The Greatest Victory

Consider the aftermath of the Lord’s crucifixion. Mistakes were made, of this we are certain. Passover and Sabbath laws were violated. Threats against the Roman Empire were levied and so much more. The chief priests let their anger rule them and it cost them even before the weekend was over. After the death of Jesus, Pilate was petitioned by the religious sects to secure the tomb where the body of Jesus lay. The words of this teacher from Galilee rang in their ears as they remembered His self-proclamation of resurrection. Even though the pharisees did not know how Jesus might do it, they feared that the sepulcher where Jesus was buried would not hold Him. Thus they asked for armed guards and a seal to secure the tomb. They were taking no chances.

In the process of managing the moment, they indicted themselves in a single line of scripture: “we need to make sure that the body of Jesus stays where we put it, “lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.” Mt 27:64

In their own words the enemies of Jesus admitted that they errored in killing Him: “the last error shall be worse than the first.” They knew that the crucifixion had the potential of making Jesus a martyr, sealing His fame and garnishing sympathy. However, the last thing they could afford was a missing body.

Empty tombs cause doubt. Questions are asked that lead to conclusions, all of which the pharisees could not afford. Moreover, when the rumor became true, and Jesus was risen from the grave, their fears became a reality. They needed to dispose of this Jesus and all that He had done. That is why they sought to kill the resurrected Lazarus also. Nonetheless, it was too late. Jesus rose from the grave and no one, not then or now, could keep Him buried.

We stand here today to celebrate that empty tomb and the living Christ. The stone could not keep Him. The pharisees could not dismiss Him as the news of His resurrection became the triumph over sin. Jesus died and rose again on the third day!

The preaching of Jesus Christ cannot be kept. He is the all time champion of love; the Risen Savior; the Omnipotent King, Eternal, Immortal, the Only Wise God! By divine appointment, He was the Lamb slain and by the Spirit, He is the Victor over death. The Resurrection of Jesus is the greatest victory of Heaven and earth.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

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