In our bible study lesson, guardsmen run to tell the religious leader what occurred with Jesus’s resurrection. Instead of praising God, the religious leaders took counsel and decided to purposely promote a lie about the “missing body” of Jesus. They paid the guardsmen to spread the word that Jesus’s disciples had stolen the body during the night. Of course, we know that this is not true, but why would these religious leaders perpetuate a lie though knowing the truth?
The reasoning lies within the heart and the psychology of the mind. Throughout Jesus’s interaction with many of the religious leaders, the religious leaders felt threatened by Jesus’s popularity, power, and authority with the people. Instead of collaborating with Jesus, they chose to treat him as competition. Yet, Jesus continuously won at what he did because he was fulfilling his purpose on earth. Many of the religious leaders wanted to have the appearance of power or highest authority within the land, though they themselves were under Roman rule. That was not their purpose.
First, they set Jesus up for death on the cross. After he is crucified, I imagine that they thought things could go back to their definition of normal. However, a once-dead body walking around would shatter any idea of normalcy and yield that the religious leaders were not the greater power in the land. Thus, they felt the need to dispel any threat even if it included telling a lie.
Religious leaders are not God. Instead, they should serve as representatives of the will of God. Only one God exists, our Father in heaven. When you step outside the role you are supposed to serve in, you may have to work extra hard to maintain the role because you are inadequate to serve in the role. Being inadequate means that you do not have the ability to fulfill the purpose before you. Only one person could serve as the Savior of the people. That person is Jesus. So, while the religious leaders wanted the people to look to them as saviors, they were not created for this job. Thus, the ones involved in the plot to suppress Jesus lied to cover up their insufficiency. Even today, we can see clear examples of this around the world.
*Where Is Your Integrity? Denying Jesus’s Resurrection when You Know the Truth