“Wake up! We must go guard the tomb!
Saturday ruined! It seems obvious to assume.
Soldiers all gather to listen to chief priests, Pharisees.
Duty is calling but can we just get a little rest please?
Guard the tomb was our primary job,
Protection from the disciples’ mob;
Clearly a day filled with being bored,
To watch a tomb of a man adored;
Was he a prophet or crazy in the head?
Was he a blasphemer or someone just dead?
A Roman centurion watched the night before,
Surely the Son of God he would implore;
Was this gossip or was this true?
Seems as though only God knew.
Gathered at the tomb was the entire guard,
Stealing him away was going to be hard;
What’s the big deal, this man was kind?
He fed thousands and healed the blind.
But called Himself God, sounded crazy,
Named the Pharisees like no daisy;
This Saturday would not be filled with rest,
Watch all day and night for any uninvited guest;
Indeed all day nobody ever arrived,
We wonder, would this man be revived?
Will tomorrow bring what yesterday promised?
Or will Sunday just be a day the most calmest?
Now darkness is here and all is still quiet,
Everyone finds silence is their steady diet;
Hearts begin to wonder is God absent?
Or should that thought make us repent?
Just after midnight into the next day,
Still no activity even on this Sunday;
Tired and weary there’s a sudden light,
The earth quakes, we’re all in a fright;
Brilliant angel appears in pure white,
The stone rolled away in the dead of night;
We watch alive though bodies seem dead,
Did Jesus really arise just as he said?
Two women now here at the break of dawn,
The angel explains that this is no con;
Jesus had risen, they go and see,
Seeing the truth, they quickly flee;
The tomb is EMPTY, share the good news,
We, soldiers, are stunned, this is no ruse;
Word begins to spread, so we go to the city,
Share the news with elder, Pharisee committee;
They want to pay us so we would lie,
To defuse what happened before our eye;
I couldn’t take the money for that fib,
The truth didn’t need me to be that glib;
Did my eyes see a promise fulfilled?
Jesus alive after he had been killed?
Do I now believe the good news of this man?
All of this happened according to His plan.
A stunning reversal from night to day,
“I must believe” is all that I can say.
The world’s most evil wrong now turned,
To give grace to me, which is unearned;
Jesus gave His life for His sheep,
The Bread of Life we can all keep;
The River of Living Water,
All because of His slaughter;
The Lamb of God, Resurrection and Life,
Light of the world, and peace from strife;
My final conclusion is I must believe,
Then it is His rest that I can receive;
My day began in total annoyance,
Jesus came to life for my total joyance!
“Wake up! We must go guard the tomb!” Why am I being awakened on my Saturday? All I want to do is rest.
“Hurry, the chief priests and Pharisees are gathering the soldiers to guard the tomb!” All I want to do is rest. But, duty calls, and I always answer that call.
All the soldiers gathered as the chief priests and Pharisees explained our responsibility. Clearly it was going to be a long day and night of being bored guarding the tomb of some religious zealot. Many of our people thought he was a prophet, many thought he was crazy, many thought he was a blasphemer, but I think he’s just dead.
There was word among our group that a Roman centurion watched him die the night before and believed he was the Son of God. Others said they had heard that the curtain in the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. How much of this was the gossip grapevine? How much of this was true? Maybe only God knows.
It looked like every soldier in our entire army was gathered for this assignment. Why do we need so many? I had seen this man in the last couple of years. Some said he was our king. All I saw was that he cared for the poor, healed the sick, and fed thousands. But, I also heard that he said some crazy things like the Pharisees were vipers and whitewashed tombs.
So here we are, hundreds of us if not thousands of us guarding this tomb of a single dead guy. How would his disciples even steal him away? The stone in front of the tomb would take a hundred men or more to roll away. It’s going to be a boring Saturday, and I’m clearly not going to get rest.
As evening begins, we have been standing watch for over 12 hours. Nobody has even come by. Apparently this man said he would rise after three days, so we are guarding the tomb to make sure no one would fake this man’s resurrection. The same question is ringing through our hearts, “Will tomorrow bring what yesterday promised?”
Darkness has fallen all around us. There are murmurs among the soldiers that this has been the biggest waste of time. Although, maybe his disciples are waiting to get him until it is fully dark. Many soldiers have turned quiet. We wonder if God is absent in this silence.
It is just after midnight, now Sunday morning, and there has still been no activity. We are all tired, and we are all convinced that the chief priests and Pharisees were afraid for nothing. We are getting no rest.
Then all of the sudden the earth shook and a bright light-like lightning filled the sky. Before our eyes was a man or an angel dressed in pure white. It was like we could see all this happening but our bodies couldn’t move. We were dead although alive. Then we realized this magnificent being had rolled the stone away by himself!
Two women had arrived just as the light began to dawn. The angel proclaimed that Jesus had risen. The women entered the tomb and departed with great fear and joy that the tomb was EMPTY! They hurried to go share the good news.
Many of us soldiers went into the city to share with the chief priests all that had happened. They were neither surprised nor upset. Instead, the chief priests and elders gathered together and determined to pay us not to tell what happened. In fact, they wanted us to lie and say that Jesus’ disciples had taken his body.
I wasn’t going to take that money. I wasn’t going to lie. But, I also had to ask myself if this Jesus was who He said he was. Did he really rise after three days? Did I see that with my own eyes? How can I explain what happened any other way? Indeed, truly Jesus is the Son of God.
Jesus really is the Shepherd who laid down his life for His sheep. Jesus really is the Bread of Life and Fountain of Living Water. Jesus is the Lamb of God. Jesus is the Light of the World. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life.
I believe! I can come to Jesus, and He has promised me REST!