“True reconciliation is never cheap, for it is based on forgiveness which is costly. Forgiveness in turn depends on repentance, which has to be based on an acknowledgment of what was done wrong, and therefore on disclosure of the truth. You cannot forgive what you do not know.” --Desmond Tutu
Matthew 28:1–4 (NIV)
1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
Matthew 28:11–15 (NIV)
11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
At the time of Jesus’ death, the chief priests could have sought out the eyewitness testimonies of those present at the tomb when the stone was rolled away. However, their love of power and man-made religion outweighed their desire for Truth. It just wouldn't work that this Jesus of Nazareth, the person the chief priests had rejected, the person they saw as a threat to their own power, the person they had come to detest, the person they had framed, the person they had lied about, the person they had gotten condemned to capital punishment, could possibly come back from the dead.
These priests once again drew money from the Temple accounts and choose to buy the silence and to encourage the false witness of those guards who were eyewitnesses to the events of Easter morning.
In many ways, we as humans look to cover up our transgressions and sins rather than bringing them into the light. History is a funny thing. It can be manipulated to fit certain narratives, but God’s beautiful blessing is that His Truth will always be seen in the end. So, it is better for us to confess our sins no matter what it costs us here on Earth. God is faithful to forgive us of our sin and this then enables us to live lives of true freedom and joy.
Holy Spirit, come. Confront me in my sin so that I might tell the world of Your glorious forgiveness. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.