27 JESUS’ TOMB LEGALLY SEALED- The next day, after Preparation Day, The Chief Priests and Pharisees went to Pilate and requested that the tomb be sealed so that Jesus' body could not be stolen. They remembered that while Jesus was still alive He had said, 'After three days I will rise again.'
Because the Priests had a real concern over the prediction Jesus had made about Himself, it was certain that they had to share their apprehension to Pilate and through him gain the necessary steps to prevent this. There was enough incentive and strong reasons to justify temporary guards to watch over the particular garden in which Jesus was buried.
Had Jesus been buried, as expected, in a common grave, there would have obviously been official protection as a matter of custom, but because of the fact that Jesus had been privately buried in a personal garden the need for protection was a necessary obligation.
Jerusalem was always a very crowded and restless place during Religious Feasts and Festivals including pagan holiday-makers who joined in the Roman sports. This penalty of execution had not been carried out on just an ordinary criminal but one of the most popular figures admired by the public.
The body of Jesus, the well-known and famed healer and teacher, could not be made accessible to the public crowds that followed Him and believed in His teachings. The precautions for the appropriate occasion were provided from the highly civilized ruling government.
So the order was given for the tomb to be made secure by putting a seal on the stone until the third day. Guards were posted and the tomb was legally sealed under Roman protection. No on could break a legal seal without the necessary authority. If these sentinels failed in anyway during their duty they would be executed, as was the Roman military custom, for even if any Roman soldier throughout the Empire fell asleep at his post, he faced death.
The approach and request to Pilate was to very be important recorded information. Although Jesus was a Jew and had been prosecuted at the insistence of the Jewish Leaders, the punishment and sentence had been Roman. The body of Jesus therefore was technically Roman property, but the Chief Priest also had Temple Police help with the watching of the tomb throughout the coming hours, an essential duty that was carried out preceding the third day after Jesus‘ death.
All precautions for keeping the peace and maintaining order amongst the vast crowds of people during this holiday and at other times, rested upon the civil authorities. The body of Jesus and shocked mourners were not to affect the maintenance of law and order in Jerusalem.
Pontius Pilate was himself responsible for his own act. This suited the High Priest and Jewish Officials because the Romans would, by armed force stop any trouble making referring to Jesus’ death after their Jewish Sabbath.
The disciples of Jesus who were in hiding because of fear of arrest themselves, knew nothing about the plans of guarding the tomb because of Jesus’ predictions of His resurrection. They themselves had forgotten about what Jesus had said to them previously as they were much more concerned with their own future and what to do next.
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