Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. They assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’ And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy (him) and keep you out of trouble.” The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present (day). Matthew 28:8-15
Three or more days after Jesus was believed to have died from being crucified on the cross, two contrasting stories will circulate. Two opposing stories will spread regarding why the tomb is now empty.
One story says Jesus has risen from the dead, the other says His body was stolen by His disciples. One story comes from the total number of women who came to the tomb, the other comes from some of the guard who were at the tomb. One story comes from lowly women, the other from regarded soldiers. One story originated from fearful and afraid yet overjoyed women, the other comes from supposedly brave guards. One story comes from women who received grace and forgiveness, the other from men who received money. One story comes from women who woke up from sleep, the other comes from men who said they were asleep. One story comes from women who gave their lives to Jesus; the other comes from men who are trying to save their lives from the governor. One story points to a specific place of promise – Galilee, the other points to a place to nowhere. One story requires faith, the other logic.
Friends, search the depth of your hearts. Which men or women will you listen to? Which story will influence your life? Which story will get your prime time? Which story will you bookmark? Which story will you highlight? Which story will you believe?
Distinguish. For the story you will believe is the story you will tell.
Decide. For the story you will believe is the story you will live.
Postscript- Originally posted on April 14, 2009