Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard – Matthew 27:65, 66
Worried that the disciples would steal Jesus’ body and then claim that He had risen from the dead, the chief priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate to request that a guard be posted at the tomb. Pilate granted them their request and they went away and secured the tomb.
Early Sunday morning when the women went to the tomb, an angel appeared and rolled back the stone from the opening. The guards who were present were so terrified of him that they became like dead men. The angel told the women that Jesus was not there. He said, “…He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” Overjoyed, the women raced away to tell the disciples to good news.
Meanwhile the guards went into the city to break the news to the chief priests. The chief priests met with the elders to figure out what their next move was going to be. They decided that the best thing to do in this situation was to bribe the soldiers and encouraged them to lie about what happened. “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” The soldiers took the money and did as they were told. Many of the Jews believed this lie but many believed that Jesus rose from the dead just as He said He would.
In spite of the schemes of some, on that third day, Jesus conquered death. He is the resurrection and the life. He is our risen Lord and Savior. The empty tomb proves this.