After Jesus had died, a rich man named Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple, went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus. He took the body and prepared it for burial by wrapping it in a linen shroud and laying it in his own brand new tomb hewn into a great rock. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary sat opposite the sepulchre as a great stone was rolled against the door. This all happened to fulfil the words of the prophet Isaiah, “And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death.” (Isaiah 53:9)
But after all of this we see the priests go to Pilate to make the tomb secure. They knew Jesus said he would rise from the dead after three days, but did not believe him. However they expected his disciples might come and steal away the body in the night and claim Jesus had risen.
Their attempts to prevent Jesus resurrection would prove fruitless. They may as well have tried to stop the tide turning. However they were given a company of soldiers to stand guard and make the tomb as secure as they could. With these preparations and security in place they felt any attempts to remove the body would be stymied.
But they did not consider the purpose and plan of God. It was necessary that the Lord be raised and that it would not happen in secret. Many would witness his resurrection. There would be a great many witnesses and proofs of his resurrection to come in the following six weeks or so as Jesus would appear many times to his disciples and others. This will be discussed further in upcoming posts.