The soldiers knew what they had seen. Angels. An empty tomb. A mysterious Man. They didn't understand it, but they knew something big had just happened. Could it really be? Could this Jesus have truly risen from the dead?
The soldiers ran to tell the chiefs priests everything. Then they waited while the Jewish leaders discussed the situation. Perhaps they were surprised by the priests' response, but they weren't about to turn down such a large amount of money.
Yes, of course, it was a bribe, but it was just so much money, more than some of them had ever seen in their lives. They still knew what they had seen, but the lure of wealth was greater then their commitment to truth. They took the money. They told the story the priests gave them. They spread the lie that Jesus' disciples had come and stolen His body in the night. Did their consciences poke them? Did their dreams still reveal the risen Man and the empty tomb? Did they ever regret their denial of the truth that had been right in front of them?
Tuesday – I Have Seen the Lord
“I have seen the Lord!” Mary was ready to proclaim it from the rooftops. But instead she ran and told Jesus' disciples.
“I have seen the Lord!” Indeed, Mary had seen the Lord, and she had heard Him speak her name, listened as He told of His coming ascension, and embraced Him.
“I have seen the Lord!” Mary's tears turned to joy the moment she realized that the Man she thought was the gardener was really Jesus. He was truly risen, just like He said. Death could not hold Him. Here He was alive.
“I have seen the Lord!” Praise God! Mary's heart soared. “I have seen the Lord!”
Wednesday – Expectation
The crippled man looked up at Peter and John with an expectation. He thought they were going to give him some money, and he certainly could use it. His disability made it impossible for him to make a living, and he was reduced to begging from passers-by.
But the man's expectation wasn't met; instead, he received a much greater gift. Peter and John looked intently at him, and Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”
The next thing the man knew he was on his feet, walking, jumping around, and praising God. His legs were strong and solid. He had never felt like this before, ever, and it was all because of Jesus. He didn't know much about Jesus, but he was determined to find out as much as he could. The formerly crippled man may not have received what he had expected, but he had something so much more, and his life would never be the same.