So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. Matthew 28:15 (NIV)
It seems almost inconceivable that church leaders, the people who hold the responsibility of caring for the souls of their congregation, would do something so obviously contrary to the will of God. How could they get the consent of their own consciences? They knew all the super-natural and amazing expressions of God´s hand at work, yet they stood out in direct opposition and connived different scenarios to fool people.
Equally difficult to understand is why the soldiers who had witnessed the angel, the empty grave and the message from God. How could they betray what they saw and heard and go along with the church leaders?
Once again we could heap blame on top of blame and slander those souls for what they did and never consider if we take any part in such activities.
Is there anything in our lives that we know the Lord would have a certain way, but we are holding that off? Is there something, or a number of things we should say or do, but we accept the temptation to conceal the truth and carry on as we are? Maybe if we are honest to ourselves and the Lord, we may see that He is asking something of us and instead of giving Him what He asks, we choose to turn our eyes off it or change the subject.
The temptations are there. We experience this a hundred times a day whether we choose to admit it or not. The same evil forces which stirred religious leaders to lie and to bribe others to do the same are still at work today. The same spirit which entered those soldiers and moved them to accept money and go along with something they knew went against the truth, is moving inside each and every one of us today who would step out to truly seek Jesus.
The victory over sin was won by Jesus when He died for our sins and rose from the grave to sit at the right hand of God the Father. But make no mistake; a vicious battle over the souls of each of us left standing, is being waged this very moment. Something is happening in spiritual realms right now where if we are not careful, deceit would enter and try to hide things from our conscious selves.
We should never rest thinking that we cannot repeat that kind of treason of our Savior. We should come each day to Jesus, for Him to examine our hearts. Like a computer searching for malicious viruses, we need to be cleaned often.
Dear Jesus, we come to You today seeking to be cleaned. We do not want surprises one day when we find that our heart has gone along with something contrary from what You would have for us. If You ask us to seek first Your kingdom or Your righteousness, have a look and tell us if that is truly what we are doing. Examine the motives behind our actions to see that we are going as far as we should to carry out Your wish. Then, when You have made us aware of even the slightest deceit, please give us the strength and direction to correct that treason and return to You in full.