Humble Hero


Many Turn to Bible Study

Between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, many sleepless eyes were searching the prophecies, some to find evidence that Jesus was not what He claimed to be, and others searching for proofs that He was the true Messiah. Though searching with different goals in view, all were convicted of the same truth—prophecy had been fulfilled; the Crucified One was the world’s Redeemer. Many never again took part in the Passover rites. Many even among the priests searched the prophecies and after His resurrection acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God. HH 357.1

Nicodemus remembered Jesus’ words spoken by night on the Mount of Olives: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:14, 15. The words Jesus had spoken to him were no longer mysterious. He felt that he had lost much by not connecting himself with the Savior during His life. Christ’s prayer for His murderers and His answer to the dying thief spoke to the heart of the educated councilor. Again he heard that last cry, “It is finished!” spoken like the words of a Conqueror. His faith was forever established. The event that destroyed the hopes of the disciples convinced Joseph and Nicodemus of Jesus’ divinity. HH 357.2

Never had Christ attracted so much attention from the crowds as He did now that He was in the tomb. People brought their sick to the temple courts. Everywhere they were calling out, “We want Christ the Healer!” The friendly hands of Jesus, that had never refused to touch the loathsome leper with healing, were folded on His chest. The lips that had answered the leper’s request with, “I am willing; be cleansed” (Matthew 8:3), were now silent. Many were determined to have the living Christ among them again. With persistent earnestness they asked for Him. But the leaders drove them away from the temple courts, and soldiers were stationed to keep back the crowds with their sick and dying. HH 357.3

Sadness crushed the sufferers in their disappointment. The sick were dying for lack of Jesus’ healing touch. No doctors could help. There was no skill like that of Him who lay in Joseph’s tomb. HH 357.4

To thousands of minds came the conviction that a great Light had gone out of the world. Without Christ, the earth was darkness. Many whose voices had joined in the cry, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” now realized the disaster that had fallen on them. HH 357.5

When the people learned that the priests had put Jesus to death, they began to make inquiries. The details of His trial were kept as private as possible, but reports about the inhumanity of the priests and rulers circulated everywhere. People of intellect called on these priests and rulers to explain the prophecies concerning the Messiah. While trying to frame some falsehood in reply, they became like madmen. They could not explain the prophecies that pointed to Christ’s sufferings and death. HH 357.6

The priests knew that they were meeting the strong criticism of the people. The ones they had influenced against Jesus were now horrified by their own shameful work. These priests trembled for fear that Christ Himself would rise from the dead and appear before them again. They remembered that He had said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19. Judas had told them the words Jesus spoke on the last journey to Jerusalem: “The Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles ... to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.” Matthew 20:18, 19. They remembered that so far Christ’s predictions had been fulfilled. Who could say that this also would not happen as predicted? HH 358.1

They longed to shut out these thoughts, but they could not. The image of Christ would intrude on their minds, serene and uncomplaining before His enemies, enduring their taunts and abuse without a complaint. An overpowering conviction came to them that He was the Son of God. At any time He might stand before them, the accused to become the accuser, the slain demanding justice in the death of His murderers. HH 358.2

Though they would not step over a Gentile’s threshold for fear of defilement, on the Sabbath they held a council concerning the body of Christ. “The chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, ‘Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, “After three days I will rise.” Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, “He has risen from the dead.” So the last deception will be worse than the first.’ Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.’” Matthew 27:62-65. HH 358.3

The priests gave directions for securing the tomb. A great stone had been placed over the opening. Across this stone they placed cords, sealing them with the Roman seal. Then they stationed a guard of one hundred soldiers around the tomb to prevent anyone from tampering with it. Jesus was sealed as securely in His tomb as if He were to remain there through all time. HH 358.4

But the efforts they made to prevent Christ’s resurrection are the most convincing arguments in its proof. The greater the number of soldiers placed around the tomb, the stronger would be the testimony that He had risen. Roman might was powerless to confine the Lord of life within the tomb. The hour of His release was near. HH 358.5