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From Heaven With Love

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    Caiaphas Urges Deceit

    Caiaphas tried to speak. His lips moved, but they uttered no sound. The soldiers were about to leave when Caiaphas at last found speech. Wait, wait, he said. Tell no one the things you have seen.HLv 521.1

    “Say ye,” said the priests, “His disciples came by night, and stole Him away while we slept.” Here the priests overreached themselves. If they were asleep, how could they know? And if the disciples had been proved guilty of stealing Christ's body, would not the priests have been first to condemn them? Or if the sentinels had slept, would not the priests have been foremost in accusing them to Pilate?HLv 521.2

    The soldiers were horrified. Sleeping at their post was an offense punishable with death. Should they bear false witness and place their own lives in peril? How could they stand the trial, even for the sake of money, if they perjured themselves?HLv 521.3

    The priests promised to secure the safety of the guard, saying that Pilate would not desire to have such a report circulated any more than they did. The Roman soldiers sold their integrity for money. They came before the priests burdened with a startling message of truth; they went out with a burden of money, and on their tongues a lying report.HLv 521.4

    Meanwhile the report of Christ's resurrection had been carried to Pilate. Though he had condemned the Saviour unwillingly, he had felt no real compunction until now. In terror he now shut himself within his house, determined to see no one. But the priests made their way into his presence and urged him to overlook the sentinels’ neglect of duty. He himself privately questioned the guard. They dared not conceal anything, and Pilate drew from them an account of all that had taken place. He did not prosecute the matter further, but from that time there was no peace for him.HLv 521.5

    The priests, in putting Christ to death, had made themselves the tools of Satan. Now they were entirely in his power, entangled in a snare from which they saw no escape but in continuing their warfare against Christ. The only hope for them was to prove Christ an impostor by denying that He had risen. They bribed the soldiers and secured Pilate's silence.HLv 522.1

    But there were witnesses whom they could not silence. Many had heard of the soldiers’ testimony to Christ's resurrection. And certain of the dead who came forth with Christ appeared to many and declared that He had risen. The priests and rulers were in continual dread, lest in walking the streets or within the privacy of their own homes, they should come face to face with Christ. Bolts and bars were but poor protection against the Son of God. By day and by night that awful scene when they had cried, “His blood be on us, and on our children,” was before them. Matthew 27:25.HLv 522.2

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