Christ Triumphant


Witness of the Guards at the Tomb, October 5

And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. Matthew 28:4. CTr 285.1

But where were the Roman guards? They had been enabled to view the mighty angel who sang the song of triumph at the birth of Christ. The angels now sang the song of redeeming love.... CTr 285.2

When the heavenly train was hidden from their sight, they arose to their feet and made their way as quickly as their tottering limbs would carry them to the gate of the garden. As they came up, staggering like blind or drunken men, their faces pale as the dead, they told those they met of the wonderful scenes they had witnessed. Messengers preceded them quickly to the chief priests and rulers, declaring as best they could, the incidents that had taken place. The guards were making their way first to Pilate, but the priests and rulers sent word for them to be brought into their presence. The hardened soldiers presented a strange appearance, as they bore testimony both to the resurrection of Christ and also of the multitude whom He brought forth with Him as the One who holds life-giving power.... CTr 285.3

They had not time to think or speak anything but the truth. They thought their story would at once commend itself to the supposedly righteous men who had employed them. But the rulers were not pleased by the report.... CTr 285.4

The soldiers were bribed to report a falsehood, and the priests guaranteed that if the matter came to Pilate's ears, as it most assuredly would, they would be responsible for the actions of the soldiers. They bribed Pilate to silence. They did more. By special messengers they sent the report that they had prepared to every part of the country.... CTr 285.5

Many had believed on Jesus as they saw the terrible sights that took place. They remembered the voice that was heard at the foot of the cross amid the noise and confusion: “When the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.” ... All eyes were turned to the place from whence came the voice. Who had spoken? It was the centurion and the Roman soldiers, heathen and idolaters.... CTr 285.6

What so enlightened and convinced these men that they could not refrain from confessing their faith in Jesus? It was the sermon that was given in every action of Christ and in His silence under cruel abuse.... In that lacerated, bruised, broken body hanging on the cross, the centurion recognized the form of the Son of God.—Manuscript 115, 1897. CTr 285.7