31. GUARDING A GRAVESITE (Matt.27:62-28:15)

BACKGROUND: The enemies of Jesus had planned for him the fate of a common criminal. Usually dogs ate what fell down from a cross. Jesus, however, was buried properly (vs.57-61). Roman soldiers were usually considered to be very brave.
  1. How could the high priests and the Pharisees remember Jesus' prediction about his own resurrection when the disciples had completely forgotten it (vs.62-63)?
    • Why did the high priests regard the disciples as more courageous than they actually were (vs.64)?
    • Do you think the high priests really believed in the possibility of Jesus rising from the death?
  2. Verse 65 is the last mention about Pilate in the Bible. What kind of impression do you get of him at this point?
    • What did Pilate perhaps think about the events of that day?
    • Do you think Pilate could ever forget Jesus? Give your reasons.
  3. How do you think Roman soldiers reacted when they were commanded to guard a dead body?
    • Look carefully at what these soldiers experienced on Easter morning (vs.2-4).
    • How could we describe in medical language the state of the soldiers in verse 4?
  4. What made the courageous Roman soldiers so frightened that they fled their post?
    • Do you think the soldiers looked into the grave before they fled the scene? Give your reasons.
  5. How do you think the high priests interpreted the report of the soldiers (verses 11-14)?
    • What does it prove that the high priests didn't demand the guards to be punished, but gave them a large sum of money instead (vs.12-15)?
    • How did God change to the best for his kingdom even the things the high priests did?
  6. List up all the things that should have convinced the high priests that Jesus had really risen from the dead?
    • Do you think you would have believed in resurrection if you had been in the place of these high priests and Pharisees?
  7. What great inconsequence does the story of the soldiers contain (vs.13)?
    • How do you think the centurion (their commanding officer) reacted if he heard this story (vs.13)?
  8. Why didn't Jesus appear in front of the high priests?
    • Soon after this the disciples changed into brave men and started to proclaim the resurrection unafraid even of death. Why didn't the enemies of Jesus become Christians at that point either? (Cf. Luke 16:31)
    • What do you think the rest of life of these men was like?
  9. What does the resurrection of Jesus mean to you personally?

2012 Glad Tidings Bible Studies - www.gladtidings-bs.com