Today has been the worst day of my life. I, Caiaphas the High Priest, presumed all our problems had been solved when they crucified Jesus of Nazareth last Friday. We watched him die on that cross and saw the Roman soldier pierce his side with a spear, witnessing the blood and water flowing out of his dead body. Jesus had died on the cross and we stayed to the end of the crucifixion to make sure that was so. There is no doubt whatsoever about that. He died.
After his death we followed Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus as they carried the dead body to the tomb in which he was to be buried. We saw they rolled a large stone across the tomb. I doubt that even Samson could have rolled that stone away!
However, we were still sightly nervous. Jesus had told the crowds that after three days he would rise from the dead. Some of us feared that his disciples might steal the body and tell everyone that he was raised from the dead. We could not risk that happening. Therefore, we asked Pilate to seal the tomb and put some guards by the entrance until the third day. All our bases were covered now, and we could soon get back to normal life.
For the first time for a while, I was happy. Well at least I was until I heard about this morning’s events. The guards reported the news to us. There had been an earthquake at dawn and the guards saw an angel of the Lord roll aside the great stone. They were so scared they fainted. When they woke up the tomb was empty, and the body was gone.
We had an emergency meeting of the elders, gave a large bribe to the guards, and told them to say that while they were sleeping Jesus’ disciples came and stole the body during the night. Additionally, we told them that if the governor found out we would cover for them. Thankfully, the guards were happy to accept the bribe.
But as I lay here in bed, I am not convinced that the people will believe our version of events. The disciples all deserted Jesus when we arrested him. They ran away. I do not think anyone would seriously believe that they had the courage to attempt to take Jesus’ body from the tomb. Also, the strips of linen that had been covering his body and the cloth that had been wrapped round his head were still in the tomb. If they had stolen the body, why would they have removed those items?
The longer I think about what happened today the more I am convinced that the key thing is for us to find the body. We must find the body. Once we get hold of the body, we will display it publicly to squash any talk of Jesus being raised from the dead. Yet within me is a question that I am too frightened to contemplate. What happens if we cannot find the body? Logic says that if we cannot find it then the words of Jesus have been fulfilled. He has risen from the dead. I must find that body!