Jesus was crucified and buried, and the religious leaders wanted to make sure his disciples wouldn’t try to propagate a lie that Jesus had risen by stealing his body. So the tomb was sealed and the guards were set in place.
But the guards came running to the chief priests with the news of an earthquake, the tomb opened, the angel, the body of Jesus gone! Right in front of the religious leaders was the evidence that Jesus had risen, leading to the assumption (one would think) that He was who He said He was, and that they are dealing with God. But their response was to propagate a lie so as to keep Jesus dead in the minds of anyone who might hope otherwise. The very “leaders of God” would not let go of what they believed even with compelling evidence to the contrary. What were they thinking?! It seems that they liked their position of leadership and authority and refused to give it up – even to God. (Read about it here.)
When we get to a place of comfort or honor or status or whatever makes us feel good, it can be a very dangerous place. Our sinful condition is such that we think we have what will make us happy and refuse to let go of it even when what is the truth (that which will truly fulfill us) is right before us. Oh Lord, rescue me from myself! Open my eyes to see and my ears to hear. Let these words of Jesus bring my heart trembling before you:
“…the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I should heal them.’” Matt. 13:14-15 (NASB)