Roman Soldiers

Roman soldiers who guarded the tomb

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Roman Soldiers

John 20:11-18 (B) Roman Soldiers

What happened to the Roman soldiers who guarded the tomb?
"... Some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, "Tell them, 'His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.' And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure." So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day." (Matthew 28:11-15)

What is amazing about the chief priests' actions?
Upon being informed by the Roman soldiers, they should have realized that Jesus indeed had risen from the dead as He had prophesied and as they had feared. They should have been wailing in repentance for what they had done to Him, not trying to bribe the Roman soldiers and cover it up.

Why did the Roman soldiers go along?
They had no choice. They had failed to defend the Roman seal, so they were as good as dead if nobody intervened for them. That's why the Roman soldiers had gone to the chief priests instead of to their own barracks, which was just next to the temple.

To who else did Jesus appear?
Luke 24:13-32  13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. 17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” 18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” 19 And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.” 25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. 28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. 30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?"

Where is Emmaus?
"Seven miles" (Luke 24:13) west of Jerusalem

Who were these two men?
"Cleopas" (Luke 24:18) and "Simon" (Luke 24:34)

Were they two of Jesus' twelve disciples?
No, but they refer to Mary Magdalene, Salome and Mary the mother of James as "our" (Luke 24:22) company and Peter and John as "certain of those who were with us" (Luke 24:24), so they were among His disciples in the larger sense of the term.

Do they see Jesus as their Savior?
No, they see Him as a "Prophet" (Luke 24:19) "who was going to redeem Israel" (Luke 24:21), much like the twelve original disciples saw Him.

So what does Jesus do for these two men?
He teaches them all over again: "Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." (Luke 24:27)

When did this happen?
Later during the same day: "Today is the third day since" (Luke 24:21) "the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him." (Luke 24:20)

So to how many people did Jesus appear before He appeared to His eleven remaining disciples?
At least five: these two men plus the three women.

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