Security. People talk about time, information, and power being the real commodities of our society. But I think security beats them all. How much time would you spend to be sure you were secure? How much information would you acquire to insure your security? Isn’t power good because it helps determine your own security? From the moment Eve, then Adam, ate the fruit in the garden, the quest has been to secure our place in life. When God’s way seems demeaning to our own sense of self, we resort to our own way; after all, isn’t it our security?
So on the Saturday after Good Friday, the leading priests and Pharisees are concerned about their security. It isn’t enough that they have had Jesus killed. When a threat talks about rising from the dead, well, you have to cover all your bases. Matthew 27:62-66 tells us that they are concerned that Jesus’ statements about rising on the third day will inspire His followers to steal His body, then the “second lie” will be greater than the first. How will they be able to contain this Jesus movement if people think He is still alive? Turns out they couldn’t! (But that is tomorrow.)
So Pilate gives them a guard detail and tells them, “…secure it the best you can.” Love that line. How do you secure death. How do you insure the dead stay dead? Seems like an easy job. So they sealed the tomb and they posted guards to keep people out. Too bad they didn’t think about the person inside. (But that is tomorrow.)
It is beyond ironic that the actions of the leading priests and Pharisees are not much different than the actions of Adam and Eve in the garden. Both feel God has lied (they call Jesus “the deceiver” and Eve’s motivation is that God has lied about the fruit causing death). Both are trying to secure their advancement over and against God (Eve sees the fruit as desirable to give wisdom and to make her like God). Both choose disobedience instead of surrender. Both would rather believe a lie than have true security. Adam and Eve secure a certain tomb for themselves. The priests and Pharisees secure the tomb of a man who won’t stay dead. (But that is tomorrow!)
How futile the actions of the insecure. In whom will you trust your security? Things that won’t matter in death? Or One who won’t stay dead?