Truth about the Claims of Christ
Today’s reading: Leviticus 18-19; Matthew 27:32-66
11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. Leviticus 19:11
63 … “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Matthew 27:63b-64
Telling the truth was commanded in the Law of Moses. It needed to be commanded because truthfulness was lost early in human history when the serpent deceived the woman in the Garden. Jesus referred to the devil as the father of lies (John 8:44). All are born into his realm by natural birth. Only by a new birth are we set free from this kingdom of lies and deceit.
The scribes and Pharisees were very aware of the claim Jesus made that He would rise from the dead on the third day. While the disciples were in hiding, fearing that Jesus might be gone forever, the religious leaders were worried that people might actually believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. Was there really a danger of the disciples stealing the body and starting a rumor that the Lord had risen? I doubt it. After all, they had shown no courage when Jesus was arrested (Matthew 26:56b). Nevertheless, the stated position of Jesus’ enemies was that He had made a false claim and that the disciples would lie to cover for it creating a hoax of monumental magnitude.
It was their stated position, but maybe even those opponents wondered if Jesus would make good on the claim. Tomorrow we will see how this all worked out and, in the end, the unbelievers inadvertently enhanced the claim that Jesus had risen from the dead.
Truth is essential. The claims of Jesus Christ are rooted in actual historical events, not merely philosophical theory. Consider the historical evidence for the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord. It is either true or false. Everyone ought to face the truth. Jesus was no imposter. His claims proved true.