As a believer in Jesus Christ, I celebrated His resurrection from the dead yesterday. I love reading the story of the resurrection in God’s Word. Yesterday, I was reading and took notice of the guards that watched the tomb.
“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.“
My wild imagination got a hold of me and I began to wonder.
I wonder if these guards were part of the original Roman army that had taken the orders that taxes must be paid in Bethlehem.
I wonder if these guards were involved in the murdering of hundreds of children in order to try to kill Jesus as a child.
I wonder if these were some of the same guards that would have witnessed some of Jesus’ miracles and watched Him as He taught the people.
I wonder if the guards of the tomb were part of the group of soldiers that arrested Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
I wonder if the guards of the tomb were part of the scourging and beating of my Lord.
I wonder if those particular guards held the whip, braided the crown of thorns, spit in His face, plucked His beard from His face or drove the spikes into His hands and feet.
I wonder if those particular guards were the ones who asked Simon to help carry His cross.
I wonder if they were the ones who nailed the sign above His head.
I wonder if those guards were the ones who gambled over His clothes.
I wonder if they were the ones who gave him vinegar.
I wonder if they heard the conversation of compassion that was exchanged between Jesus and the thief hanging next to Him.
I wonder if they were puzzled that Jesus would still be reaching out to others in His greatest time of suffering.
I wonder if their hearts were softened as they watched Him suffer without a word.
I wonder if the cry of “IT IS FINISHED” that pierced the silence also pierced their hearts.
I wonder if it was the shaking of the earth, or the shaking of their very souls that brought out their words, “Truly, this was the Son of God.”
I wonder if those guards, that were pointlessly guarding that tomb, volunteered for that job because they had a curiosity that wanted to see the rest of the story.
I wonder if when these guards “were as dead men”, after witnessing Christ’s glorious triumph over death, if it was because they knew how terribly dead they were in their sins.
Is it possible that these guards saw the complete life of Christ flash before their eyes and it all suddenly made sense? Do you think they realized that the One they tried to destroy was the only Only who could give them life? Could it be that even in the moment of His victory over death, that Christ reached out and captured the hearts of these guards who only thought they had captured Him?