Jesus’ resurrection sure has interesting effects on people. Earlier, the Marys experienced something amazing at the tomb and ran – in fear AND joy – to tell the disciples the news. When Jesus himself met the three women, they worshipped him.
Switch scenes to the guards. Only some of them went to report what had happened. Surely they were terrified, for Roman guards simply did not fall asleep on duty. Perhaps this – and the angel descending from heaven – is why the guards went to the chief priests instead of their military supervisors. Or perhaps the chief priests had a reputation for handing out hush money. It seems a “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” scenario was at work.
Except attempts at sweeping Jesus’ resurrection under the rug failed. Not just because walking out of the grave turned death upside down. Resurrection turned *power* upside down. And people in power do not like getting their cages rattled one little bit. No wonder the chief priests instructed the guards to lie – if the truth escaped, the chief priests would lose their tenuous hold on what little power the Roman government gave them. They weren’t afraid of Jesus or his resurrection – they were scared of Rome.
What keeps us from running to tell everyone – in fear AND joy – about the resurrection? What are we afraid of losing? Pride? Control? Position? Will we pretend that Jesus is still dead or will we fall at his feet, worshipping him?
O God who resurrects, grant us wisdom to see the powers we cling to. Grant us strength to let these go. Grant us joy to fall and worship at Your feet. Amen.
Cristine Warring is the pastor of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) – Girard in rural southeast Kansas.
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