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.
What strikes me in this passage is how these Jewish elders and chief priests were so quick to use their imagination to deny the resurrection of Jesus. Because they were pre-committed to being against Him, having sent Him to His death, they were now pre-committed to denying this unexpected and mysterious resurrection event. They did not skip a beat in making up something completely fanciful and fictitious, all because they’d committed their course to refusing, resisting, and rejecting Jesus.
Where have I made pre-commitments that are unhelpful like this? Where I’ve consciously or unconsciously become resistant to Jesus in a certain area of my life? And further, where do I notice this sense of pre-commitment in people I’m seeking to share the gospel with? Perhaps, instead of trying to persuade them when they’re pre-committed against Jesus, I need instead to pray for their hearts to soften to Him, in ways He alone has the power to work?
Lord, search my heart that I don’t have any pre-commitments that will keep me from being aware of, and open to, your unexpected and wonderful expressions of power, mercy, and grace in the world! Amen.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh