When Leaders Lie
20 June 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matt 28:11-15 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
11 As the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and told the leading priests what had happened. 12 A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. 13 They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ 14 If the governor hears about it, we’ll stand up for you so you won’t get in trouble.” 15 So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today. (Matthew 28:11–15 NLT)
As the women were meeting with Jesus and on their way to tell the disciples he was alive, the guards were meeting with the leading priests to tell them about the angel, the earthquake, and the open, empty tomb. The priests quickly called the elders together and they decided to bribe the soldiers to say, “Jesus disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body!” The guards took the bribe, the priests and elders spread the story, and thirty-plus years later, when Matthew was writing this, some of the Jews still believed the lie.
If the soldiers who Pilate had assigned to guard the tomb had fallen asleep and allowed a ragtag band of Jesus’ followers to overcome them and raid the tomb, Pilate would have executed them! In fact, the guards were not asleep, they saw the angel and were so afraid they fainted dead away! The Jewish leaders paid the soldiers to lie, then the leaders themselves lied, and then they spread the lie widely among the Jewish people.
The Jewish religious leaders were so afraid of losing their grip on the faith of the Jewish people, and they were so afraid of Jesus upsetting their working arrangements with Herod and with the Roman governor that they formed and drove the conspiracy to have Jesus killed. Now that Jesus was alive again, they created a new conspiracy to spread the lie that Jesus’ disciples had stolen his body so they could say he was alive! All this while Jesus’ disciples still thought he was dead!
When leaders are more concerned about getting and keeping power than doing what’s right, they’ll do pretty much anything. That was true then, and it’s true now! Leadership and truth should go together!
Father, Please give us a love for the truth and protect us from leaders who lie! Amen!