29 Jun No Lockdown for The Gospel
The lockdown in a nation was meant to contain the spread of the virus and it became the ‘new normal’. The intention is to keep people from moving out, just like house rest. Securing a living person in a house makes sense; but securing a tomb, that too of a crucified man is unimaginable.
Let us look into the details to find out a reason for the lockdown of the tomb of Jesus, and its result.
A. Lockdown of the tomb:
Jesus died on the cross. It was proved by the testimony of the soldiers, even Pilate was surprised to hear of his death (John 19:35, Mark 15:44). After Jesus’ death, the chief priests remembered Jesus’ words that He would rise from the dead, so they went and asked Pilate to lock down the tomb (Matt 27:62-65).
A.1. Jesus’ opponents believed in His words of resurrection:
The chief priest had remembered Jesus’ word of coming back to life after His death. But the disciples ran away from Jesus Christ. Jesus’ opponents knew and understood Jesus’ words but they never exercised faith; instead they used it against him.
We live in a world where people know God’s word and use His word to attack us in different ways. We don’t know how to handle such an attack because we are not equipped to defend our faith. If we are not able to defend our faith, then we are not able to proclaim His word.
A. 2. The opponents had a wrong understanding:
The chief priests remembered Jesus’ words but they couldn’t understand the bodily resurrection of Jesus’ Christ. So they had assumed that the disciples would steal Jesus’ dead body and say that He rose from the dead. Knowing the Scripture is good, but understanding the Scripture is great and living according to the Scriptures is the best thing that disciples can do.
Jesus’ disciples recognized Him after his resurrection. This reveals His bodily resurrection. He could physically enter closed rooms. No one could lock down His resurrected body, either to come out of the tomb, or to enter locked rooms.
Paul has explained that the present body can’t inherit the kingdom of God. Only after this perishable body will be changed into an imperishable body it is possible. (1 Cor. 15).
B. Lockdown the resurrection’s news:
As the chief priest believed, Jesus was resurrected, and the news spread throughout the city. The soldiers reported it to the chief priest. He bribed them to lock down the new of Jesus’ resurrection and thereby deceived people.
The guards were bribed, and commissioned to dissipate a false story among people that Jesus’ disciples stole His body. But the truth of the resurrection news suppressed it, and began to spread all over the world by his disciples and other Christians; Jesus has commissioned all His disciples to spread the news.
Just like the chief priests of Jesus’ day, today’s authorities try to silence Christians from proclaiming the Gospel. Politicians silence Christians to keep Christians’ beliefs in the backyard and not discuss them in a public arena. The tomb couldn’t keep our Savior locked down, the soldiers couldn’t keep Jesus from coming out of it, then how can we lock the resurrection news within ourselves? It is not possible to keep the good news secret. There is only one thing we will do: we will proclaim.
The chief priests had given money to soldiers to spread a false story. But Jesus has given His Spirit and His command to spread His good news to all the world. The resurrection news must be spread.
C. No lockdown for the gospel:
The gospel is announced by God, the Father, the Lord about his Son to us (Heb 1:2, 2:3). God prepared the people, even nations to bring His only Son to the world to redeem the mankind from the slavery of sin. The Gospel of God is written in the Holy Scriptures about Jesus the son of David and the son of Abraham (Mt. 1:1). Jesus is the son of God through the spirit of holiness and by his resurrection from the dead. The Gospel is the gift from God receives by faith (Rom 1:4).
This gospel has to be proclaimed to all because there is no salvation to humanity anywhere else. Jesus has sacrificed Himself, once for all, for everyone’s sins. There is no more sacrifice needed, nor any other way to salvation. The only way is Jesus Christ. So how can we reject such a great salvation? (Heb. 2:3-4).
The Gospel is announced to us by God, now it is our responsibility to preach the Gospel to unbelievers. Why do we need to preach the gospel? Because without hearing it, there is no awakening of faith and no way of knowing Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:14-16).
The Lord’s gospel is unstoppable. In the book of Acts, we see that the resurrected Christ is enthroned in Heaven, and He poured the Holy Spirit on the believers. His mission is to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Therefore it is our responsibility to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth.
The government and the gospel-opponents devise plans to lock down the gospel from being preached. This is not new to Christians. It happened in the first century. To annihilate Christianity, Christians were persecuted, their property was thrown away, and they were shamed at the public places (Heb 10:32-35). It continues now in a different form.
But the gospel has thrived so far because it is announced by God about His Son Jesus Christ, He is with us and the Holy Spirit guides us to take the gospel to everyone till He returns.
Peter Daniel Joseph, lives in Perth, with his wife and two grown-up daughters. Presently joined as a student, doing Graduate Diploma in Divinity in Trinity Theological College, Perth.