Matthew 28:11. Now when, or while they were going While these extraordinary things were transacting, and the women were going to tell the disciples what they had heard and seen: behold, some of the watch Some of the guards, who had fled from the sepulchre in great consternation, beginning a little to recollect themselves as to the excuse they should make for its being broken open, and the body being gone, as it would soon be known that it was; came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all that was done That is, gave them an account of the earthquake, the vision, the rolling away of the stone: and moreover assured them that Jesus was actually risen from the dead. And they doubtless urged, at the same time, how impossible it was for them to make any opposition in the presence of the angel, who shook the very earth with the terror of his appearance, and therefore might be easily supposed to take away all power of resistance from them. Thus these ignorant and stupid heathen became, in effect, the first preachers of Christ’s resurrection, and were witnesses of the truth of it to the most inveterate of his enemies. It is justly observed here, by Dr. Doddridge, that “such news, coming from such persons, must undoubtedly throw the priests into inexpressible confusion; but it is remarkable, that neither the soldiers nor the priests were converted, by what the one saw or the other heard. Perhaps the soldiers might think that Jesus was, like some of their fabulous heroes, the son of some deity, who brought him to life again; but instead of imagining themselves concerned in the purposes of his resurrection, they might perhaps abuse their knowledge of it, to confirm their belief of some superstitious tales of their own priests, which bore some little resemblance to it; as those of Alcestis, Hippolytus, Hercules, and many others did. See Valer. Max., lib. 1. cap. 8. § 12; and Plin., Nat. Hist., lib. 7. cap. 52.
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