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The Tomb Watchers

The Crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ was a public spectacle.

"27:35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. 27:36 And sitting down they watched him there; 27:37 And set up over his head his accusation written, This Is Jesus The King Of The Jews.

27:38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

27:39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 27:40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross [see also Crossing The T].

27:41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 27:42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him." (Matthew 27:35-42 KJV)

Christ's burial was also public, in plain view of all that He was dead (see also God Alone). Those who murdered Him would not have released His body if He were yet alive.

"27:57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph [see Joseph Of Arimathea and Nicodemus], who also himself was Jesus' disciple: 27:58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. 27:59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 27:60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

27:61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre." (Matthew 27:57-61 KJV)

"So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch"

As described above, there were many witnesses of His death. There were also to be many witnesses of His being dead - some of the same Roman thugs who killed Him were then ordered to guard His tomb so that no mere humans could affect the "outcome" (pun intended).

The Tomb

"27:62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 27:63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 27:64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

27:65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

27:66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch." (Matthew 27:62-66 KJV)

Christ was spiritually resurrected, exactly as He said that He would, after three days and three nights in the tomb (see the Fact Finder question below). When the women went to the tomb early on the first day of the week, the tomb was already empty, but the large stone that sealed the entrance was still there because Christ had passed through it. The tomb was opened for witnesses to see in, not for Christ to get out. The Roman military guards also witnessed that it was no mere human that unsealed the tomb.

"28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 28:4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men." (Matthew 28:1-4 KJV)

But what did they do? They accepted bribes (from the same people who paid Judas to betray Him, perhaps even with some of the same "blood money" because Judas returned it just before he hanged himself) to say that someone stole the body, while they were asleep on guard duty (an offense punishable by death). Their governor was also bribed to accept the lie. Lies and bribes, on top of more lies and bribes.

"28:11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.

28:12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, 28:13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 28:14 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.

28:15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day." (Matthew 28:11-15 KJV)

Fact Finder: What day of the week was Christ actually crucified?
See What Really Happened During Christ's Passover?

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