ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 377

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The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to
see Pilate. They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said
while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ So we
request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his
disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he
was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were
at first.”
Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” So they
sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it.
Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene
and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.
Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came
down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like
lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with
fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know
you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen
from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body
was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from
the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.
Remember what I have told you.”
The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but
also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s
message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they
ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them,
“Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will
see me there.”
As the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city
and told the leading priests what had happened. A meeting with the elders
was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. They told
the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while
we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ If the governor hears about it,
we’ll stand up for you so you won’t get in trouble.” So the guards accepted
the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely
among the Jews, and they still tell it today.
Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where
Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but
some of them doubted!

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