They said, “Now, wait a minute. Calm down now. I don’t want to mess with any of these Christians again, with these followers of Christ. I tell you what we’ll do…you guards now, the greatest soldiers in the world, you tell people that the disciples came and they stole the body…that they overpowered you while you were asleep. And okay, here’s a lot of money, if you’ll please do this”. And the Bible says some of the guards did this and they began to walk out and spread the fabrication that the disciples stole the body.
At that same moment, the followers of Christ, they saw that He had risen. Jesus Christ appeared numerous times after He rose from the grave. In fact, at one time He appeared to over 500 people! Can you imagine that? You half that total, 250 people. If you put those folks in a court of law and each would give one hour of personal testimony… you’re talking about evidence! It’s a historical fact. The documents are clear that Jesus Christ rose from the grave and I challenge you, if you’ve never studied this, take God’s Word, take some other literature, and if you’re open, if you’re seeking the truth, you’ll come to the conclusion like I have that Jesus lives.
But this morning, we’re going to talk about these guards, and specifically, we’re going to talk about a wake-up call, because as I said, the guards happened to be a witness to the greatest miracle in history. You’re talking about a wake-up call. You’re talking about a little Capuccino or Espresso in the morning. Great, their eyes were like saucers! They could not believe it. But do you realize that God is issuing a wake-up call to you and to me this morning? God is issuing a wake-up call to us. And He does it over and over and over again whether you’re outside the family of God or inside the family of God. Why? You say, “Ed , why in the world does God want to wake me up?” God wants to wake you up, God wants to wake me up because He cannot stand for His children to miss the secret, the meaning, the purpose of life. He says, “When you are awake to my resurrection power, when you have heard the alarm and got up out of bed spiritually, boy, you’re ready for action!”
God is a God of justice, a God of fairness, a God of punishment. And He has this nature about Him, but also He is a God of grace, of understanding, of forgiveness and His first thought, His first inclination was not extermination.