Matt. 27:62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate
Matt. 27:63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’
Matt. 27:64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”
Matt. 27:65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.”
Matt. 27:66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
The conspiracy to hide Jesus after His death reveals a lot about what happened on Good Friday. The leaders that had Him killed say “the last fraud will be worse than the first.”
If you slow down and think about what they are saying, they are saying that Jesus saying He was the Son of God, and therefore equal to God, wasn’t as evil or punishable as grave robbery. They are saying that for the disciples to steal a dead body is worse than a man claiming He is God.
There are plenty of laws in Leviticus that guide these experts about dead bodies, but none of them carry the level of charge that blasphemy does. Blasphemy was punishable by stoning and you could be tried and judged whether you were Jewish or not.
The proof of the unfair trail of Jesus continues on beyond His death. The other thing you just have to wonder here, since Jesus’ disciples haven’t done anything violent or vigilante up to this point (except for Peter and that ear incident), is why guard the tomb with soldiers? The only other times Jesus was faced with armed guards before His arrest was when He was healing them or they wouldn’t arrest Him as ordered because “No one every spoke like that man.”
I think the chief priests and the Pharisees were really afraid that Jesus was going to come back from the dead. Their response is so irrational. To lie that Jesus rose from the dead isn’t a big deal. If nobody sees Him and nobody has reports of Him risen, the story dies out.
His disciples are a bunch of rag-tags and not prone to violence. The only one that was noted for violence just went out and hanged himself. This isn’t a violent revolution. Later on in Acts 5, Gamaliel, an expert in the Law, would tell the priests and Pharisees to leave the disciples alone to die off other wise they might find themselves fighting against God.
The Pharisees believed in the resurrection from the dead, but they believed in it with fear. They were so embedded in their rules and laws that they didn’t have room for salvation.
The disciples were afraid of being killed by the Jews and the Romans, so they were hiding out in fear too.
It was a long three days while Jesus’ body lay in that tomb, waiting for the Father’s zeal to fulfill His promise.