Humble Hero


Caiaphas Urges Deceit

Caiaphas tried to speak. His lips moved, but they uttered no sound. The soldiers were about to leave when Caiaphas at last found speech. “Wait, wait,” he said. “Tell no one the things you have seen.” HH 359.5

“Tell them,” said the priests, “His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.” Here the priests overdid their story. If the soldiers were asleep, how could they know? And if the disciples had been proved guilty of stealing Christ’s body, would not the priests have been first to condemn them? Or if the sentinels had slept, would not the priests have been the leaders in accusing them to Pilate? HH 359.6

The soldiers were horrified. Sleeping at their post was an offense punishable with death. Should they lie and place their own lives in danger? How could they stand the trial, even for the sake of money, if they perjured themselves? HH 360.1

The priests promised to secure the safety of the guard, saying that Pilate would not want to have such a report circulated any more than they did. The Roman soldiers sold their integrity for money. They came to the priests burdened with a startling message of truth. They went out with a burden of money and with a lying report on their tongues. HH 360.2

Meanwhile the report of Christ’s resurrection had reached Pilate. Though he had condemned the Savior unwillingly, he had felt no real pangs of conscience until now. In terror he now shut himself inside his house, determined to see no one. But the priests made their way into his presence and urged him to overlook the sentinels’ neglect of duty. He himself questioned the guard privately. They did not dare to conceal anything, and Pilate drew from them an account of all that had happened. He did not take any further legal action, but from then on there was no peace for him. HH 360.3

In putting Christ to death, the priests had made themselves the tools of Satan. Now they were entirely in his power, entangled in a trap from which they saw no escape but to continue their warfare against Christ. The only hope for them was to prove Christ an impostor by denying that He had risen. They bribed the soldiers and arranged for Pilate’s silence. HH 360.4

But there were witnesses whom they could not silence. Many had heard of the soldiers’ testimony about Christ’s resurrection. And certain ones of the dead who came from the tombs with Christ appeared to many and declared that He had risen. The priests and rulers were in continual dread that in walking the streets or within the privacy of their own homes they would come face to face with Christ. Bolts and bars were poor protection against the Son of God. By day and by night that awful scene was before them when they had cried, “His blood be on us and on our children.” Matthew 27:25. HH 360.5