the line.
The Roman seal carried legal authority. It was more than yellow tape barricading a Law & Order episode crime scene.
To break a Roman seal was to defy Roman authority. That stone was secured by the authority of the
Roman Empire and backed with its full military force. And finally, the tomb was also secured by a guard, which was an obstacle of human strength.
A typical Roman guard had four soldiers. Two watched while the other two rested. This guard may have had more, we can only speculate.
The soldiers would be fully equipped, sword, shield, spear, dagger, and armor. We should also remember that these were
Roman soldiers. They didn't care about Jesus or Jewish laws or rituals. They were called to secure the tomb of a criminal.
To them, the only sacred thing at this tomb was the Roman seal because if that were broken, their careers would be ruined and they might be executed themselves.
Soldiers cold -blooded enough to gamble over a dying man's clothes were not the kind of men to be tricked by trembling disciples or would not be jeopardized their lives by sleeping at their post.
So what does all this mean? Why are we concerned with these details? It's a clear demonstration that 1.
Material obstacles don't stand before the resurrected Jesus. 2. That human authority doesn't stand before the resurrected
Jesus. And lastly, and 3. Certainly, human strength doesn't stand before the resurrected
Jesus. None of these obstacles mattered. They all fall away before Him, the Christ, at the foot of the empty tomb.
Blessing to you and your family this Resurrection Sunday. I'm Greg Moore with the Dead Man Walking Podcast.