1. They had claimed that Jesus was in league with Beelzeebub the prince of demons.
F. Whatever the reason for the rejection, Jesus’ enemies are in trouble.
VI. The implications of the resurrection make both sides uneasy.
A. Pilate cannot have a risk of political instability.
1. Tiberius is not going to believe an angel took the body nor that professional Roman soldiers allowed a rag-tag band of fishermen take the body.
2. The Sanhedrin does not want to risk religious instability.
3. So Rome and Jerusalem, normally two groups that hate each other begin to cooperate.
1. Better Roman ineptitude be the news than any return from the grave.
2. Pilate will allow the Roman soldiers to live and spread the rumor.
3. The Sanhedrin will support Pilate in whatever report he wishes to file with Rome; though, as Barnes writes: “The whole account…was intrinsically absurd.
VII. Here were the two major power groups in Palestine and all they needed to do was hold on to a body to help keep their power base secure and rid the world of Jesus’ influence forever.
A. And they failed to do it.
VIII. I did not read verse 10 for the text today but one of the great messages of Easter morning is found here: Then said Jesus unto the, “Be not afraid: go tell my brothers that they go into Galilee and there shall they see me.”
A. In the long run, what does this defense of Jesus’ resurrection mean for us; so this fellow named Jesus of Nazareth rose again from the dead? Of what importance is that for us?
B. It was Jesus’ opponents had to deal with fear and deception. First, it means as Jesus says, “Be not afraid.” We don’t need to be afraid of physical death or God’s eternal wrath. The resurrection is a validation of Christ’s finished work.
C. It was true that Jesus was the Son of God and that his mission to rescue sinners from God’s wrath was authentic. Being raised from the dead validated Jesus’ righteousness/ and this righteousness/ those who trust in Christ will be dressed in/ on that day of Judgment that will provide covering from the sentence of eternal destruction.
D. Jesus said, “tell my brothers”: We are welcomed into God’s own family; not only a kingdom, but a family.
IX. John Calvin: “We now come to the closing scene of our redemption. For the lively assurance of our reconciliation with God arises from Christ having come from hell as the conqueror of death, in order to show that he had the power of a new life at his disposal. Justly, therefore, does Paul say that there will be no gospel, and the hope of salvation will be vain and fruitless, unless we believe that Christ is risen from the dead. For then did Christ obtain righteousness for us, and open up our entrance into heaven; and, in short, then was our adoption ratified, when Christ, by rising from the dead, exerted the power of His Spirit, and proved Himself to be the Son of God.”